Branded content is really popular. After reporting on the three commercials Walmart aired during this past Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony, in which three female directors were tasked with making one-minute shorts that emphasized the company's recognizable "blue box," Apple's latest four-minute (!) promotional material has dropped courtesy of director Spike Jonze.
Is it a music video, a commercial, or an auteurist's mindbending short film? Perhaps it's all three. One thing is for certain: Jonze's latest for-hire work serves as a push for Apple's new HomePod, a sleek device the company describes as "a powerful speaker that sounds amazing and adapts to wherever it's playing. It's the ultimate music authority, bringing together Apple Music and Siri to learn your taste in music."
From Apple's description, the device sounds like a cross between a personal DJ and an extremely invested musicologist.
As you may be aware, Jonze, an Academy Award-winning screenwriter for 2013's Her, is no stranger to getting behind the camera to create a killer ad, and for this deep-dive into the HomePod, Jonze enlists the services of English musical performer FKA Twigs.
After a dreary, depressing day at work, Twigs returns to her apartment, beyond bummed and looking to unwind. In need of a pick-me-up, Twigs speaks to Siri through a conveniently placed HomePod, and the device plays the recently-released single "Till It's Over" by Anderson .Paak.
In an instant, Twigs uses her otherworldy telekinetic powers (and Chaplin-esque movements) to expand the apartment beyond all comprehensible means. The walls shift and pull back, revealing secret, kaleidoscopic rooms as elation overtakes the woman as she comes across a magical influx of happiness and, quite literally, another version of herself.
If there's one thing we can be sure of, it's that Jonze has made something with tons of replay value and food for thought.
It's a fun ad that goes deeper than you'd initially expect. What is it saying? That the HomePod provides a brief diversion from a meaningless existence? That within the device lies your greatest friend, another version of yourself? That tiny apartments can only be enjoyed when you burst through their walls?
If there's one thing we can be sure of, it's that Jonze has made something with tons of replay value and food for thought. If branded content is truly the way of the future, there are many worse ways to go.
What do you think of Spike Jonze's HomePod short? Have you watched it on a loop like we already have? Let us know in the comments below.