iPhone Film Three Minutes by TBWA\MEDIA ARTS LAB Shanghai, Team collaboration

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Three Minutes

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Industry Mobile phones, devices & accessories, Public awareness
Media Film
Market China, Asia Pacific
Agency Team collaboration
Director Peter Chan
Released February 2018


Lions Entertainment 2018
Entertainment Lions Online: Fiction Bronze Lion

Credits & Description

Media: Web Film
Category: Other
Geo: Singapore
Client: Apple
Director: Peter Chan
Published: February 2018
Short Synopsis:
If your family reunion only lasts three minutes, what will you do? A unique Chinese New Year story shot on iPhone X by director Peter Chan.

In China, Apple is seen as premium and it’s critical to maintain relevance in a hotly contested category. To drive salience for Chinese New Year we set out to connect with China in a distinct and meaningful way. We wanted to celebrate precious family reunions as only the innovative tech of the iPhone could capture, with Apple’s unique POV on CNY’s cultural significance. Partnering with acclaimed director Peter Chan we shot “Three Minutes,” entirely on iPhone X and based on a true story. The film reached over 100 million views during the holidays and made headlines as “setting a new standard for advertising.”

Families go through great lengths for their once-in-a-year reunions at CNY. Instead of making a commercial with cliché celebrations and product placement, we took a different approach—deliver the brand’s human values through a film about the true and well observed story of a special reunion. The film should move our audience to capture their own reunion moments. Inspired by a true story about a train conductor who only had three minutes to spend with her son on CNY, the film was beautifully shot by Hong Kong cinema icon Peter Chan, entirely on iPhone X.

Inspired by a true story, we crafted a moving film meant to stand alone as work worthy of cinemas. This was done without a single product featured. Released during Chinese New Year, it came out at China's peak communication clutter. Every possible brand was promoting, showing only cheerful reunions. Yet, what makes reunions special are the connections between loved ones and the stories behind them. The story hit a deep cultural tension of societal pressure on kids to succeed and the struggle of working moms. It was embraced as meaningful and worth sharing, sparking endless conversations on family, love, sacrifice.

The film and How To films had well over 100m views over the duration of the campaign. It became China’s most talked about campaign for CNY, creating greater cultural influence than the new Star Wars movie (released around the same time in China). The film was featured in various national and local news, and inspired several fan-made parody.

The film launched February 1st, the first day of China’s massive CNY reunion travel period, exclusively on apple.com and on Youku. A premiere was held in Beijing, attended by nearly 50 media representatives. The film also appeared on Tencent and iQiyi video sites over the campaign. “Three Minutes” was further amplified with push messages on WeChat, broadcast media, CNY films in Cinema, outdoor and from Tim Cook's Weibo account to promote the film.

Campaign Description
For most Chinese people, Chinese New Year is the once-in-a-year time they get together with their family. These reunions however are sometimes taken for granted. We wanted to inspire people to cherish these precious moments by capturing their family reunions with their iPhone. The film itself, without a single iPhone X in it, shows the power of iPhone X. But for the audience, the touching true story shot by Hong Kong cinema icon Peter Chan, became content that was inspiring, relatable and meaningful.

TBWA\MEDIA ARTS LAB Shanghai, China Entrant Company
TBWA\MEDIA ARTS LAB Shanghai, China Idea Creation
OMD Shanghai, China Media Placement
Brent Anderson TBWA\Media Arts Lab Chief Creative Officer
Chuck Monn TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Group Creative Director
Stephen Kong TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Creative Director
David Seah TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Creative Director
Sidney Lim TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Broadcast Producer
Michael Lu TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Associate Creative Director
Adlin Rosli TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Associate Creative Director
Mesu Lu TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Senior Art Director
Alpher Xian TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Senior Art Director
Jimmy Chen TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Senior Copy Writer
Mingyue Zhang TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Copy Writer
Melvin Tan TBWA\ Media Arts Lab Associate Creative Director
Juan TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Designer
Afe Li TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Designer
Tak Yin Kwong TBWA \ Media Arts Lab Assistant Broadcast Producer