Apple’s annual holiday commercials are generally heartwarming affairs that play on peoples’ feelings of nostalgia and holiday cheer, but the iPhone maker took a different tack with this year’s ad, which you can watch in this post. For one thing, it’s almost completely free of product placement — almost, except for the young girl working on a sticker-covered MacBook in the opening frames.
The more obvious change, though, is this the first time Apple has gone with a completely animated holiday ad.
The ad is set against the backdrop of an original song from 16-year-old artist Billie Eilish called “come out and play.” The ad’s theme, written on the final frame, is “Share your gifts,” and throughout it we see a freckled young girl at work on her creations who also wants to keep them secret. Her dog sets them loose via opening a box, they blow out a window, people find them and start picking up things the young girl has created while she watches nervously for their reaction. Of course, people end up loving them — this is an ad celebrating creative expression, after all.
Per USA Today, Eilish created the song in the ad with her producing partner and brother Finneas O’Connell in her parents’ home using a Mac and Logic Pro X recording studio software. “Apple chose to show off the holiday film for the first time Tuesday afternoon, at the just reopened Third Street Promenade Apple Store in Santa Monica, Calif., with a performance by Eilish and an interactive session with one of the film’s illustrators.”
In keeping with the ad’s theme, Apple also released a few related videos today that feature creators using Apple products to bring their work to life. They’re shown explaining their creative processes using products like iMacs, and you can watch them below.