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"Duo" & "Health" - iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Updated: Apr 4

"Life has to be about more than just solving problems. If all that life is about is solving problems, what's the point in getting up in the morning?"

- Elon Musk

Why can't some things just be fun?

We are constantly being made to design things that solve an issue; mainly climate change. I understand that it's an issue, and something that needs to be addressed, but I don't think that everything we do as designers should be purely to solve an issue. When it comes to climate action and sustainability, I don't think they should be the leading focus of every project, which has often been the case throughout the past 4 years at university. We are always designing things to "solve *this* UN sustainability goal". I believe that sustainability should be considered when designing all products by default, in order to lower their impact on the environment. But, sometimes, things should just be designed for the focus of being fun, and that's what these videos are.

In September 2014, Apple released the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus; a complete iPhone redesign and the first time Apple released their phone in different sizes. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were revealed at an Apple Event in California, like its predecessors. As per the usual Apple fashion, it was first shown in a reveal video at the event. Apple executive, Phil Schiller, went on to talk about the devices and their features before welcoming the CEO, Tim Cook, back to the stage. Tim told the audience:

"We've enlisted the help of a couple of our friends to do some fun new ads, and I'd love to share one of those with you right now."

"What do you think?!"

"Did you like them?!"

"Do you know who they are? Does anyone know who they are?"

"Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon!"

"These guys are incredibly fun to work with!"

"Do you wanna see another one?"

"Here's another one!"

What I love about these videos, and what I think makes them so clever, is that they're just fun. They're not taking themselves too seriously, and they're not forcing the product down your throat. However, they're still showing a huge range of features that the product has - in a very subtle and smart way. These adverts do highlight some great, real-life features such as the then new Health app, camera features and 3D maps.

Enlisting people such as Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake not only makes the adverts humorous and fun, but it also makes the product feel relatable. It almost gives the product a recognisable and friendly voice.

Now, I can admit, after hearing the "Duo" advert play on your television enough times, it would probably get quite irritating. But I don't think that's the aim here. They're not adverts designed to be repeated again and again and again, but more of a collection of different, fun advertisements that show off the products features in a light-hearted and jovial way.

Apple has a long-standing reputation for creating visually stunning and innovative advertising campaigns. These videos showed Apple's ability to design adverts in a different way to their usual fashion, whilst still having a great aesthetic, and resonating with their audience.

In addition to the Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake ads, Apple created a selection of matching advertisements for the UK, voiced by The IT Crowd stars, Richard Ayoade and Chris O'Dowd. I think this was a great touch, relating more to the British audience at that time.

Duo UK:

Health UK:


Impact - 5 / 10

There's no doubt that these advertisements didn't have the sort of global impact as other Apple adverts, such as "Think Different" or the "1984" Macintosh Super Bowl ad. However, they were a great set of adverts in their own right, and showed Apple's ability to, once again, create adverts in a new way that no one else was doing.

Aesthetic - 8 / 10

Although these adverts are very different in style to other Apple advertisements, their similarity lies within the simplicity. The adverts still scream Apple, which is extremely important in marketing. The simplicity of the white background with a white device in front immediately draws your attention to the display, and the features being shown.

Message - 7 / 10

I believe that the message being delivered to the customer is extremely clever. The comedic side of the adverts engages the viewer, and you don't even notice yourself taking in all of the features being shown to you in the video. However, it doesn't have the same sort of 'life changing' message as things like "Think Different" or "1984".

Originality - 10 / 10

These adverts were definitely original for their time. In fact, it's one thing that I think carries across many of Apple's advertising campaigns. They always seem to produce adverts that are different to what everyone else is doing, and it often shapes how companies start to advertise their products afterwards. Yes, people were creating fun adverts for products, but the Duo and Health adverts were still advertising the features of the product, whilst being fun and engaging.

Clarity - 9 / 10

Although the features are kind of hidden within the overall emphasis of the video, I think the adverts are clear in what Apple is trying to show you as a consumer.

TOTAL - 7.8 / 10

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