A growing horde invades a man's life in Apple privacy ad

New spot from TBWA/MAL illustrates simple tool to keep your data safe

Published On
May 20, 2021

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Using an app on your device can open the floodgates to myriad companies helping themselves to your personal data. If that idea seems a bit obtuse, Apple helps to make it more clear with this playful new ad about a man overtaken by a growing horde of followers, or "trackers."

It opens with the gentleman buying a cup of java, presumably using a payment app. As he leaves to go about the rest of his day, the barista follows him all the way into his cab, freely volunteering to the cab driver the man’s name and birthday. Throughout the rest of the spot, with every app the man uses, the hangers-on around him multiply, each dutifully taking notes on his data, from when he buys itch cream at the drugstore or stops at the bank to check his accounts. 

Finally, when the man arrives at his home, surrounded by his lemmings, he whips out his iPhone and deactivates App Tracking Transparency (ATT) requests for his apps to track him, and one by one, his followers pop off screen. 

The ad, directed by Rupert Sanders of MJZ, is the latest in Apple’s “Privacy. That’s iPhone” campaign and follows an earlier ad from November that pointedly illustrated how app trackers function and how iPhone users can better control their own privacy.




Along with the spots, Apple also recently created a report illustrating  “A Day in the Life of Your Data” report. Step by step it lays out how third-party companies track users’ information across websites ad apps while also showing which Apple tools consumers can use to maintain control of their data.