Apple Music Builds a Gorgeous New Visual Identity Around Its Musical Note

Whatever you're into, there's a Note for that

The note can be stylized to represent any style of music or artist—in this case, Lorde.
Headshot of Angela Natividad

There was a time when Apple products were both innovative and impeccably designed, and the accompanying advertising was a visual feast—saturated in color and exploding with prospects of a cooler, freer you.

Those days are well behind us, at least for now. Still, every once in a while, Apple reminds us of what once was, for better or for worse. This is the case with its latest campaign, “Notes,” for Apple Music.

A 30-second ad called “Anthem,” which kicks the campaign off and went live today, packs a killer beat-drop and lush imagery. Each split-second frame is a tribute to artists like Lorde, Sia, Drake, Dr. Dre and Sam Smith. All are designed around the brand’s music-note icon.

The work is total eye and ear candy: It’s sharply modern, but it also harks back to MTV interstitials from the ’80s and ’90s, back when the channel was a refreshing promise of democratized cool.

In many ways, the goal of “Anthem” is the same—to promote a brand redesign while telling fans that Apple Music is where to go for the latest music, artist news and culture content. Whether it succeeds in persuading people remains to be seen: Unlike in the ’80s, when MTV disrupted pop culture forever, there are now lots of places to go for exactly that.

“Anthem” will be followed by a series of artist content experiences that kick off with Sam Smith, who will debut his personal Note (shown below) alongside a new album and documentary.

Check out a few more sample notes below.


R&B Playlist note:

Electronic note:

@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.