Senior Apple Executive Reveals Why the ‘Shot on iPhone’ Campaign Works to This Day

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 11 Nov 2021

iPhone 13 Pro Camera

Apple’s vice president of marketing communications, Tor Myhren, finally unraveled the mystery behind the famous “Shot on iPhone” campaign that the brand has used since 2014 to demonstrate the camera prowess of its iPhones, including the most recent iPhone 13 series.

On Wednesday, during his keynote address at Adweek’s Elevate: Out of Home event, Myhren said that Apple prefers billboards and other “outdoor expressions” because they hold a special place in a transient world. He mentioned the research that showed Gen Z consumers find outdoor ads “relaxing” and added that Apple “absolutely loves” the outdoors because it “breaks all the rules of today’s fast and temporary and fractured digital culture. It’s static, it doesn’t move, it’s singular — all the things that most of the marketing nowadays is not.” In a nutshell, he said Apple prefers outdoor advertising for its old-world charm and because it sets the company apart in a sea of conventional marketing strategies.

Explaining how the “Shot on iPhone” campaign was conceptualized, Myhren explained that it was “a ridiculously simple idea… based on behavior we were seeing with people posting their photos and hashtagging them in different ways.” The campaign regularly transformed spaces with colossal billboards and posters while focusing on advertising the iPhone and its camera features. Providing food for thought, Myhren said, “something to ask is, can you actually make the space more interesting and charming versus being obtrusive and annoying?”


Interestingly, the Shot on iPhone marketing campaign has evolved across several social media platforms and has also highlighted moments of significance and national holidays. Despite this, the iPhone camera remains the centerpiece in every advertisement — a remarkable feat indeed.

Apple’s initial billboard ads promoted the Mac in the 1990s with John Lennon and Yoko Ono posters on the side of a building and Rosa Parks on a city bus with the “Think Different” tagline. More recently, the “Shot on iPhone” campaign won the Cannes Lions Grand Prix. The campaign’s ads also revolved around themes such as Australia’s vote to legalize same-sex marriage, Children’s Day in Turkey, a wild animal montage for Earth Day (with a Megadeth background score), and a celebration of black photographers called “Hometown.”

In summary, Myhren said, “You have to strip away the artifice and get down to the truth.” “media is art,” he added.

[Via Adweek]