Each month, we here at Benamic take one of the most successful campaigns we’ve seen lately, break it down and explore exactly why it was so successful.

Have You Ever Heard of ‘Shot on iPhone’?

This campaign actually first graced the world stage in 2015. The idea at the core of this campaign was to use crowd-sourced content to promote the camera on the iPhone. Unlike so many campaigns today which simply attack competitors, Apple’s iPhone ads celebrate the users behind the technology. Apple gathered the images via social media and wound up with shots from 77 people in 24 countries, which were subsequently displayed on billboards, bus stops and train stations. The iPhone campaign and its accompanying “World Gallery” picked up the top prize at the Outdoor Lions competition at Cannes, where jury president Juan Carlos Ortiz described it as “not just a great idea, [but] a game-changer.” Following on from this success, we jump forward to 2019, when Apple reinvented the idea with the introduction of Video.

February 2019

Since this wasn’t the first time that the world was seeing the ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign, Apple knew that the response was going to be considerably better. When looking at ways to use this to an advantage, they established the campaign as a challenge for their customers. iPhone photographers around the world shared their best photos for the Shot on iPhone Challenge, capturing remarkable moments with the world’s most popular camera. The 10 selected winners will be featured on billboards in select cities, in Apple retail stores and online.

The winning shots came from a range of models, from iPhone XS Max to iPhone 7, showcasing the quality of cameras across the line. The winners came from countries including Singapore, Germany, Belarus, Israel and the US, highlighting the global community of iPhone photographers out there.

These photos capture everything from colourful city scenery to curious animals and creative reflections. While Apple were struggling to compete on paper with other players in the smartphone field, they took this opportunity to set themselves apart through creativity and customer engagement. This was adding value to their brand rather than their product, making it easier for customers to justify parting with so much money for an Apple iPhone.

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April 2019

The most recent instalment of their ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign was right on trend by focusing on video. This is when the name actually changed also, to ‘Shot on iPhone XS’. While there had been 2 videos released in January called ‘Shot on iPhone XR’, this never grew into being a fully fledged instalment of the campaign. The XS videos are absolutely exquisite, and range from covering surfing first person view, to concert footage as well as kaleidoscopic footage of experiments.

The most popular of these videos were the ones that featured footage from concerts including Florence and the Machine, Travis Scott and Skrillex. These artists cover a range of different genres, appealing to a massive audience, lending themselves to creating a lasting impression.

When it comes to marketing and promoting a product like a smartphone, you’re dealing with an extremely competitive landscape with pretty demanding consumers. While most of Apple’s competitors attempt to provide better technology for a lower price, Apple have shifted the focus away from price altogether. By showcasing the capabilities of their camera, which is often a deciding factor for customers, Apple has given consumers a reason to choose them over anybody else. Isn’t that the end goal of any promotion or campaign?

Stepping outside the boundaries of typical advertising, integrating user-generated content and focusing on what they do best has allowed Apple to continue selling huge volumes of their pretty expensive phone, meaning they can continue to develop their technology and push the boundaries with camera improvements.