Apple debuted a new commercial (below) for the iPad featuring musicians Elliphant, Riton and The Gaslamp Killer during Sunday night (Feb. 8)’s Grammy telecast on CBS, and it’s strikingly different from the white-silhouette Apple ads of yore. The documentary-style 60-second spot was filmed entirely on an iPad (and app Manual Camera) by Parisian filmmaker and music video director So Me (Kanye West, Justice), and follows the three musicians writing, recording, producing and remixing a new remix of Elliphant’s track “All Or Nothing.” Apple co-produced the commercial with longtime creative ad agency TBWA\Media Arts Lab.
Sourcing talent for the spot came down to musicians who already included their iPad in their creative process. “I’ve been using an iPad in every single performance I’ve done since 2009,” says Will Bensussen, a.k.a. Gaslamp Killer, an L.A.-based producer and DJ. “You can only have so many big giant keyboards in your house, and it’s an extremely dynamic tool for creating music from scratch as well as spicing up music that I’ve already made.”
Apple’s focus on the iPad comes on the heels of its Jan. 27 first-quarter earnings report, which saw a record quarterly profit of $18 billion but a decrease in iPad sales year-over-year: 21.4 million vs. 26 million during the same period in 2014. Another recent commercial showcased how the iPad Air 2 is used by creative professionals of all types, including rock band The Orwells, whose song “Change” serves as the score. According to Billboard estimates, Apple paid upwards of $2 million for the Grammy spot, based on increases in Grammy ad rates, which last year averaged $1 million per 30-second commercial.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and senior vice president Eddy Cue (recently named the tenth-most powerful figure in music on Billboard’s annual Power 100) were the toast of the town at last night’s Clive Davis pre-Grammy bash, with industry bigwigs lining up for an audience near their table.
Other advertisers making big plays in this year’s Grammy telecast included Pepsi, which debuted a new campaign with Charli XCX and Fall Out Boy, and Target, who scored a Grammy first by devoting over three minutes of ad time to a live commercial featuring a performance by Imagine Dragons.