Amidst extreme security, yesterday Apple filmed a new ad at Jax at the Tracks, a hip 1940's style diner in Truckee, California. Filming on location is a very interesting departure from the usual Apple TV commercials, which are studio based.
Speaking to the Sierra Sun, the owner Bud Hally said Apple wanted a "cool spot for the 20-something crowd."
Some people think this means an ad for a new iPod, but the fact is that nobody has a clue about what this new unreleased secret product really is. Certainly, the security won't be that high for a new variation of an existing model, but you never know with Apple.
Whatever this mystery product is, one thing is sure: If true, this is quite a change in Apple's usual advertising rationale. Instead of filming in a controlled studio environment, which results in very sleek ads in which the object of desire takes center stage against a faceless background, Apple has picked a real location. Except for the Mac vs PC ads—which are not product oriented, but a branding effort designed to shift the minds of potential switchers—this is certainly not their traditional modus operandi since Steve Jobs came back to the company in 1996. It was back then when he hired again his friends at TBWA\Chiat\Day for Apple's advertising, resulting in the highly stylized TV commercials everyone is familiar with.
My Spidey sense/wishful thinking says that it may be an ad for tablet. The timing is right. Ad will get into post-pro and editing, and will be ready for September and the potential tablet announcement. More importantly, the change of advertising strategy for this commercial may signal a completely new product, that requires a completely different kind of storytelling.