Left: An official ad from Apple. Right: Its “Also Shot on iPhone 6” counterpart. (Via alsoshotoniphone6.tumblr.com)
At the beginning of March, Apple premiered its latest ad campaign: a series of billboards and public transit ads that showcase the photographic capabilities of the iPhone 6. Each ad displays an eye-catching scene –– like a twisting East Asian rivers, or a scenic mountainscape –– punctuated by a single sentence in the company’s signature Helvetica Neue: “Shot on iPhone 6.”
It’s the kind of campaign that makes you feel bad about that sick photo of a sunset you took last week.
Recently, however, a pair of San Francisco-based advertising guys launched a counter campaign, displaying a series of alternate ads next to Apple’s. Rather than display a field of sunflowers or an elephant in the Sahara Desert, their ads show normal people taking weird selfies, with that same signature Apple statement at the bottom: “Shot on iPhone 6.”
It’s a clever reminder that, despite what’s depicted in Apple’s gorgeous advertisements, the majority of iPhone owners still just use their highly capable smartphone camera to take bathroom mirror selfies.
Though the two prefer to remain anonymous, so as not to compromise their agency’s relationship with app, they agreed to explain why they chose to print and post a dozen of the alt ads in the Mission, the Castro, and downtown areas last week.
“The iPhone 6 ads are all over San Francisco, and we walk by them every day,” they wrote to Yahoo Tech in an email. “All the photos Apple selected for the campaign are beautiful. Our thought was that people don’t always take pretty pictures on their phones, so we thought it would be funny to show the other, non-beautiful photos people take.”
The two sourced the photos from selfies they found posted publicly online and then pasted them around the city.
“We didn’t get caught, but we did move quickly to avoid getting in trouble,” they wrote. “Mostly, people walked by confused or laughing and taking pictures.”
Who would have thought that someone who worked in advertising would want to show us something … real? You’ve changed my worldview, guys. Plus, now I don’t feel so bad about all those subpar selfies I took with my friends last night.