Big and Small Apple Commercial

10 Apple Commercials Worth Remembering

Besides being the world’s most popular fruit-named anything and having some of the most innovative products in the history of, well, life, Apple is also pretty darn good at creating effective marketing. Not to say every Apple commercial is a hit, but for the most part Apple has a good sense of what their consumers need to see, hear and feel while watching their commercials.

That being said, here is the absolutely definitive list of the 10 best Apple commercials ever, pre-new iPad.

10. “Sad Song” 2008

There are a handful of these Mac vs PC commercials that could easily make up the top 10 alone (and several that did!). After all, this campaign was so successful that 66 total spots were made, plus an unreleased spot that also made this list. This terrible PC country song lands at number 10 for the forced drama and hilariously woeful country lyrics. The ending to the :90 second commercial is even funnier now that we all know Control+Alt+Delete was a complete mistake!

9. “Cheese” 2012

One thing that Apple does really well in their advertising is to focus on one specific feature of their product and demonstrate just how useful it can be. In this 2012 “Cheese” commercial, Apple demonstrates the new panorama feature in a very relatable way: the classic group picture! Consider the fact that this group is a bunch of cute kids dressed up for Halloween and we’re sold.

8. “Big and Small” 2003

The “Odd Couple” routine may feel extremely played out old, but this 2003 Apple commercial with Yao Ming, Verne Troyer and a couple of ironically sized PowerBooks teaches us that going all the way with a cliche can be a good thing. We also learned that Yao has enough length to fiddle in the overhead without standing. Whoa.

7. “Hello” 2007

Considering the framework for this commercial recently got jacked for the new Samsung smart watch spot, I’d have to say Apple did something right. Apple’s “Hello” commercial in 2007 was the first television spot for their staple iPhone. The commercial comes in at number 7 because of how it sets up, and then completely shakes up, what we expect out of a phone. When watching this commercial, keep in mind the iPhone launched only on AT&T. Prophetic?

6. “Life” 2012

Of all the commercials which highlight Siri and feature actor John Malkovich, this one is definitely the best. Apple would catch a considerable amount of false advertising flak after these ads aired but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable to watch.

5. “Broken Promises” 2009

The second of three Mac vs PC commercials on our top 10 list is the classic “Broken Promises” ad from 2009 featuring a time traveling John Hodgman and Justin Long. Is this number 5 mainly because of the Hodgman cut at :23? Maybe. Apple has always had a knack for getting under Microsoft’s skin. This, of all 66 Mac vs PC commercials, stings the most.

4. “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” 1997

The “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” Apple commercial from 1997 is in fact the oldest Apple commercial on this list and also one of the most inspiring. Apple has always positioned itself as being at the highest echelon of innovation and aligning their brand with all the most brilliant minds over the last century was a solid way to restart the company at a time when things weren’t all sunshine and catchy jingles. Very bold.

3. “Intel Processors for Mac” 2006

This Apple commercial from 2006 put Intel in a very uncomfortable spot and sent Mac fans into a frenzy! And even though it’s been called out time and time again for ripping from the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights” music video, Apple’s brass keeps it in the top 3. Anyway, Apple has since gotten their’s (remember number 7?).

2. Unreleased “Get a Mac” 2009

This ad never aired on television. It was only shown one time at the World Wide Developers Conference in 2009 and lives on for eternity on YouTube. This :70 second spot is the funniest Mac vs PC commercial and quite possibly of Apple’s whole archive. One of the biggest reasons the Mac vs PC campaign worked for so long was its versatility. On this list alone we have a country song, a :30 second commercial and a hilarious keynote! Clearly, this is the best Apple campaign to ever run.

But that’s not enough to be the best Apple commercial ever…

1. “We Believe” 2011

“We Believe” gets the nod as the best Apple commercial of all-time because it is the most “Appley” of all the iPhone, iPad or iAnything commercials to ever air. Whereas most Apple ads tend to focus on features and what makes the product so practical, this :30 second commercial gets to the bare bones of it: Apple is connecting you to other people more efficiently than ever. It’s a positioning statement. And aside from the occasionally mind blowing upgrades on each year’s model (120 frames-per-second, anyone?) the real reason we love our smartphones is because of how they connect us.

Did I miss your favorite Apple ad? Tell me about in the comments below or connect with us on Facebook!

Published by

Eric White

Eric graduated Ohio University with a degree in Advertising and has contributed writing on electronics, social media and travel to various online publications such as Crowdtap and Amtrak. Eric currently spends his work days managing social media and marketing duties for DayFire, an upcoming smartphone app from ZipfWorks.

5 thoughts on “10 Apple Commercials Worth Remembering”

    1. Hey Rick! Thanks for your feedback.

      The 1984 commercial was intentionally left off this list. Sure, it was different and did a lot of good for Apple, but to me, that ad gets more credit than it’s worth. I viewed it along with the dozens upon dozens of other Apple commercials I watched (and rewatched!) to make this post and obviously it didn’t make the cut for me.

      “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” didn’t make my top 3 because it could have easily been used for pretty much any other tech or innovative company. It doesn’t make any specific claims, rather just lumps the brand in with history’s already established innovators. Microsoft could have run this with the launch of Vista or XP and it wouldn’t have been out of place.

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