Apple Touts App Privacy In New Ad Campaign

Apple is touting its new privacy controls in a new ad that takes direct aim at online tracking.

The spot, posted Thursday to YouTube, features “Felix” as he goes about his daily life, only to be followed everywhere he goes by various trackers.

The ad opens with Felix grabbing a coffee from a barista, who then leaps over the counter and jumps in the back seat of a waiting car.

The car's driver asks Felix for his name and date of birth, only to be answered by the barista.

Later, more and more people appear and begin following Felix everywhere he goes. At one point, he visits a drugstore where an employee intercepts him in the aisle, hands him a tube of cream and says, “This will help with the itching.”

All the while, the song “Mind your own business” plays in the background.



Near the end of the spot, Felix looks at his iPhone and sees Apple's new privacy interface, which asks him to decide whether or not to allow apps to track him. He clicks on the screen and the people tracking him disappear in puffs of smoke.

The ad, created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab, will also run on broadcast tv and other digital properties (including on social media).

Apple's new settings only allow developers to access the “Identifier for Advertisers” -- alphanumeric strings, comparable to serial numbers -- if users consent on an app-by-app basis.

Facebook, which has vocally opposed those settings, launched its own campaign against Apple last year. The social networking platform warned in its ads that Apple will “change the internet as we know it -- for the worse.”

The major ad industry organizations also oppose Apple's new settings. They have argued that requiring consumers to opt-in to tracking on an app-by-app basis will deprive companies of revenue.

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