There’s so much going on in Apple’s latest HomePod ad that I don’t know where to begin. The four-minute quirky adventure into music is accompanied by a dancing FKA twigs, and a new track from Anderson .Paak. This talent is backed up by direction from Spike Jonze, famous for lots of off-beat music videos like Beastie Boys’ Sabotage, directing movies Her and Being John Malkovich, and even an amazing perfume ad. While the directing and dancing is impressive, it’s the music that Apple has exclusively sourced that has me gripped.
The YouTube and TV ads debuted two days ago, and it’s already amassed nearly 5 million views on YouTube alone. I’ve had it on repeat ever since. I’d normally drop a fancy new song into a playlist on Spotify, but Anderson .Paak’s Til It’s Over is nowhere to be seen on the rival streaming music service just yet. That’s not the case with Apple Music, where you can happily stream the latest single until your heart’s content.
I haven’t cared about Drake or Chance the Rapper’s Apple Music exclusives in the past, but there’s something about this latest Anderson .Paak track that gets my feet moving (almost) like FKA twigs’. It’s the first time I’ve felt like I’m missing out not having an Apple Music subscription, and that’s exactly how Apple wants me to feel. That makes Apple’s HomePod advertisement a clever Apple Music ad in disguise, one of Apple’s latest masterstrokes of marketing.
Apple’s HomePod is the epitome of being locked into Apple’s software and services. The speaker only works with the Siri assistant (that’s not as fully featured as Alexa or Google) and Apple’s own music service. Sure, you can stream Spotify over AirPlay, but who wants to do that after paying $349 for a so-called smart speaker? Apple wants you to switch from Spotify to Apple Music, and the HomePod reinforces that. This latest ad is just another clever battle in Apple’s war against Spotify.
I’m not falling for it, though. Anderson .Paak’s latest track is great, but it’s nowhere near enough to justify being locked into Apple’s way of life.