In the latest installment of Apple's comic, product-packed "Underdogs" film series, the titular white-collar quartet quit their jobs and form a startup that makes better shopping bags.
Created in-house, "Escape From the Office" finds Bridget, Marie, Brian and Dave determined to ride the Great Resignation for all its worth—with help from Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and Business Essentials software, of course.
"Escape" clocks in at more than 8 minutes, making it the longest "Underdogs" episode so far. Director Mark Molloy returns, serving up a breezy cinematic sitcom:
The pals launch their venture in Dave's garage, recalling Apple's own origin story. (In the '70s, co-founder Steve Jobs toiled on computer designs in his suburban garage.)
Tough boss Vivienne and arrogant Mike from Finance are back, but newcomer Cousin Kevin, a 14-year-old slack-tastic website wiz, nearly steals the show. And speaking of shows, the team unwinds by watching Ted Lasso on Apple TV+—what else?
This marks the third "Underdogs" outing, all helmed by Molloy, and the template's set. Apple deftly mixes comedy and product demos with social satire to pleasing effect. We became invested in this plucky crew from their first workplace appearance in 2019 and its chaotic WFH-era sequel. Basically, they're us, oft-befuddled yet resourceful everymen and -women, with Apple products as the great equalizer.
If "Escape" feels busy and drawn out—with so many shimmery screenshots and quirky quips—well, that actually synchs with our quick-paced, pixelated reality. Even the not-so-surprising "twist ending" resonates in context, suggesting the desire of cube-drones the world over to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true.
My, how times, and ad series, have changed. Or have they?
Today, Muse launches Season 2 of our Tagline podcast, covering classic campaigns, with a deep dive into "Get a Mac," Apple's beloved spots from 2006 to 2009, with Justin Long as a personified Macintosh computer and John Hodgman as a PC.
"The Underdogs" represents a clear evolution from "Get a Max," which employed a minimalist structure to portray Apple as a hungry brand with fresh ideas. White backdrops doubled as uncluttered mind-space—the promise of things to come—with celebs on hand to generate mass appeal.
The hurly-burly of "Underdogs" shows Apple's notions operating at scale. Bustling boardrooms and corporate corridors abound, with Long and Hodgman replaced by relatable folks seeking a way up the corporate ladder—and, in "Escape," a way out of the daily grind.
Now as then, Apple casts itself as an ally, and subtly overlays the scenario with elements of its own history. Rising to prominence from a garage, this company understands the sweat and struggle required to lead the pack, and couches its technology as means to transform challengers into top dogs.