On Thursday, Apple released a new short film as part of its “Apple at Work” campaign highlighting its various products and services for businesses. The ad follows a group of four employees that first appeared in Apple’s “The Underdogs” spot from 2019.
In that video, the group was at the mercy of Vivianne, a boss from hell, as they try to put together a presentation in just two days. Of course, they did it using Macs and iPhones and a variety of Apple software. Last year, the four returned – that time they were working from home. Again, the idea was that Apple makes all the things you need to collaborate, even if you’re not together in the office.
Now, in a spot called “Escape from the Office,” the four are done putting up with Vivianne and her demands and decide to quit. Inspired by a grocery bag, they start their own business making a stronger, more environmentally friendly bag. The rest of the video is full of FaceTime calls, iMessage conversations, Keynote slides, augmented reality on an iPad, and the frantic pace of trying to turn an idea into a business.
Like its predecessors, the spot is fun. In this case, it’s also an inspiring, if not awkwardly humorous look at the life of an entrepreneur trying to bootstrap an idea into a business. Even though the video is clearly meant to be a lighthearted look at the subject, it’s really good.
The spot comes as millions of people are leaving their jobs as part of what has been dubbed “The Great Resignation.” The Labor Department says 47 million people quit their jobs last year. There are a lot of reasons for that trend, but the bottom line is that a lot of people can probably relate to the underdogs in Apple’s video.
One of the most interesting things about the trend of people walking away from their job is the number of people who quit to pursue starting a business. According to the Census Bureau, there were a record 5.4 million new businesses started last year.
For many people, the only thing scarier than quitting your job is starting a new business. The truth is, starting a business is really hard. There are no guarantees that all of your hard work will lead to success, and most of the time you’re working long hours in hopes that you might convince someone to give you money for whatever it is that you’re selling. Most small businesses fail.
I do not think there’s any question that every entrepreneur could use all the help they can get. Apple wants to help.
Apple has tried hard to convince the world that its products and services are up to whatever job you might have. That’s not a small thing considering that most people do not think of Apple as serving businesses. They think of Microsoft when it comes to productivity software, Slack when it comes to communication, Google when it comes to email, and Salesforce when it comes to managing customer data.
At the same time, the Mac has never been more popular, and there are over 1.5 billion iPhones in use. That’s a lot of people already using Apple products, and many of them are using them for work.
To that end, the video does a great job of highlighting how the company’s devices and software “just work.” It shows the team meeting on FaceTime calls, collaborating on Numbers spreadsheets and Keynote slides.
They send Messages and AirDrop files. They use Siri to send messages and set reminders. They send Calendar invites and interview new hires using FaceTime. We’ll set aside, for a moment, the fact that I do not know anyone who has business meetings via FaceTime. As for the rest of the video, it’s absolutely true that the rest of the tools are great for just about any small business.
I think that’s what’s so brilliant about the video – it connects with something that millions of people are already experiencing. Not only that, it does it in a way that’s funny, inspiring, relatable, and useful. It does not get much better than that.