Apple’s Underdogs Return for a Thrilling Action-Comedy

In case Tom Cruise and Barbieheimer don’t end up saving the box office, maybe The Underdogs can do it.

The cubicle jockeys-turned-entrepreneurs haven’t broken into Hollywood just yet, but they do star in the latest long-form ad for Apple that’s as action-packed and end-to-end entertaining as much of the fare on the silver screen.

The new video, “Swipe,” begins with the theft of a MacBook Air that leads to a frantic chase and rescue mission across New York—by car, scooter, motorcycle, taxi and foot. Will the crew be able to recover the computer in time to make a critical presentation?

Spoiler alerts are unnecessary—the beloved Underdogs always come out on top. Plus, the thieves are comically inept, even if they’re well-connected to the seedy underside of the city’s illicit resale market.

“Swiped” is the fourth campaign to feature The Underdogs, a ragtag group of co-workers first introduced in a self-titled video in 2019. That was followed by 2020’s “The Whole Working-From-Home Thing,” while last year the colleagues joined the Great Resignation. Apple creates the series in-house.

Ongoing narrative

The project remains an outlier in the Apple marketing oeuvre, where the brand typically doesn’t created sequels to its iconic ads. Tor Myhren, Apple’s vp of marketing communications, told Adweek in 2022 that the Underdogs were uniquely suited for an ongoing narrative even though it “wasn’t originally designed to be a series of films.”

At the time, the Underdogs was a trilogy. Now it’s a quadrilogy, taking a cue from some of the most successful film franchises and continuing to tout the Apple at Work software offerings.

Following the lead of its predecessors, “Swiped” is jam packed with as many product demos as can possibly fit into an 8-minute video. Yet they make sense in the context of the story, whose setup involves chief Underdog Bridget turning her back for a split second and having her laptop stolen moments before an investor meeting that could be “a game changer.”

As chaos ensues, Apple shows off the security features that help the team find and thwart the thieves, including Notify When Left Behind, Find My location tracking, Touch ID and Face ID, Secure Enclave, end-to-end encryption, remote Erase This Device, passwords and passkeys, among others. 

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