Apple is breaking a commercial for the iPhone on Thursday that addresses an encroaching concern of society.
The commercial, Over Sharing, provokes consumers’ fears about data privacy in ways that are amusing in that mortified-with-embarrassment way, but also a little frightening. It will run in about 25 global markets across television, digital and out-of-home, in showstopper locations such as Times Square.
The spot from TBWA\Media Arts Lab opens on a crowded bus as a rider loudly declares, “I browsed eight sites for divorce attorneys today.” The next scenario shows a woman in a movie theater telling a startled man her login “for everything.”
The spot is the fourth in a series of privacy messages promoted by Apple since 2019. Appearing in a range of versions, from a six-second pre-roll to a one-minute treatment, the spots end with the famous Apple icon featuring a padlock topper — instead of a leaf — that clicks securely into place. This padlocked apple has become a brand signature for its privacy campaigns.
Data security remains a big issue that supersedes legislative stopgaps such as GDPR and CCPA. The porous nature of the cloud can be chilling. As Google and Facebook traffick user data for services, geotracking follows one’s footsteps and databases store more than basic demographics, Apple is depicting a scenario that is as unnerving as it is routine to digital marketing.
Apple has also nurtured a reputation that it is the safer phone. CEO Tim Cook frequently talks about privacy as a human right. Apple executives appeared at CES this January — the company usually does not attend the industry trade show — to talk about privacy instead of products, befitting a brand that markets its phones as collecting and selling less data than Android and Google devices.
The spot makes the privacy issue clear by featuring one embarrassment after another: a text exchange about who you hate at work, a woman’s home address, a portly man’s heart rate, a woman’s pregnancy news and, of course, a credit card number.
TBWA\Media Arts Lab’s commercial ends with the message, “Some things shouldn’t be shared. iPhone helps keep it that way. Privacy. That’s iPhone.”
The spot was shot in Los Angeles this January before the pandemic and features life before lockdown scenarios, such as the crowded bus, movie theater, indoor restaurants and cubicle workplace.