Apple showcases emotional use of music in advertising this Christmas

Stevie Wonder & Andra Day in Apple Christmas ad

This year’s Christmas commercial by Apple features Grammy superstar Stevie Wonder and American Jazz singer Andra Day. The ad has made its debut on YouTube.

With Stevie Wonder singing a classic song from 1967 “Someday at Christmas”, the revamped version includes a refreshing Jazz twist by Andra Day.

The ad opens with Stevie Wonder at home, setting up the Garage Band recording program on his Macbook with the help of Voice Over, an accessibility tool for the blind. This app is a screen reader which allows the user to access their Macintosh or iOS device based on spoken descriptions. In this sense, Apple’s efforts when it comes to accessibility of their products has the company undeniably emerging over many of its competitors who are sadly lagging behind.

Even though the ad is gently pushing Apple apps with GarageBand and VoiceOver, the only actual Apple product which is visible to the consumer is a MacBook at the very beginning which lasts around 6 seconds. This is just enough time to remind us all of who is actually running the show. It is a clever and thoughtful ad from the Cupertino tech company in using the #PowerOfMusic to create an emotional narrative of how the company has remained true to its testimony of always challenging status quo through innovation. By narrating how Apple products are user-friendly even to a visually impaired but talented man, Apple has once again won the hearts of many consumers with the use of music as a marketing tool. This is a refreshing ad message amidst the aggressive hard-selling of devices around this Christmas period. 

Apple's Christmas ad uses the #PowerOfMusic to trigger emotions and leave a lasting imprint on consumers

Click to tweet Tweet: Apple's Christmas ad uses the #PowerOfMusic to trigger emotions and leave a lasting imprint on consumers

The light-hearted approach in their advertising this year shows a significant scale down of product display compared to last year's Christmas ad “The Song”, which received a lot of negative feedback with consumers who were bombarded with an assembly of Apple goods. 

The commercial which has been made purely for digital viewing only is a thematic storytelling using music as a powerful emotive tool, focusing on the joy of Christmas time. This ad seems to be a brand-building exercise for Apple with its focus shifted to buffer out some of the negativity that has been seen their way in recent years. First was pushing U2’s new album with a download which had people raging over their presumption that everyone loves the Irish band. Another one was the “bad blood” it had with pop star Taylor Swift and the majority of the music industry over royalty payments for Apple Music. 

>> Read our article on Taylor Swift pull's entire music catalogue off Spotify due to dispute over 'Windowing' issue <<

The ad is excelling in being heart-warming and engaging with a soulfully remastered version of an old song, using music as a marketing tool to trigger emotions and leave a lasting imprint on consumers.

>> Read our article on U2 & Apple - the BIG deal that forced 'Songs of Innocence' onto our Libraries <<

Perhaps some might feel that Apple is subliminally pushing their streaming service on consumers by using music in this year's advertising. 

However, this ad should be a lesson to all brands out there that it is far better to create an authentic connection with consumers, in particular, using music so that consumers can relate and conjur up warm fuzzy memories of Christmas time. If you think about it, Apple do not need to go for the hard sell on its hardware products  since  it already owns a big chunk of market share amongst consumers worldwide. Apple has been thoughtful enough to listen to the negative feedback from last year’s ad and as a result,  opted to connect with the consumer by tugging at their heartstrings rather than their purse-strings! Bravo Apple and thank you for reminding us all that music plays an important role in spreading the love and joy on Christmas time.

If you found value or insight from this post, please consider sharing it on Twitter or Linkedin. Thanks for reading!

Copyright Pictures Property:, YouTube

Category: Music & Brands

Follow blog

Is your brand engagement effective_Measure it here_Get your free interactive tool

Follow us