Apple’s “The Greatest” Wins Primetime Commercial Emmy Award
Apple’s “The Greatest”–directed by Kim Gehrig of Somesuch–won the primetime commercial Emmy this evening (1/7) during the second of two Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremonies held this weekend in the Peacock Theater at LA Live.
“The Greatest” features a cast of real people who are quite able even though they each have varied so-called “disabilities” impacting mobility, vision, hearing, cognition and so on. Thanks to different innovations from Apple, these people are able to deftly navigate everyday life. The film represents and depicts the physically/cognitively challenged community in a new positive light, showing how technology can help, providing different forms of accessibility and capabilities. The commercial’s track, “I am the Greatest,” used lyrics from the speeches of the legendary Muhammad Ali, who himself became an advocate for disability after developing Parkinson’s late in life. Australian choral group Spinifex sang the song which was remixed by one of the cast, Cola Boyy, a music artist and producer who opened Coachella in 2022. Jazz pianist Matthew Whitaker then improvised on top of this track, and the resulting collaboration was woven throughout the fabric of the film.
The Emmy is the latest major accolade won by “The Greatest.” In 2023 it earned the Advertising Excellence honor at the AICP Show while also coming up a winner in the categories of Direction, Performance and Licensed Soundtrack or Arrangement. “The Greatest”–for which Apple served as the creative agency–was also one of the spots which helped Gehrig win the DGA Award last year in the commercials category.
In the Emmy competition, “The Greatest” topped a field of nominated commercials which included three other Apple projects: “Call Me” with Timothee Chalamet for Apple TV+, directed by Tom Kuntz of MJZ for TBWA\Media Arts Lab; Airpods’ “Quiet the noise” helmed by the directing collective Megaforce via production company Iconoclast for TBWA\Media Arts Lab; and “R.I.P. Leon” directed by Andreas Nilsson of Biscuit Filmworks.
Rounding out the primetime commercial Emmy nominees were: Dove’s “Cost of Beauty” directed by Henry-Alex Rubin of SMUGGLER for Ogilvy London and Toronto; The Farmer’s Dog Super Bowl commercial, “Forever,” directed by Goh Iromoto of Sanctuary; and another Super Bowl ad, Squarespace’s “The Singularity” directed by Aoife McArdle of SMUGGLER.
Apple has found a place in the spot Emmy nominees’ circle for five consecutive years. And in four of those years, Apple has annually scored at least two Emmy nominations.
“The Greatest” joins two other Emmy-winning spots for Apple in years past–”Think Different” in 1998, and “Misunderstood” in 2014.