Through New Year’s on Creativity, we’ll be counting down the best work and ideas of the year in various categories: TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Out of Home/Design/Experiential and Digital/Integrated/Social.
At No. 3 in TV/Film, Apple’s captivating musical short promoting its Homepod directed by Spike Jonze and starring FKA Twigs was arguably the year’s most superbly crafted brand film. A riveting behind-the-scenes video that followed its release revealed the extensive expertise--Jonze’s meticulous attention to detail, the choreography, art direction, set design and more--that went into pulling it off. The film earned Apple the Cannes Lions Branded Entertainment Grand Prix in Music as well as multiple Gold honors.
Spike Jonze puts his indelible directing mark on a new film for Apple, promoting its HomePod music system, starring the British dancer/singer FKA Twigs.
The film begins with Twigs commuting home on a dark, rainy night, obviously feeling low (or at least having had a bad day at work). She opens the door of her apartment and, her voice almost breaking with vulnerability, asks Siri to play something she'd like. As the music (the brand new Anderson .Paak track "Til It's Over") plays, she at first sits staring into her drink, but then is suddenly pulled into a gloriously choreographed dance. Her apartment walls expand into a riot of color, and she steps into a kind of inner tunnel where she meets, and dances with, her mirror image.
If this is Apple's next shot over to Alexa, and, perhaps, to Sonos, it's a good one. It's the best commercial from Jonze since Kenzo, in which actress Margaret Qualley seemed like a woman possessed as she broke out into a fevered dance routine.
On FKA Twigs' part, this isn't her only high-profile tie-up with a major brand. Last year, she directed and starred in a powerful Nike ad, taking on a persona quite different from her Apple outing.
The ad went on to earn the Entertainment Lions Grand Prix for Music at Cannes in 2018.
"Music was at the core of this campaign," jury president Lori Feldman, EVP-Strategic marketing, Warner Brothers Records, said. "The entirety of the film is built around the song, the craft is undeniable, and the brand is at the center of the action in such a simple, unique way. One sentence spoken to the Homepod changed her entire world."