The best holiday ads we've seen this year have come out of the U.K., where Christmas is the nation's Super Bowl when it comes to advertising. But now, Apple enters the fray with what turns out to be one of the season's most heartfelt commercials. It tells the story of a loner teen who joins his family for the Christmas holiday. But from what we see, he's only there in body -- as his family frolics in the snow and decorates the tree, he sits off to the side, apparently checked out of the festivities as he checks into his iPhone.
In the end, however, it turns out the boy was there all along -- creating arguably the family's best present of the year. Apple also posted the full-length version of that gift, "A Harris Family Holiday," shot entirely on the iPhone 5S, on Youtube.
The ad takes a now familiar approach from digital marketers, slyly showing its product as promoter of community and social interaction, rather than inspiring intoversion.
The ad is the latest piece showing that Apple is regaining its creative stride. After a few missteps, over the last few months we've seen standout work like the recent Pencil spot, promoting the iPad air, the bombastic trailer-like teaser for the Mac Pro and the design-minded "Intention" film from the World Wide Developers Conference in June.