In Apple’s new AirPods ad, Active Noise Cancellation is a gateway to a creative fantasy world

By Jeff Beer

The act of wearing earphones in public is, at its most basic, our attempt to shape the world in a way we’d like to experience it. Block out all the car horns, the traffic, the street corner chatter, in favor of setting your own soundtrack for the sidewalks. In its newest spot for AirPods, “Snap,” Apple is hyping the difference between Transparency mode (where you can still hear a bit of the outside world) and the full audio firewall of Active Noise Cancelation, through the experience of one young woman.

Directed by Kim Gehrig, the spot shows dancer Matilda Sakamoto toggle between navigating the real city streets and disappearing into her own imagination, all to the new (appropriately named) Flume track “The Difference,” featuring Toro y Moi.

Much like last year’s award-winning AirPods spot “Bounce,” here Apple impresses by dropping stunning dance and choreography into an IRL setting. The choreography here is done by Ryan Heffington, whose work ad and dance nerds will recognize from Sia’s “Chandelier,” as well as two Spike Jonze-directed ads: 2016’s  “Kenzo World,” and Apple’s own 2018 “Welcome Homepod” featuring FKA Twigs.

“Snap” continues the brand’s impressive run of creating ads that feel more like fun, stylish music videos that just also happen to function as note perfect product demos. Win-win.



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