Apple's new ad for the iPhone 7 seems to take inspiration from the 1956 classic French film, "The Red Balloon," directed by Albert Lamorisse, about a boy and his sentient, helium-filled buddy.
In the new spot, however, the red balloon flies solo, traversing across fields and plains in search of a soulmate. Ultimately, it finds its yellow better half hovering underneath a gritty city bridge, and from there the new duo go on to join fellow floaters in a bright, rainbow swarm that sweeps through a grey metropolis.
Where they're heading we don't know, until they squeeze in through the cracked-open windows of a woman's apartment, and then reemerge on the background screen of her iPhone 7 as she receives a "Happy Birthday" message from a loved one. The cinematic spot is set to the poignant "I Will Follow You" by Toulouse.
Created out of TBWA/Media Arts Lab, the ad is meant to highlight the new expressive messaging features available on iOS 10, which allow users to adorn their messages with handwritten notes, animations that appear over the entire screen as well as invisible ink that manifests only after users swipe over it.