Apple’s 2022 holiday campaign “Share the Joy” is focused on promoting their AirPods in an unusual 90-second video demonstrating the capability to share audio with other AirPod users. Using Apple’s “audio share” feature, users can share their audio with a friend or loved one that also uses AirPods or Beats wireless headphones.
Apple has previously been known for their heartfelt, emotional, and clever holiday ads, but this year, the ad features the upbeat, hiphop/rap song “Puff” by Bhavi and Bizarrap. Two dancers wearing AirPods are shown running around the city together, listening to the same song and turning various items into snow. While the ad features innovative special effects and animations to transform items into snow, it feels like there is some room for improvement to encompass the feelings of the holiday season like an Apple holiday ad usually does. Besides using the “audio share” feature of the AirPods, the ad seems to ge “Share the Joy” with others during the holiday season, and the feature is overall lost in the other elements of the ad. While the beginning of the video has clips of holiday decor and uses the well-known song “Feliz Navidad,” the lack of typical holiday cheer and decoration throughout the video make it unclear that the advertisement is meant for the holiday season, even with the snow; this is an element that could have been improved on by adding in additional holiday elements or showing different sets of people, using the “audio share” feature and spending time together doing a holiday activity.
Unlike previous Apple holiday advertisements, the 2022 ad takes place in beautiful Buenos Aires to show that holiday cheer doesn’t have to be in the typical winter-wonderland setting that often comes to mind. This year’s ad was directed by Argentinian filmmaker Juan Cabral, which opened up the opportunity to showcase how people in Argentina celebrate the holidays. The ad could have differentiated itself from previous holiday Apple ads and been improved by focusing on how AirPods were bringing Argentinian people together while they celebrate the holidays in their own way, however this concept wasn’t seen in the final version of the ad.
The ad is centered around the “audio share” feature that’s been a capability of the AirPods since the 1st generation was released, so it isn’t a new feature to highlight. Since then, Apple has released newer versions of their AirPods that can be noise-canceling, have transparency mode, and have improved accessibility features like Live Listen audio and Conversation Boost; Showcasing these newer features in the advertisement could have been an incentive for AirPod users to upgrade their version or buy a new pair for their loved ones, but Apple decided to focus on the “audio share” feature. While some people may not have known the feature existed, the holiday ad could have showcased the other new features for consumers as well to give the ad some more depth and content throughout to keep people watching. The “Share the Joy” campaign doesn’t really encompass the sharing of the holiday spirit, and it feels like a stronger tagline could have been chosen to represent the advertisement and concept.
When viewing the ad on a web device, the advertisement ends with an embedded video that showcases all of the new features of the AirPod Pros, which is a nice way to go more in-depth and highlight their product. However, If consumers are seeing the ad on a TV, or don’t think to click on the embedded video link, they’ll miss this information; if Apple had added some of these additional product highlights and features into the holiday ad itself, it could have ensured that their viewers of the ad were educated while they still held their attention. Additionally, Apple is relying on their ad being intriguing enough that consumers watch the entire thing, and then are curious enough to click on the embedded video to learn more; this is a big ask for consumers that are overwhelmed by push notifications and short attention spans because of the limitless information and possibilities our phones possess.
Brands as big as Apple need to keep things fresh and try new ideas, but sometimes taking too big of a risk, like with the concept of this holiday ad, doesn’t quite have the ideal result. While it was a unique take on a holiday ad that went for something different this year, it seemed that Apple strayed a bit too far away from traditional holiday concepts throughout their “Share the Joy” campaign for the message to truly get across and resonate with the viewers. Holidays are known for tradition, and often people are drawn to the familiar memories they have of doing the same thing every year; because of that, a more traditional and consistent holiday ad may have hit their target market a bit stronger. While brands do need to have original ideas, a core concept of branding is consistency and fitting the right ad to the right time and place; in this case, the “Share the Joy” campaign may have resonated with audiences a bit stronger if it was shown at a different time of year, and a more traditional Apple holiday ad was featured instead at this time of year. Apple is an innovative company, so we look forward to seeing what their creative team comes up with for next year’s holiday campaign.
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