Big Marketing Turns to the Small Screen
According to the Pew Research Center, more than 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone. Due to the vast number of smartphone ownership, it is no surprise that brands use mobile video to market their products. After all, if 57 percent of worldwide video viewership, according to CNET, is done on a mobile phone. Why not use that same technology to reach more consumers?
Apple iPhone continuously sells its technology through smartphone photography and cinema in its ads. Apple’s entire Shot on iPhone campaign was, as the name suggests, shot on an iPhone. The campaign highlights various photos and videos shot by iPhone users and curated by Apple’s marketing team for billboards, commercials, and Apple’s Instagram account. Throughout the campaign, the iPhone itself is never shown. Instead, emphasis is placed on how creative and versatile the phone is at the hands of everyday consumers. For those consuming these ads, it gives a sense of, “I can do that too,” thus effectively selling the product. With that said, Shot on iPhone extends past the average consumer and into the world of professional cinema. Both in 2015, an ad for Bentley automobiles was shot on an iPhone 6, and Modern Family shot an entire episode using iPhones. Additionally, Tangerine, an entry at the Sundance Film Festival, was shot entirely on the iPhone.
Apple is not the only tech giant utilizing smartphone cinema for advertisement. Recording artist John Legend recently shot his latest music video for “A Good Night” entirely on a Google Pixel 2 phone. While this presented a new creative endeavor for Legend as an artist, the marketing for Google is prime. Through this partnership, Google reaches past everyday consumers and taps the shoulders of digital content creators and filmmakers. While smartphone cinema on this scale requires additional lens attachments and gear, the cost pales in comparison to bonafide filmmaking equipment. For seasoned professionals and beginners alike, it begs the question of whether or not bulky and expensive equipment is truly necessary to create quality work.
It is unlikely that smartphones will completely replace TV and movie cameras and DSLRs (such as Canon and Nikon), but accessibility merged with high quality allow marketers and consumers to step beyond previously established boundaries. Marketers have a newfound way of avoiding the heavy costs of production without sacrificing quality or impact. On the other hand, consumers feel confident the purchases they make are quality investments, whether they want to take pictures of their summer vacation or go out and make a Hollywood movie. Smartphone photography and cinema offers avenues of creativity and ingenuity to everyone.