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hollywood in your pocket iphone 13


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The nominations for the 74th Emmy Awards have been revealed! Of course, there’s plenty of excitement and debate about all the TV awards – Succession leads the charge with 25 nominations, with Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso in second place with 20 nominations.

HBO and HBO Max dominate, with a total of 140 nominations – including 17 for Euphoria and plenty of potential awards on the night for our other fave, Yellowjackets, including Outstanding Drama Series.

But we’re here to look at the nominees for the advertisement awards. The shortlist for Outstanding Commercial 2022 features the Apple iPhone 13 Pro; Apple TV+; Meta; Sandy Hook Promise, Change the Ref and Chevy Silverado – what makes them this year’s standouts?

Apple – ‘Detectives’

Apple’s ad for its iPhone 13 Pro’s Cinematic mode, made by production company O Positive, is a funny in-joke for all of us who’re obsessed with detective thrillers.

Two cops are in a car on a stakeout; the scenery is dusty and nondescript, the houses behind look deserted.

‘Can I ask a question?’ starts the cop in the passenger seat, ‘am I… out of focus?’ His partner, (very definitely in focus), replies that he’s ‘fine’. And then explains that the reason he’s ‘all blurry’ is that he’s ‘supporting cast’. Has there ever been a better burn for a TV actor?

The camera always focuses on the most important character – it’s a subconscious trick from ad, TV and film-makers. Supporting Cast Guy wonders, ‘well, what if my character had a big reveal… like I’m the killer?’ At which point – with some suitably tense music on the soundtrack – the focus switches automatically to him.

Naturally, when pressed, he confesses that he’s not, and the focus reverses back to our main cop, who’s closest to the camera.

Hollywood in Your Pocket

It’s a simple, but very nifty illustration of how you can have ‘Hollywood in your pocket’ with the iPhone 13.

The spot is part of a series that Apple has created, using Hollywood tropes – this ‘Whodunnit’ is a fun take on Knives Out, with a classical soundtrack that’s been brought much more to the fore, as that genre more usually foregrounds the music for dramatic effect.

The ad begins by showing a grand house in the distance, with melancholy strings, before gradually bringing in more suspense and chimes.

Shot on an iPhone 13, this ad demonstrates the cinematic mode’s ability to add shallow depth of field, and also to shift focus automatically so you can easily add more drama.

Shooting on an iPhone 13

Apple have taken the promo a step further by commissioning dedicated content from big-name directors, shot on the iPhone 13.

Check out Life is But a Dream, a 20-minute martial arts fantasy by internationally renowned director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Handmaiden).

Or go behind the scenes with two-times Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow and Oscar-nominated cinematographer Greig Fraser, for great tips on how you can film with an iPhone 13:

Chevrolet and Apple TV+

Both Chevrolet and Apple TV+ have fun with the ad format. Chevrolet may be known for its trucks, cars and SUVs, but its new character is Walter, a silver tabby cat.

The first Walter commercial debuted in summer 2021 in the US, flipping the script on the ‘man’s best friend’ story, introducing our capable Chevy ‘spokescat’, who has some distinctly dog-like character traits.

Walter chases balls, fetches a stick from a lake, and even herds some steers, to a jaunty cowboy soundtrack, ‘The Big Rock Candy Mountain’ by Harry McClintock, which is used across the series to reinforce Walter’s outdoorsman’s life in the mountains.

He’s also got a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him cameo in Chevy’s spot starring Chris Pratt:

‘He’s a Civil Servant!’

But the Emmy-shortlisted ‘Walter in Winter’ is definitely our favourite – he goes on a skidoo, plays ice-hockey on a frozen lake, digs a man out of a snowdrift, and even heads up a husky sled.

The line, ‘No, no, no, Walter, he’s a CIVIL SERVANT!’, as the cat tears off in pursuit of a mailman shouldn’t be as funny as it is – there’s just something brilliantly daft about the idea of a cat chasing a postie.

The agency are Commonwealth/McCann and its another hit for production company O Positive.

Walter Literally Has Nine Lives

Go behind the scenes with this video – fun fact, most of the action isn’t CGI, but there are, in fact, nine ‘Walters’:

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ and agency Media Arts Lab use Jon Hamm to wittily showcase its slate of big names and award-winning TV shows:

The Mad Men star gets increasingly frustrated as a plethora of A-listers, including Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Holland and Billie Eilish, Chris Evans, Denzel Washington, Snoopy and not one, but two Mahershala Alis are served up on his TV menu. ‘But what about Jon Hamm?’

Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, The Shrink Next Door, The Problem with Jon Stewart - Apple TV+ really does have pretty much everyone… but Jon Hamm. Our main takeaway, other than, ‘yeah, that’s a lot of good shows’ is, ‘come on, Apple TV+, come up with a project for Jon Hamm!’

Meta – ‘Skate Nation Ghana’

Meta – the new name for Facebook, lest we forget – tells the story of Joshua and Sandy, and how they used FB’s platforms (including Instagram) to build an emerging skateboarding culture in ‘Skate Nation Ghana’.

Framestore’s Simon Bourne, who worked on the ad, said, ‘this spot covers the development of a skateboarding community, from the solace of the original founder, to the buzz of the initial connections being made, and finally on to the bustle of the ever-growing community meeting in real life.

‘We had to carefully craft the colour through these different moods and it was a joy to see it all come together so beautifully.’

Bringing Everything into the Mix

The spot involves everything from traditional 2D animation to time-slice, drones, hand-held footage and mixed formats.

It uses four tracks to take the viewer through the genres and eras of Ghanaian music and to tell the story, from past to present: the legendary Ebo Taylor’s ‘Heaven’, a 1977 afro-funk classic; the upbeat ‘Break Through’ by Marijata; ‘Mama Dey Party’ by Bryte, a UK-based Ghanaian hip hop artist and emerging Drill artist O’Kenneth’s ‘Agyeiwaa’.

The funky, fast-paced sounds match the action and help to create a stand-out piece of work that feels really unexpected and fresh.

The ad debuted at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics to celebrate the first time that skateboarding had been an Olympic event.

Tackling Social Causes

The final two short-listers both tackle US gun crime, with hard-hitting looks at the aftermaths of shootings at schools and on the streets.

Sandy Hook Promise

It’s a terrifying stat that guns are now the number one cause of death for children under 19 in America.

Agency BBDO New York and production company Smuggler turn Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ into a sombre anthem, creating the soundtrack to putting a human face to the lasting damage that gun violence is having on America’s youth.

Sandy Hook Promise is a nonprofit gun violence prevention organisation that aims to prevent future school shootings. 2021 saw the most school shootings on record, but when the media headlines fade, the trauma lingers.

A Very Different Teenage Dream

School shootings have changed what it means to be a teenager in America today, and BBDO New York said, ‘we wanted to highlight the mental and physical toll that gun violence is having on a whole generation of young people. To demonstrate how the carefree innocence of the teenage experience has been destroyed by the reality of gun violence, we partnered with pop megastar Katy Perry and a brave team of real school shooting survivors to reimagine Perry’s euphoric pop anthem, ‘Teenage Dream.’ Juxtaposed against the teenage survivors, the context of the original upbeat lyrics change and begin to eerily describe their traumatic experiences of gun violence.

‘Viewers could learn more about the featured survivors by watching a series of heart-breaking online interviews where the survivors share their stories and talk about their shattered teenage dreams. The work immediately made the cultural breakthrough we had aimed for, racking up 1 million video views in 24 hours and 355 million total impressions.

‘It was shared by prominent figures including Mark Ruffalo, Trevor Noah, Katie Couric, multiple US senators, and Katy Perry herself. The campaign also converted into real action, leading to 92k visits to, where people could learn the warning signs to prevent future school shootings. Most impressively, we achieved this mass reach and expanded SHP’s supporter base, all with a $0 paid media budget.’

The teenagers featured all look like regular American kids; it’s only when their injuries and losses from shootings at San Bernadino, Santa Fe, Parkland, Santa Clarita, Chardon, Draffenville and Rockford are revealed at the end of the PSA film that you get a full appreciation that you really can’t judge people at face value, together with the ongoing trauma that so many teens are facing.

The Lost Class – ‘Change the Ref’

Leo Burnett Chicago’s spot has already earned honours at the 2022 Cannes Lions festival (a gold Lion), the ADC Awards, the Clio Awards and The One Show, where it was the top-scoring Gold Pencil winner, taking home 20.

‘The Lost Class’ was made in response to the stark question, ‘How do you force pro-gun advocates to reckon with the consequences of their punditry?’

The agency invited former NRA President David Keene and prominent economist and gun advocate John Lott to speak at a fictional institution they’d created, James Madison Academy.

Keene and Lott walked on stage to face 3,044 empty chairs: each represents a would-be graduate of ‘the class of 2021’, who lost their life to gun violence.

A Metaphorical Graduation Ceremony

The two men have both opposed background checks, which have meant that assault rifles are readily available; as the agency points out, ‘if they had conducted one in this case, they would have learned that JMA was a fictional institution.’

They were told that the rehearsal for the ceremony was being filmed, and subsequently that the ceremony was cancelled. They only found out what had really happened when the advert launched.

The speeches for the metaphorical graduation ceremony, both delivered to the field full of white chairs, are intercut with harrowing recordings of 911 calls, panicked breathing and gunshots.

Keene’s speech finishes by promising a bright future ahead to the students, ‘Follow your dream, and make it a reality’ he says. But as the ad makes clear, ‘no matter how compelling David thinks his speech is, he will never get these students’ ovation.’ The film finishes with an invitation to sign the petition for universal background checks at

Find out more about the campaign, and Change the Ref in this behind the scenes video:

Need More Inspiration?

So, those are the shortlisters – the ceremony takes place on 12th September. There’s little we love more than a brilliantly-crafted ad, so check out our regular round-ups, from Nike’s latest to the wonderful everyday of IKEA.

And if it’s music for advertising you’re looking for, then we have a variety of subscriptions available and a mass of tracks to license. Our experts create new playlists every fortnight, so you can discover the best, hot-off-the-presses tracks, or browse our collections, from electronic to epic orchestral.

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