Apple Let the Dogs Out in a Top-scoring Ad
One of the most remarkable statistics on the Test Your Ad database – we’ve never tested a 5-Star Apple ad. They’re the brand who made “1984”, the company whose ‘white headphones’ posters created a whole category – but none of their recent video ads hit the top score among ordinary audiences. Their quirky, arty, ultra-hip style – with moody lighting, surprising camerawork and cutting-edge soundtracks – has won plenty of awards. But it’s often left viewers cold.
Not anymore. Apple’s latest ad with TBWA\Media Arts, “The Invincibles”, is a 5-Star triumph, the best thing we’ve tested from the brand and one of the top scoring US ads this year. And all they needed was a dog named Trip.
Trip the dog is a tripod dog – missing a leg – and the ad shows how he gets a prosthetic thanks to 3D modeling, made possible with the Apple iPhone 14’s super-accurate 3D camera. We see Trip dashing about on his new prosthetic, obviously overjoyed by his new freedom of movement. And then the ad shows us a bunch of other animals with prosthetics, all absolutely thrilled to be moving and enjoying themselves.
It’s an ad which makes audiences exceptionally happy, landing a massive 5.4-Stars, in the very top echelons of mobile hardware or app ads. You don’t have to be an advertising analyst to work out why: people like dogs, they love stories of overcoming adversity, and Trip is a perfect example of that. The ad is also extremely well made, with home-shot footage mixing with shots of Trip’s prosthetic being made, and a great musical build to the final shots of all the different animals.
There’s only one thing the ad falls down on – people may not know it’s for Apple. The technology is there all through the ad and the logo appears at the end, but only a minority of people realize they’re looking at an Apple ad in the first few minutes, and Brand Fluency is low. “The Invincibles” is a 5-Star piece of work, with tremendous brand-building potential for Apple. It could be their most effective ad for years thanks to its adorable canine stars. But with a slight branding tweak Apple might find it a lot easier to make that potential into reality.