“Misunderstood,” the Christmas themed ad that TBWA released over the holiday season last year, was recently named “Most Outstanding Commercial” at the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday (the 16th). The ad, which was put together by TBWA\Media Arts Lab, and was directed by Lance Acord of Park Pictures, follows a teenager at Christmas home, who the viewer is led to believe has been ignoring his family to “Fiddle with his phone” (as teenagers are oft to do these days). It's revealed towards the end of the ad, however, that he's actually been using his iPhone to edit together a video of the family's Christmas escapades. The spot culminates in the family gathering around to watch the results with teary results.
The ad “Relies on our own stereotypes to lead us to an incorrect assumption, setting the stage for the second half of the spot to pull our heartstrings so effectively.”
It's a genuinely emotional, but deceptively simple ad, which (as Apple ad man Ken Segall notes, “Relies on our own stereotypes to lead us to an incorrect assumption, setting the stage for the second half of the spot to pull our heartstrings so effectively. There have been many ups and downs in the Apple ad world of late (which I have already discussed at length), but this subtle, emotionally charged ad has been an unqualified creative success for the company and for TBWA.
Apple – Misunderstood (prepare the hankies)
The spot beat out four other nominees; “Hero's Welcome” and “Puppy Love” by Anomaly for Budweiser, “Childlike Imagination” by BBDO for GE, and “Possibilities” by Wieden + Kennedy for Nike. At the Cannes Lions festival earlier this year the results were reversed, with Possibilities taking gold and Misunderstood claiming the silver. The Emmy awards have always been known as crowd pleasers though, and the Christmas theme, coupled with the tear-jerking rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” that underlined the ad surely made an impression and warmed a few hearts.
There have been many ups and downs in the Apple ad world of late, but this subtle, emotionally charged ad has been an unqualified creative success for the company
At last year's Emmys, Grey took home the top award for their “Inspired” spot for Canon, which marked the end of a four year long winning streak for W+K, who took the award home in 2009 for Coca-Cola's “Heist,” in 2010 for Old Spice's “Them Man Your Man Should Smell Like,” in 2011 for Chrysler's “Born of Fire,” and in 2012 for Procter & Gamble's “Best Job.” The 2014 Creative Arts Emmy Awards were announced during a ceremony held Saturday night in Los Angeles. The event honours technical disciplines and behind-the-scenes crafts essential to television production. This year, awards were given in 80 categories, including art direction, casting, cinematography, hairstyling, lighting design, makeup, music, picture editing, sound editing and mixing, special visual effects, stunts, and title design. The Primetime Emmy Television Awards is scheduled to take place on Monday the 25th of August.
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician from the UK who will openly admit to getting a little bleary-eyed upon first viewing this particular ad.