Apple debuts longform Apple Music ad starring James Corden with Jimmy Iovine, Bozoma Saint John… and Eddy Cue?

“One of advertising’s more famed agency owners, David Ogilvy, had an adage. Actually, he had many. One was: ‘Only in the gravest cases should you show your clients’ faces,'” Chris Matyszczyk writes for CNET. “It’s marginal nonsense, of course. Some clients perform well on camera.”

“However, on seeing Apple Music’s ad during the Emmys (video below), I fear that some of Apple’s execs might have heeded Ogilvy’s warning,” Matyszczyk writes. “The scenario was that actor and late night show host James Corden was pitching ideas to them for an Apple Music ad. On the other side were Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine and Bozoma Saint John, accompanied by Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue.”

“Corden suggests one lunatic idea for Apple Music after another, while the execs attempt to look appalled. Iovine, a veteran of “American Idol” — where there was plenty of fodder for negative expressions — knows how to pull it off,” Matyszczyk writes. “Cue, however, isn’t quite as natural an actor. He’s not remotely as natural as Jeb Bush, who offered an excellent cameo at the Emmys as an Uber driver. Moreover, who among the viewing audience would even know who Cue is?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Core underlying theory of putting Cue in this ad: Make Cue more “famous” since, without Steve Jobs’ looming behind him/luminescing next to him, he seems unable to get ink even in a stationery store, much less at the bottom of an Apple TV contract.

Now, with this ad and perhaps more to follow, the thinking goes, when Cue walks into a room, the content gatekeepers and network bigwigs will recognize him from “TV” (star power!) and be more likely to sign the dotted line on the Apple TV skinny bundle, new Apple Music contracts, and other such deals. Seems a reach to us, but “star power” is a thing and stranger things have happened (see: Fred “Gopher” Grandy, Al Franken, Sonny Bono, Jesse Ventura, Shirley Temple, Fred Thompson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump…)

Corden was also featured in the Emmy’s opening monologue video along with the aforementioned “Jeb Exclamation Point” (appears starting at 3:40) and many other celebs:

Corden, who risks overexposure in opening videos (and in general), was also featured at the top of Apple’s September 7, 2016 special event to unveil the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and Apple Watch Series 2:

Apple buys James Corden’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ TV series for Apple Music exclusive – July 26, 2016


  1. Using Corden seems to accomplish 2 ad goals: subtle message for AM’s coming debut of Carpool Karaoke series; Apple Music access to his Late, Late Show demographics (18-40).

    Also, some pretty funny lines from Corden and Iovine’s “why didn’t you give him water?”.

  2. I had no idea who ANY of the people on the other side of the table, and I thought the spot was hilarious. Figure 99 percent of those watching the Emmy’s had no idea either. But give Apple credit for putting their actual execs in the ad, rather than actors playing execs.

    To be fair, Eddy Cue was just as awkward in the spot as Iovone. The only one with any spark was Bozoma Saint John.

  3. Oh dear. It’s sad to see how low Apple can go without clear direction and vision, and above all, taste.

    I don’t know Mr Cue personally, but I do use the products he has a hand in:
    The iTunes Store (which sucks) the iBooks Store (which sucks) Apple Music (which sucks BAD) Apple TV (which sucks) Siri (which sucks) Maps (which sucks) and iCloud, which sucks.

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