Apple’s latest iPhone ad campaign is simple: A stunning image — often a landscape — accompanied by the text, “Shot on iPhone 6,” along with the photographer’s name and a link to Apple’s website. The photos are meant to be inspirational, and to show off the impressive capabilities of the iPhone 6’s camera. Some people find the ads perplexing, laughable, or downright irritating, though, and two Bay Area creative professionals took it upon themselves to build a counter-campaign on Tumblr: “Also Shot on iPhone 6.” The images, mostly of selfies the duo found on Google Images, are both hilarious and bizarre.
“Our thought was that people don't always take pretty pictures on their phones, so we thought it would be funny to show the other, non-beautiful, photos people take,” one of the campaign’s creators (who preferred to remain anonymous) told Refinery29. “We both work as creatives in advertising and love to poke fun of our industry whenever it takes itself seriously.”
But, the two images, juxtaposed together in short-lived harmony on several San Francisco streets and BART stations before being removed, are actually a brilliant reflection on today’s smartphone culture.
We have these undoubtedly powerful devices in our hands at almost all times. (Really — today’s cell phones are more powerful than the tech NASA used to send astronauts to the moon in 1969!) In the camera alone is the capability to create beautiful works of art, to capture brilliant moments in time. And, we use them for that when the opportunity arises. But, since they are on-hand all the time, we also use them to capture the mundane, the ugly, and the utterly silly.
This gives smartphone users an unprecedented level of both creative expression and personal documentation. The images on your camera roll and those you share on social media are part of your personal story. And that, no matter what you end up capturing, is beautiful — even if it's also ridiculous. Ahead, six brilliant, fake Apple ads (warning: bathroom selfies abound).