Apple’s New Ad Cinematically Captures the Pressure of Remembering Yet Another Password

A daily frustration becomes a high-stakes quiz show

Recalling a password becomes a high-stakes quiz show in Apple's visually detailed new spot. - Credit by Apple
Headshot of David Griner

Remembering a new password, even one you just created this morning, can stump you in any situation. Sometimes it can even feel like you’re in the spotlight, sweating in  front of a gleefully tense and elegantly dressed audience of hundreds—or at least, that’s the metaphor Apple is going with in its new spot for the iPhone X.

In the ad, we see a golden-age quiz show contestant doing the mental gymnastics of remembering his newest password, as the crowd becomes increasingly worked up and borderline hostile.

With the payoff being that the iPhone X makes password management simple by using your face as a universal login, the spot is rich in costume and set design, among other fun details. In a few fleeting shots, you can see that the long table is reminiscent of a smartphone.

The ad was directed by Ringan Ledwidge, the wizard behind such celebrated ads as Audi’s “The Duel” and “Clowns,” along with Axe’s “Susan Glenn” and The Guardian’s “Three Little Pigs.”

The new Apple spot, though stylistically very different, is reminiscent of the brand’s “Unlock” spot from earlier this year, in which a woman develops the superpower to open up just about anything once she realizes her glance can access her phone.


@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
Publish date: July 9, 2018 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT