From Bowie to FKA Twigs, Apple Creates a Powerful Tribute to British Music

It's the latest in the 'Behind the Mac' series

A master behind his Mac. Apple
Headshot of Erik Oster

For decades, the U.K. has had an undeniably outsized influence on music culture. The British Invasion conquered the world in the ’60s. Punk exploded in the ’70s. Britpop and house were staples of the ’80s and ’90s. And innovations in hip-hop and electronic music continue to show why the island is considered a historical leader in music.

Apple’s latest ad in the U.K. celebrates and pays homage to that musical history with a montage sure to brighten the day of any music lover. Over its 60 seconds, “Behind The Music. Behind The Mac” entices viewers with a series of images from behind the scenes of various stages of musical production.

The spot honors some of music’s biggest legends, like Sir Paul McCartney and the late David Bowie. It also tips its hat to latter-day stars like CharliXCX and FKA Twigs (the latter of whom who knows something about starring in an Apple ad). Whether in the studio or the concert venue, trusty Macs play a supporting role in the process.

Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a unique soundtrack of its own. The ad is anchored by “What We Do” by Swindle, featuring Rider Shafique, D Double E, Daley and P Money. It’s a fun way to highlight the brand’s appeal to musicians of all types and the rare ad that rewards repeated viewings, as viewers can geek out over identifying as many artists as possible. For those who want a deeper dive, Apple also released interviews with Swindle and Little Simz.

The ad is the latest in the “Behind The Mac” campaign Apple launched last June, highlighting the brand’s importance to all types of creative pursuits. It also follows October’s “Make Something Wonderful,” which similarly utilized found footage to great effect.


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@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.
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