Apple’s Behind the Mac campaign is powerful because its products are secondary to the people that use them – the people that make great stuff and boost its street cred by osmosis. Since its launch in June 2018, the films by TBWA and Media Arts Lab London have used found footage to show everyone from Oprah to David Bowie, Serena Williams, Malala Yousafzai and Paul McCartney lit by their Mac screen, with branches of the campaign such as Behind the Music focusing on musicians, and Behind the Mac Brits made specifically for the Brit Awards broadcast.
Now, Apple Japan has taken the mantle with a different and entirely animated approach. The ad follows the same format using found clips and stills, but the difference is that all the segments are drawn from existing anime films and series. Your Name, Weathering With You, SSSS.Gridman, New Game, Mr. Osomatsu, Sgt. Frog, Terror in Resonance, The Perfect Insider and The Wonderland are all featured, to the soundtrack of I am Shujinko (I am the Main Character) by Japanese singer-songwriter Kaho Nakamura. The result is meta, showing no actual Macs but fictional characters using their Macs, and therefore is likely an entirely Mac-made production. It also calls out to Japan’s creative community and students – the main target for this campaign – showing depictions of Apple’s wares in Japan’s most beloved storytelling format.
Some feature the Apple logo, others replace it with their own adaptations of the bitten apple icon, yet all are celebrated by the brand as worthy tributes. It concludes with a message that loosely translates as “Beyond the Mac, new stories are born one after another. A story that is not yet in this world. Come on, you too.”