Launched in 2014, the ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign has proven to be a successful marketing strategy for Apple which started with the outdoor advertisements of pictures shot in iPhone by users and gained popularity in the digital world. The man behind the “ridiculously simple idea” Tor Myhren, Apple’s VP of marketing communications spoke about the origin, concept, and execution of the ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign at Keynote of Adweek’s Elevate: Out of Home event.
iPhone owners use the hashtag #ShotoniPhone to share their pictures and videos on social media apps like Instagram, TikTok. Apple itself promotes users’ creative projects under the campaign by on its YouTube account, social media, articles, digital and traditional ads. And for Myhren, the outdoor advertisement was the winning ingredient for the success of the ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign.
“We absolutely love outdoor. It breaks all the rules of today’s fast and temporary and fractured digital culture. It’s static, it doesn’t move, it’s singular—all the things that most of marketing nowadays is not.”
Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign is an example of marketing at its best – Power of simplicity
“Shot on iPhone” is Apple’s Cannes Lions Grand Prix-winning campaign, and Myhren shared that the idea for outdoor placement of pictures taken on iPhones was based on how people were sharing photos on social media with different hashtags. And the outdoor ads served multiple purposes for the brand, promoted iPhones’ camera quality, displayed users’ art, and gave the surroundings an aesthetic appeal.
By blowing up those images—in some cases, making them 80 feet tall—Apple showcased both the smartphone’s camera features and the consumers who were experimenting with them, serving as inspiration for other creators.
There was an aesthetic goal, as well, to upgrade the physical environment of the ad placements and the surrounding cityscapes. “Something to ask is, ‘Can you actually make the space more interesting and charming versus being obtrusive and annoying?” he said.
More importantly, Adweek international editor David Griner said that the success of the iPhone’s camera campaign highlights the power of simplicity.
Because outdoor ads allow only a few images and words, “You have to strip away the artifice and get down to the truth,” he said. It’s important to value “platforms over ads,” Griner said, and try to always keep in mind that, when marketing is at its best, “media is art.”