Apple Earns Emmy Love for the Creative Between TV Shows

At the 2014 Creative Arts Emmys, held on Aug. 16, TBWA/Media Arts Lab took home a statue for Best Commercial in honor of its compelling brand work for Apple.  The holiday ad, “Misunderstood,” showcased iPhone’s video capability through the lens of a solemn teenager using technology to connect with his family.

Emotional commercial plays can be white noise at holiday time, yet Apple used spot-on insight about the teen consumer to break through the clutter and create a social moment.

The campaign launched a week and a half before Christmas and was spearheaded by national buys on network TV, most notably a buy on the live finale of The Voice on December 16, 2013. metrics show that this led to a tide of Twitter activity throughout the next two days that contributed to more than 4 million earned views online – nearly two-thirds of the 6 million viral views earned during the campaign’s run through the end of December.

[Online Views vs. Estimated TV Spend]



A second wave of earned activity came compliments of a buy on Fox’s Sunday, December 22, broadcast of the NFL matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks.  Additional tweets from prominent NFL influencers, like Mark Schlereth, and increased search activity for the commercial in the days that followed added another million earned views throughout the next three days.


[Searches vs. Estimated TV Spend]


[Social Actions vs. Estimated TV Spend]


As a sister to the main stage Emmys, the Creative Arts Emmys primarily honors the technical production artists who contribute to creative storytelling.  “Misunderstood” seems well deserving in this light. The commercial tugged at viewers’ emotions through a clever climax for the spot that projects a loving family through the optics of an iPhone camera.

As TV commercials find extended reach in the digital age, the creative arts that drive engagement will only become more important, and the 2014 Emmy-winning “Misunderstood” shows how Apple takes full advantage of this new age in TV advertising.

Written by Joshua Ziliak

Back to top