Apple’s New ‘Selfies on iPhone X’ Ad Campaign Features Brazilian Carnival and NHL All-Star Steven Stamkos

Apple last week shared a new video that showcases selfies taken with Portrait Lighting effects on the iPhone X, kickstarting the company's new "Selfies on iPhone X" ad campaign across different forms of media.


Next up in the campaign is a video promoting the annual Carnival of Brazil, a weeklong celebration of music, dance, food, and drink, with particularly large festivals in cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The ad, accompanied by a webpage, highlights selfies taken with Portrait Lighting effects on the iPhone X.


Apple shared a similar Brazilian Carnival video last year amid a reported push into more regional marketing campaigns.

The campaign extends to billboards, which will likely appear in major cities across the world over the coming weeks. NHL all-star Steven Stamkos recently announced his participation in the campaign on Twitter, and shared a photo of him standing in front of his own Portrait Lighting selfie at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.


The captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning is likely just one of several notable figures who will be featured in the campaign, which is similar to Apple's larger "Shot on iPhone" series. We'll be sure to keep an eye out for more ads, and if you spot one yourself, feel free to share it in the comments section.


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Apple Shares First Series of HomePod Ads With Focus on Music

Apple today shared its first series of HomePod ads on its official YouTube channel, titled Bass, Beat, Distortion, and Equalizer.

The four 15-second clips each show the word HomePod animated in various ways, with the actual speaker only shown in brief flashes. Apple also highlights that the speaker is now available to order ahead of its February 9th launch in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

The music-focused ads are each set to their own song, including Ain't I by Lizzo, DNA by Kendrick Lamar, Holy Water by Hembree, and All Night by Big Boi. Apple continues to position the HomePod as a "breakthrough speaker" first and "intelligent home assistant" second, calling it the "ultimate music authority."





The four ads follow Apple's teaser video titled Introducing HomePod shared back in June, after the speaker was previewed at WWDC 2017.

Related Roundup: HomePod

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Apple’s Grammy Ads Feature Animoji Singing Songs From Migos and Childish Gambino

Apple's Animoji are starring in two new ads Apple created for the Grammys, with Apple using the popular Animoji karaoke phenomenon to promote the iPhone X.

The ads, shared by Apple on YouTube, feature the alien Animoji singing "Redbone" by Childish Gambino and the Animoji dog, fox, and poop singing "Stir Fry" from Migos. Other Animoji characters and emoji also make appearances in the two videos.




Animoji are 3D emoji characters that are designed to mimic your facial expressions and emotions using the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X. Shortly after the iPhone X launched, people discovered that you could use Animoji to record yourself lip syncing to a song and then overlay the original music, leading to the birth of Animoji karaoke.

Animoji karaoke is not as popular as it was following the debut of the iPhone X, but Apple has previously featured Animoji karaoke in iPhone X ads.

You can watch the two new Animoji ad spots on YouTube, or catch them during the Grammys on January 28. The "Alien" ad will air following Childish Gambino's performance, while the "Amigos" ad will air right after the Best Rap Album category, which Migos is nominated for, according to Adweek.


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Apple’s New iPhone X Video Focuses on Selfies Taken With Portrait Lighting

Apple shared a new video on its YouTube channel today that shows off selfies taken with the iPhone X.

The 38-second video cycles through a collection of selfies taken by iPhone X owners using the smartphone's front-facing TrueDepth lens system and Portrait Lighting effects. The ad also includes poetry by Muhammad Ali.


Portrait Lighting has been the focus of a few recent Apple videos, including two ads that acted as tutorials for the feature. More recently, one from earlier in January explained how Portrait Lighting offers studio quality lighting effects without a studio, while showing off various examples.

Since the iPhone X launched in early November, Apple has posted videos focusing on many of the smartphone's new features, like Face ID and Animoji. Apple even embraced the phenomenon of Animoji Karaoke in one video, showcasing how iPhone X owners can use the animated characters to lip sync to popular songs and send the clips to friends and family in Messages.


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Apple Hires a Few Dozen Employees From Silicon Valley Data Science Startup

Apple has hired several data scientists from Silicon Valley Data Science, a consulting firm that offers data engineering and data science services, reports Bloomberg.

A few dozen employees from Silicon Valley Data Science joined Apple in December and January to help the company better use its data to improve its advertising efforts. According to the Silicon Valley Data Science website, the startup helped businesses improve customer retention, increase engagement, improve conversion rates, develop new revenue-generating data products, streamline operations, and more.


At Apple, the team will work on ad-related analytics to bolster Apple's advertising efforts. One area of focus could be better optimizing App Store ads.

Founder and CEO of Silicon Valley Data Science Sanjay Mathur is one of the employees that has taken a position as Apple. His LinkedIn profile now says that he leads "strategy and analytics initiatives for a group at Apple."

Several other LinkedIn profiles from former Silicon Valley Data Science employees now list data scientist positions at Apple. The company's former CTO, for example, now works on "Algorithms," while the former Head of Data Science is now Apple's "Principal Data Scientist."

While the Silicon Valley Data Science website is still up, the company shut down in December and its services are no longer offered.


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Apple Shares Two New iPad Pro Ads Focused on Apple Pencil and Augmented Reality

Apple today has shared two new iPad Pro ads titled Augment Reality and Take Notes. The short 15-second clips, set to the song "Go" by Louis The Child, are part of a larger campaign ongoing since last year.

The first ad focuses on how the iPad Pro can run augmented reality apps based on Apple's new ARKit platform for iOS 11.


The second ad focuses on how the Apple Pencil can be used to create multimedia notes on an iPad Pro running iOS 11, along with the ability to draw, type, or drag and drop photos from Apple's Files app. A few clips from this ad were previously shared in Apple's longer What's a Computer? ad in November.


The two ads follow yesterday's new 38-second ad titled A New Light, in which Apple explained how Portrait Lighting offers studio quality lighting effects without a studio and showed off various examples.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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Apple Shares New Video Highlighting Portrait Lighting on iPhone X

Apple this afternoon uploaded a new iPhone X video to its YouTube channel, this time showing off the new Portrait Lighting mode on the iPhone X.

In the 38-second video entitled "A New Light," Apple explains that Portrait Lighting offers studio quality lighting effects without the studio, while also showing off each of the different Portrait Lighting options.

Portrait Lighting on iPhone X creates studio-quality lighting effects. See portraits and selfies in a whole new light.
Portrait Lighting is a feature available for both the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus, but the iPhone X is the only device that offers Portrait Lighting effects for both the front and rear-facing cameras thanks to its front-facing TrueDepth lens system.

Apple's Portrait Lighting feature uses sophisticated algorithms to calculate how your facial features interact with light, to create unique lighting effects. There are several Portrait mode lighting presets, including Natural Light, Studio Light (lights up your face), Contour Light (adds dramatic shadows), Stage Light (spotlights your face against a dark background), and Stage Light Mono (Stage Light, but in black and white).

Portrait Lighting is one of the new features that Apple has focused on a few times before in past videos, sharing Portrait Lighting tutorials and demonstrations of Portrait Lighting in action. Most of Apple's prior videos focused on the iPhone 8 Plus, though, while this one is specific to iPhone X.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Apple Shares New Ads Highlighting iPhone X Face ID and Portrait Lighting

Apple this afternoon shared three new ads on its YouTube channel, all of which are quick clips that focus on select iPhone X features like Portrait Lighting and Face ID.

The first video, "Opens with a Glance," displays the iPhone X with the words "Introducing the most unforgettable magical password ever created. Your face," before showing off a series of faces to demonstrate how the iPhone X can be unlocked with facial recognition.


A second video, "Adapts to Your Face," was previously available on Apple's Canadian YouTube channel. It's designed to highlight the machine learning techniques used to allow Face ID to adapt to beards, hats, sunglasses, and other facial changes.


The third video, "Introducing Portrait Lighting," demonstrates the Portrait Lighting feature that's available on the iPhone X. Portrait lighting is designed to allow users to adjust the lighting in an image using depth mapping techniques, and it is also available on iPhone 8 Plus.


Today's iPhone X videos follow several iPhone X feature ads that Apple shared in late November. Those previous videos focused on Face ID and Animoji, demonstrating specific Face ID features like its ability to work in the dark and adapt to makeup.

Apple will use these short 15-second ads to show off iPhone X features on television, on the web, and on social networks like Instagram.


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Apple’s ‘The Rock x Siri’ Cracks Top 10 Most Watched Ads on YouTube in 2017

Apple's short film "The Rock x Siri Dominate the Day" was the eighth most watched ad on YouTube around the world in 2017, according to Adweek.


Adweek says the ad has been viewed more than 25 million times, although that figure is based on Apple's channel for India rather than the United States, where the video has amassed nearly 18 million views.

With the views from all of Apple's regional YouTube channels combined, the ad has actually received over 80 million views to date, but that includes the possibility of some duplicate views from the same users.

"The Rock x Siri Dominate the Day" stars actor and professional wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who uses Siri throughout an eventful day in which he pilots an airplane, floats in space, prepares fine cuisine, acts on a set, and more.


The theme of the short film, released in July, is that Siri can be used for a wide variety of tasks, such as checking calendar appointments, setting reminders, starting a timer, reading emails, starting an Apple Music playlist, and more.

The ad was certainly unorthodox for Apple and had mixed reception, with some finding it funny and others feeling it was cringeworthy.

The most watched YouTube ad of the year came from Samsung, promoting its customer service vans in India, according to Adweek. The four-minute video has received over 150 million views on the Samsung India channel.


Other ads that made the top 10 were shared by brands such as Adidas, Budweiser, Levi's, Mr. Clean, Oreo, Clash Royale, and Miss Dior.


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Apple Adds New ‘Search Ads Basic’ Ad Option for Developers

Apple last year started displaying ads in the App Store when a user searches for a particular app as a way to provide developers with a way to improve app discovery via keyword search.

Searching for a term like "to-do" or "calendar" or even something specific like "Tweetbot" surfaces ads that are purchased by developers.

Starting today, Apple is expanding search ads with a new ad product called "Search Ads Basic," while also renaming the existing search ad feature to "Search Ads Advanced," reports TechCrunch.


Search Ads Advanced, like the initial Search Ads option, requires developers to pay whenever an ad is tapped. Search Ads Basic allows developers to pay for actual app installations received from the ad, rather than taps.

With Search Ads Advanced, developers are able to select specific keywords and demographics when delivering ads, while Search Ads Basic simply allows developers to choose a monthly budget and a maximum cost-per-install, with far less customization.

Search Ads Basic includes suggestions on how much a developer should pay based on historical data pulled from the App Store based on the type of app being marketed, and it uses App Store trends to target the ideal audience.

There's a maximum monthly budget of $5,000 for Search Ads Basic, but there are no limitations on which apps or companies can use the feature, so it's available to both independent developers and larger companies.

At launch, Search Ads Basic will be limited to the United States, rolling out to additional markets next year.


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