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Apple makes privacy extremely relatable in fun new iPhone ad

Privacy has long been a value for Apple, hammered by Steve Jobs a decade ago and built-in to Apple’s software, something that can’t be said for many other tech companies. But marketing privacy as a product feature can be tricky. How do you show it?

Apple’s latest iPhone ad tackles that challenge head-on, connecting privacy to iPhone in the most relatable ways yet — like public bathroom etiquette.

The new video carries the same lighthearted tone as Apple’s other recent iPhone spots. Remember “Did you just bokeh my child?” and its follow up? This time we only see the iPhone briefly at the start and finish, surrounded by the message: “Privacy. That’s iPhone.”

Then we’re shown how we already value privacy in the everyday world in ways we might not relate to digital privacy: no trespassing signs and vicious guard dogs to protect our property, pausing a private conversation or swallowing a secret note from a classmate to avoid others receiving the message, and shredding personal information to leave no trace for identity thieves.

The most extremely relatable privacy parallel? Locking the bathroom door or maybe just not standing next to that person when you could stand over there instead. If you instinctively or even proactively see yourself in those situations for the sake of personal privacy, Apple’s message is that the iPhone also supports keeping your personal data private.

Apple has a whole site dedicated to explaining how it keeps user data secure at, ranging from end-to-end encryption between iMessage senders and recipients to Apple’s use of Differential Privacy and scrambling user data to make products smarter. We also saw Apple spend real ad money on its privacy message earlier this year at CES 2019, when it played off the old Las Vegas tagline to declare “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”

“Privacy matters. It should matter to the phone your life is on.” Cue the Apple logo turned Face ID lock.

Check out the new iPhone campaign on or below:

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.