The iPhone X broke sales records when it launched in Australia in November. There were cues, “just like the old days,” waiting for Apple stores to open and many sold out within two hours.
But the rise and rise of Samsung has made an impact on Apple’s global market share, and now there are aggressive competitors like Huawei biting chunks out of its sales. So, a lot was riding on the iPhone X’s launch in China.
So Apple did what it does well. It made an ad that packs an emotional wallop – a seven-minute short film, directed by famed Chinese filmmaker, Peter Chan.
A film with suspense, love and so much relevance right now for so many people. A film about a working mother, a conductor on one of China’s long-haul trains, who has just three minutes to see her son – at a train station – on Chinese New Year.
A film that doesn’t break its power by reverting to advertising. There’s not a single iPhone in any scene.
The film is based on a true story. And it’s not a classic feel-good tale. It has the bite of reality. The reality that many families are facing now, and its bite is exaggerated by a stop watch timer that counts down the seconds until the mother has to leave.
It also states that it was shot on iPhone X, and the campaign includes five how-to videos by Chan, such as portrait lighting, unique perspectives and time lapse. In fact, the phone WAS shot on an iPhone and Chan had never donw so before, but it did use extra equipment and apps, such as an industrial drone to which the iPhone was attached to achieve distance shots.
In less than a week, the film was viewed more than 68 million times.