Apple’s eye-popping history of visual storytelling

“In addition to its memorable products, Apple is also known for its ads,” Patrick Holland writes for CNET. “The company uses video masterfully to sell itself and products. Apple’s ads, product launch videos and marketing films reflect thematic threads that the company has carefully spun throughout its history.”

“Its latest video, the WWDC short film ‘Appocalypse,’ is a polished Hollywood-level satire about a future when apps stop working,” Holland writes “The topical film shows just how far Apple has evolved comically, cinematically and emotionally in its ads and videos over the years.”

“‘Appocalypse’ wasn’t Apple’s first foray into a cinematic bleak future. The ad ‘1984’ introduced the company and its Macintosh computer to the world, and threw a metaphorical sledgehammer in the face of IBM, the biggest maker of personal computers at the time,” Holland writes. “‘The ‘1984’ ad was a simple, brilliant middle finger to the personal computer establishment of the day,’ says filmmaker Patrick Read Johnson.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Appocalypse” was a nice little paean to iOS developers, but with zero percent of the impact delivered by the seminal “1984.”

The absence of Steve Jobs is blatantly obvious in myriad ways and certainly in Apple’s video and marketing efforts.


  1. MDN, no offense, but…Ridley Scott did the 1984 ad, and some ad agency subcontractor did the Appocalypse throwaway. And Apple’s intention for the 1984 ad was to be semiserious about the regimented dystopian command line interface of the PC culture. Appocalypse doesn’t pretend for an instant that apps vanishing is a conceivable reality. It was directed strictly internally to the WWDC audience. Happy Friday!

  2. Loud, violent, and stupid. Fits right in with the majority of tripe spewed forth daily in the mass media. Do the marketing people at Apple even remember the power of using nuance and subtlety in communications?

    1. Exactly what I thought. Cars smashing into one another, implying carnage on a mass scale. Neither funny nor clever. It’s hard to imagine what Apple’s ad team is snorting and shoving up their oroficies on a Friday night.

    2. Yeah, they do know nuance, subtlety, and the power of connecting with people. Here is one:

      As someone who actually works in the film/TV industry, there are many ways to tell stories and sometime loud, brute force best tells the story. Now imagine how Appocalypse would look with the same storytelling method as with Sadi. Thanks for playing.

    3. This is a perfect example of why some people just shouldn’t be able to have an opinion…

      Apple makes – not a commercial – but a video about apps, directed at developers. And all of a sudden some jackass opines that Apple has lost its ability for great communications.

      Never mind the Photos ad campaign which is genuinely brilliant – littering the world with artful images instead of garish ads.

      Then there’s the powerful iPad ads with the voice over from Robin Williams in the Dead Poet’s Society.

      Sorry, but Apple still makes some of the best commercials and has the best ad campaigns.

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