Apple Creates a Dusty, Mini-Masterpiece With 'Tractor'

That Ludacris track will stick in your head

Relax, Apple. No matter your commercial direction du jour, everybody sees you.

Yesterday, Muse mulled a pair of "Shot on iPhone" films, made in Mexico and Turkey, from TBWA\Media Arts Lab. Those epics have received gobs of praise, and rightly so. But a far simpler video that takes a different approach might just rank as a minor masterpiece.

Released this week, "Tractor" shows a farmer driving the titular vehicle down a long, lonely stretch of desert highway. The camera frequently changes angles, displaying the dude's weathered face to fine effect.

These 60 seconds hold the power to hypnotize, with Ludacris' distorted, insistent "Two Miles an Hour" ("So everybody sees you!") thumping on the soundtrack.

Apple | Tractor

"For 102 miles, continue straight," Siri coos from an iPhone 14 mounted near the steering wheel, touting the unit's battery life. And down the dusty road our farmer chugs, hauling a pumpkin, sun baking his hat's black brim, Luda's beats echoing into infinity.

Who needs a complicated script, huge cast, skateboards or Mexican wrestlers to tell a compelling brand story? Well, Apple did, actually. And those "Shot on iPhone" clips rock.

But "Tractor," a new entry in the "Relax, It's iPhone" platform, delivers perfect pacing and just enough visual variety—from Smuggler director Ivan Zacharias—to keep viewers enthralled.

In its way, such fare harkens back to Apple's uncluttered, minimalist "Get a Mac" aesthetic of yore. Stripped of excess, its story distilled beneath those shimmering rays, "Tractor" plants a potent seed with slow and steady style.

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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