Apple's AirPods Pro ads didn't have the earbuds in at first

UAE Apple ad
UAE Apple ad (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple's AirPods Pro went on sale yesterday.
  • There are huge ads across some of Apple's most iconic stores.
  • They had AirPods Pro added after they were put in place.

Apple announced AirPods Pro earlier this week and they went on sale yesterday. But before any of that happened some huge advertising installations were put in place, ready for the big unveilling. But nobody knew – because they didn't have AirPods Pro in them.

According to AdWeek, Apple and its creative agency got the ball rolling by putting 17 ads in place. And then it went back and added the important bits after the product had been announced.

Apple and creative agency TBWA\Media Arts Lab revealed the AirPods Pro through a two-phase outdoor campaign. First, giant and unbranded images of dancers appeared on 16 outdoor boards and across the facades of 17 Apple Store locations in major global markets. After the AirPods Pro were announced, the images—some more than 40 feet in height—were updated to include the new devices in the dancers' ears.

And if you think the logistics of putting the ads in place was the hard part, you'd apparently be wrong. More than 30,000 photos were talen to get the right shots.

More than 30,000 photos of the dancers—some professionals, some not—were taken to find the perfect images. Creative, media and brand teams worked closely to create images that would work with the dimensions of each unique ad placement, including the storefronts, in cities like New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Paris, Dubai and Milan.

London Apple Store

London Apple Store (Image credit: Apple)

That isn't to say that the work to get the AirPods Pro into place wasn't a struggle. AdWeek says that in some cases the entire ad had to be replaced, whereas others simply had the earbuds added to the exiting images.

Because of the widely different placements—both in terms of specs and surfaces—adding the AirPods Pro into the ads for the second phase required a labor-intensive plan for each ad. In some, the earbuds could be added through a relatively simple visual patch over the original image. In others, the entire towering piece of creative had to be replaced entirely.

The full AdWeek article has some interesting insights into what went down and what it took to make this campaign come together. It's absolutely worth a read in its entirity. There are some gorgeous photos of Apple Stores in there, too.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.