Silver Spike
Product / ServiceIPHONE
CategoryA02. Fiction & Non-Fiction Film: 5-30 minutes
Idea Creation TBWA\MEDIA ARTS LAB Shanghai, CHINA
Media Placement OMD Shanghai, CHINA
Production ICONOCLAST Los Angeles, USA
Post Production MPC Shanghai, CHINA


Name Company Position
Katrien De Bauw TBWA\Media Arts Lab President
Brent Anderson TBWA\Media Arts Lab Global Chief Creative Officer
Greg Greenberg TBWA\Media Arts Lab Group Creative Director
Kara Yang TBWA\Media Arts Lab Managing Director
Brian Ma TBWA\Media Arts Lab Executive Creative Director
Alfred Wong TBWA\Media Arts Lab Executive Creative Director
Ewan Yap TBWA\Media Arts Lab Associate Creative Director
Amber Qian TBWA\Media Arts Lab Associate Creative Director
Selwyn Low TBWA\Media Arts Lab Associate Creative Director
Darren Leong TBWA\Media Arts Lab Associate Creative Director
Jam Li TBWA\Media Arts Lab Senior Copywriter
Carrol Shen TBWA\Media Arts Lab Senior Art Director
Phoebe Fan TBWA\Media Arts Lab Executive Producer
Hon Foong Woo TBWA\Media Arts Lab Broadcast Producer
Gobby Yan TBWA\Media Arts Lab Broadcast Producer
Alice Zou TBWA\Media Arts Lab Assistant Producer
Brian O'Rourke TBWA\Media Arts Lab Executive Director
Cristiana Ladki Williams TBWA\Media Arts Lab Executive Producer
Felicia How TBWA\Media Arts Lab Account Director
Scarlett Wang TBWA\Media Arts Lab Account Manager
Emily Gale TBWA\Media Arts Lab Group Account Director
Josh Marcy TBWA\Media Arts Lab Music Director
Kurt Cheng TBWA\Media Arts Lab Music Supervisor
Monica Karo OMD Chief Client Officer
Jezzebel Gu OMD Managing Director

Why is this work relevant for Entertainment?

In the sea of Chinese New Year advertising, Apple has been standing out with its brand of cinematic entertainment, making our Chinese New Year Shot on iPhone film series a highly anticipated annual event. Every year, people look forward to what iPhone can bring in cinematic filmmaking. This year, we explored new frontiers with the ultimate film genre - fantasy movies. Entirely Shot on iPhone, ’Nian’ is an alternative take on an ancient Chinese New Year folklore that has entertained generations. A perfect showcase of the device delivering entertainment worthy of the silver screen onto our personal screens.


Smartphone rivalry in China is getting more intense every year with local brands starting to catch up with our technology when it comes to cameras. Our mission is to showcase iPhone 12 Pro Max’s camera superiority during Chinese New Year, a period that traditionally sees Chinese consumers spending significantly on new purchases.

Describe the creative idea

We showed how movies made for the cinemas could be created without using professional movie cameras, but with a device everyone can have in their pockets - the iPhone 12 Pro Max. To demonstrate the limitless potential of the iPhone in cinematic filmmaking, we put it to the ultimate test with the ultimate film genre. A fantastical movie filled with breathtaking, atmospheric imagery. Brought to life with realistic, practical effects made magical by the device’s movie-grade features such as low-light, Dolby Vision, ultra wide and telephoto. In partnership with Golden Globe-nominated director Lulu Wang, we created the 12-minute movie ‘Nian’, shot entirely on iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Describe the strategy

Creating a highly cinematic film entirely Shot on iPhone gave us a compelling reason to reveal how such amazing visuals and storytelling was achieved on an everyday consumer device like the iPhone, which naturally eased the product into the spotlight. By entertaining our audience with the movie ‘Nian’, we set them up with the right frame of mind to learn more about the product through our ‘Making Of’ featurette. As we unveiled the innovative functions behind the iPhone lens as well as simple, DIY tricks to pull off cinematic camera angles, we showed that anyone equipped with the iPhone has the creative capability to make movies just like the movies they watch in cinemas.

Describe the execution

Launched on 29 Jan, the first wave began with a cinematic trailer on Apple’s official WeChat and paid media to generate anticipation (including TVO, pre-roll, Weibo in-feed, Douyin Topview, Oneshot, mastheads, app opening pages). It was later broadcast across National TV, satellite stations and cinemas to announce the premiere of the movie on Apple’s website and customized campaign pages on media platforms. Once there, viewers also got to watch the ‘Making of’ featurette as well as bespoke ‘How-to’ videos that showed how attainable it is to create movies using iPhone. The second and third waves of trailers began on 3 and 8 Feb. This time, we showed ingenious ways the movie was made with the iPhone to trigger the audience’s curiosity to drive another wave of audience to the movie as well as the ‘Making Of’ to learn more about the product features.

Describe the outcome

Nian’ and the ‘Making of’ registered over 271 million views, up 18% from the previous year. Media and social media sentiment were highly positive with consumer mentions making up 70% of the total buzz, indicating significant engagement. The film’s story also sparked discussions about current societal norms with netizens encouraging each other to break free of their reservations and embrace the unknown in their personal pursuits. Most importantly, the cinematic quality of ‘Nian’ showed in the film which convinced Chinese consumers of iPhone’s camera superiority. A research survey showed 65% of people who watched the film agreed that the iPhone has a camera worthy of professional filmmakers to use. 77% of them expressed purchase intention citing the superior camera. Even non-iPhone users were impressed, with 78% of them believing it’s possible to professionally shoot creative films with the iPhone, deepening their connection with the brand.


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