Saving Simon: A Lesson in Brand Integrity & Cohesion

Apple’s 2021 Holiday Ad “Saving Simon” tells the story of Olive, a young girl determined to keep her snowman alive all year long. The opening scenes reveal her brother kicking down the family of snowmen sitting peacefully in the yard. The young girl rushes outside only to save the very last snowman, Simon. In order to protect him from a pesky older brother, Simon is relocated to his new home in the kitchen freezer. Even through the changing of seasons, dad’s late night snacking, a family camping trip, and a power outage, Simon makes it out of the freezer to see the next snowfall. The final scene cuts to the family admiring the successes of their daughter, when suddenly a bike smashes Simon into unrecognizable chunks of ice. This element of surprise adds both comic relief and upholds the identity of the directors.

Co-directors and father/son duo, Ivan and Jason Reitman, have made their mark on the film industry most notably through their work on the Ghostbusters franchise. In honor of the release of Jason’s new movie, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”, the closing moments of this commercial showcase the abrupt nature of the series’ thriller elements. This teaches a lesson in brand consistency. As a professional figure, the various projects and ventures endured throughout a career define your identity. Specialization in your career path and standing by these acquired qualities fuel success. Being uniform in exposure to the public establishes both credibility and brand loyalty, as consumers tend to increase their trust with each instance of expectations being met. For Jason, this unforeseen element confirms his tendency to offer satirical takes on the nostalgia of one’s youth, inadvertently promoting his new movie.

Diving into the intentions of the advertisement, announcing the new iPhone 13, this ad is the newest addition to the collection of “Shot on iPhone” commercials. Fashioned into their annual holiday commercial, Apple utilizes this short film to feature the professional-grade camera of the iPhone 13 pro, which includes an ultra-wide view and extremely sharp detail with an all-new autofocus. The behind the scenes of “Saving Simon” further illustrates its ability to shoot short films, offering a lightweight and “liberating” alternative to heavy duty production cameras. Jason suggests we now all have the opportunity to carry moviemaking devices in our pockets. While this extra clip is complementary to the actual commercial, “Saving Simon” speaks for itself from a marketing standpoint, living up to its brand promise. What better way to illustrate the abilities of the iPhone than to use it to create its own advertisement? These innovative marketing strategies act as a great lesson to business owners. Not only is online advertising vital for success in these times, but dominating your branding approach by showcasing the actual qualities of your product or service, once again, ensures coherence.

From year to year and commercial to commercial, Apple creates unity amongst their ads, continuing to utilize the “shot on iPhone” design. This recurring advertisement not only attracts viewers attention, but strengthens Apple’s reputation with every new addition, executing consistency amongst the anticipation of viewers. Reliability is integral to a successful marketing strategy, increasing both brand awareness and consumer devotion.