5 Ads Worth Watching From Sunday’s Emmy Awards Telecast

New work from Apple, Netflix and more

Wieden + Kennedy's "I Love You" ad for the Samsung Galaxy Note8 was one of the night's crowd-pleasers.
Headshot of Tim Nudd

A week after Squarespace won the 2017 Emmy Award for best ad, advertisers lined up Sunday night to present their best commercial efforts to Emmy viewers in primetime. And while there was no single commercial that got everyone buzzing (à la Android’s “Rock Paper Scissors” from the 2016 Oscars), there were a handful standout spots.
In no particular order:

Apple Watch, ‘Roll’

Apple picked the Emmys to roll out a new Apple Watch 3 spot, a different piece of creative from the two ads screened at last Tuesday’s keynote announcement for the watch and the new iPhone models. The new watch ad, “Roll,” focuses on the device’s music features. (Users can stream up to 40 million Apple Music songs wirelessly from their wrist.)
The ad features skateboarder Kilian Martin skating through a crowd, with his AirPods in, to the track “Misbehaving” by Labrinth. Apple has used skateboarders before. Here, it’s a device that allows Apple to emphasize that the Series 3 watch gives you the freedom to stream music without wires or any tether to the iPhone itself.
The spot also aired Sunday during NFL games.



Netflix, ‘Netflix Is a Joke’

It was a bit of a mixed night for Netflix, which picked up 20 Emmys (including supporting actor in a drama for John Lithgow in The Crown) but still hasn’t won a lead acting Emmy (unlike Amazon and Hulu) or best series Emmy (unlike Hulu). But it did air one of the more entertaining ads of the night.
Dave Chappelle, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld popped up in scenes from Netflix original shows—to promote Netflix’s investment in standup specials—in the 60-second spot from Los Angeles agency Battery. The tagline, which was used earlier in cryptic billboards, was: “Netflix Is a Joke.”
Here’s the extended version, plus an extra spot with Seinfeld and Kevin Spacey:


Samsung Galaxy Note8, ‘I Love You’

Wieden + Kennedy Portland crafted a very cute commercial for the Samsung Galaxy Note8, titled, “I Love You.” It featured a couple taking the big step of professing their love for each other—via the phone’s Live Message feature, which allows you to draw notes on text messages.
Saying “I love you” via text might not be super romantic, but viewers generally seemed to embrace the spot and its modern-day vision of dating.



Google, ‘Funny you should ask…’

Apple dominated the headlines all week with its iPhone X and Apple Watch announcements, but Google slyly threw some shade with this 30-second spots—teasing the Pixel 2 smartphone. Emmy viewers were particularly amused by the use of Big Pun’s “Still Not a Player” on the soundtrack.


Spectrum, ‘Monsters: Parent Teacher Night’

This spot has been out for a few weeks, but still entertained the Emmy audience with its continuation of Spectrum’s “Monsters” campaign by creative agency Something Different. The concept of monsters who find DirecTV evil continues to amuse, even as ironically comes from Spectrum, the new name for the not-exactly-beloved Time Warner Cable brand.


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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.