Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” is the Future of Marketing

Sabin Laskoski , Op/Ed Columnist

Technology companies have long sought methods to showcase their products’ technology. Many of these companies rely on brief, intense advertisements that do nothing more than highlight the product’s designs and features.

Apple, instead of providing its customers with lip-service, did what they do best back in 2015, creating international brand recognition through the use of successful and innovative marketing and public relations strategies with the “Shot on iPhone” global campaign. This campaign is every marketer’s dream – widespread effects with powerful, lasting impacts that create a worldwide community of amateur and professional photographers alike, all while boasting Apple’s powerful camera designs.

In 2015, Apple began producing billboards that had very little text, paired with a simple picture and the words “Shot on iPhone.” Across the globe, this movement gained traction, spanning 25 countries and a new community of everyday consumers who had then become brand ambassadors without ever knowing it, according to

In 2016, Apple opened up one of their first competitions for the “Shot on iPhone” campaign, taking submissions from iPhone users around the world who wanted to showcase a part of themselves and their culture.

This inspired many thoughtful works ranging from pictures of nature to full storytelling films of generational struggles, such as Apple’s 2020 short film “Chinese New Year,” which was entirely shot on (you guessed it) an iPhone. “Chinese New Year” was one of the most impactful advertisements I have seen to date, thus producing the narrative that you can see the world in whatever way you want through the lens of the iPhone 11 Pro that has captured the story of generational women facing different struggles.

Instead of shoving advertisements into their target audience’s faces, Apple gave the power of advertising to the individuals themselves. All they provided was the tool needed to create lasting impressions on the world through art.

Throughout the world, anyone could showcase their work and have it seen by a global audience through the simple usage of #ShotOniPhone. This even inspired some of the world’s first movies that were shot entirely on iPhones. On Bloomsburg University’s library of academic journals, there was an article written that highlighted the inspiration of Russia’s first iPhone-shot movie, which supports Apple’s movement that iPhones have the power to film anything.

Modern-day advertising seems to exist in a world where people want comedy and catchy slogans, but Apple defied these standards and showed its side of humanity – sparking creativity from those who were watching the commercials and advertisements. The campaign won many awards and has created such a lasting impression in the media that it’s still active in 2020, five years after it began by showcasing billboards of simple pictures. Now, it has evolved into full-length films that pull at our heart strings.

Apple has long established itself as a friend of the people, of the creative, and of the inspired, and they gave us the tools to help us express ourselves while expanding their worldwide presence. The price tag on such a powerful device is well worth it because you can show what you can create, all through the lens of an iPhone.