Gigantic and Powerful

As we move into late spring, Apple has shifted its advertising focus to the iPhone. This is a wise decision, sales traditionally slump in Q3 as consumers wait for the new phone. The message of the new campaign is that the iPhone 5S is already powerful enough - leaving unspoken the implication that you don't need to wait for what's next.

But that's not the message I noticed in the ad - there's a subtler message, in the background. In fact, it's the background music - The Pixies' 'Gigantic,' an alt rock track from the late '80s. It's a curious choice, even for Apple, a company that prefers rock tracks from the present (or just past) decade. 

In the context of Apple today, it's a bit more interesting. Gigantic is a song that dates from the counterculture of the late '80s and early '90s - one that formed the bedrock of Apple's corporate identity. Historically, Apple's been the outsider, a funky little company making weird computers for creatives, artists, and publishers. In the past five years, the iPhone has catapulted Apple to a duopoly in the smartphone space, and led to an unprecedented expansion in awareness.

This song choice is interesting - in a way similar to the Designed in California ads from last year.   It implies that the culture of irreverence is alive and well within Apple, even if only its employees understand the message.

It's as if Apple is saying "we're still the crazy ones."