Apple Runs MacBook Pro Touch Bar Commercial “Bulbs”

Nov 17, 2016 - 32 Comments

MacBook Pro bulbs commercial

Apple is running the first TV commercial for the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. The commercial is embedded below for easy viewing.

The commercial, called “Bulbs”, follows shattering bulbs as the video narrative runs through a series of ideas, inventions, and innovations that have moved humankind forward, including the wheel, writing, the plow, electricity, the automobile, rockets, space travel, robotics, and various other major monuments to humans, before ending on the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

Text at the end of the commercial showcasing the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar says:

“Ideas push the world forward.

Introducing a tool for all the ideas to come

The new MacBook Pro

 “

The entire commercial is soundtracked to the song “William Tell Overture”.

Do you like the commercial? Do you think the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is the next major tool developed by mankind to push the world forward and to help develop new ideas?


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in News


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  1. Kon says:

    This advertisement must have been done by a creative studio that doesn’t have much of an imagination, could swear it was a rip off of this.

  2. Cam says:

    Once there was light, now there is darkness?

  3. Cam says:

    What do the exploding lightbulbs signify? The extinguishing of innovation around the world?

  4. Leo says:

    I have an idea that Apple is trying to relate their brand to every idea. For example, the writing shows an “A” (Apple); the television shows the Apple colors; the gravity reference (obvious), an airplane linking to the line of “Air” products, etc. What else?

  5. Linda Fields says:

    I absolutely love this commercial. I think it’s one of the best I’ve seen. I’m a dedicated Mac user…will never change. My current one is old but still works perfectly. I have to start saving for a new one.

  6. Great commercial. Pro on order. Looks like a significant and innovative step forward. I bought a Surface a while back and found the touch screen of no value when I used it in the Windows mode. I’m hoping the extra large track pad and the contextual touch bar are the solution to maximize and combine the advantages of iOS and MacOS.

  7. Dieter Morich says:

    The overture to “William Tell”makes this commercial a resounding success.

  8. Gabor says:

    Thought the commercial was terrific. Also, pretty sure 1,000,000 bulbs were not destroyed in its making.

    The whole commercial entertained (thats a refreshing change) and concentrated the focus to the last 1%, making it, IMHO, more effective than had it been 1:37 of product blurb.

    Have been a Windows guy since the mid 1980’s, but I am writing this on a late 2011 MBP (bought 2 years ago, used), and I am never. ever. going back. Love this thing (and VMWare Fusion :-) )…

  9. Isidore says:

    Great ad beautifully made as you would expect with Apple. The new Macbook Pro I am less sure about. In particular, incorporating the ssd onto the motherboard flies in the face of many companys’ security rules that hard drives or their equivalent must not leave the physical control of staff. In some cases this is even a regulatory requirement under data protection laws. So how do you send it off for repair? What happens when you want to sell it on? Yes, you can use filevault but that’s not to my knowledge open source to establish its security and you can’t exactly shred or physically destroy the whole motherboard and still have a saleable device, and of course you cannot reliably erase a ssd. Makes the lifetime cost rather excessive…

    On this basis in particular, not sure if I CAN buy one….

    • Eirch says:

      Not only that, but drives fail. Apple wants us to have a disposable $3500 laptop now? You have to replace the entire logic board to replace the SSD? Crazy. Give me a break.

      The Pro is the new Air, but there is no Pro Macbook anymore.

      Also, the commercial is full of hubris and waste. I hope it was CGI because.

  10. Greg says:


    It appears Apple is going the way of the dodo bird.

    Sad. Sad. Sad.

    Let’s hope they can find their way back.

  11. david watts says:

    Interesting ad … as far as creativity goes. Lots of gratuitous destruction in aid of promoting a product which offers incredibly little in the way of social advancement.

  12. Eric says:

    Touch Bar ? Nothing worth saying “Hello again !”. Apple is nearly dead since Steve is gone.

  13. Sebby says:

    Hey, as I’m blind I really appreciate your descriptions of these stupidly visual commercials. Dunno why this is the norm in the States; it’s not here in Blighty.

    Also, your last question is comic genius. :)

  14. Cuppa says:

    Inferring the touchbar is one of man’s greatest inventions. Hmmm, I’m an ‘Apple Man’, (but not a fanboi). Apple used to appeal on the basis of need & user experience. These days it’s all hyperbole. I know sales has always been the goal, but at least in the past it appeared that there was a genuine attempt to put users first. Now it is very obviously sales first & the ad reflects that. Us users are not as gullible as the marketers think. The relationship between Apple & it’s opposition is now such that the end user picks the ‘least worst’ option, much like western politics. Time for the marketers to be led by the genuine innovators in the company rather than vice versa. A look back to the strengths in the roots wouldn’t go amiss.

  15. Desguy says:

    The WTO music was good as always. I think the ad was a waste of $$$. I like my iMac, my MBP, my iPad and my iPod but I don’t like the ad, it’s a minus 10 out of 10. What happened to the great TV ads of 5-8 years ago? Resurrect them.

  16. Dondi says:

    I never liked the Apple Commercial. They are awkward. But I like the work they done. But now… as they decided to not work anymore and just relax on theres laurel, I also do not like that anymore.

  17. Murray says:

    This was a visually appealing commercial with a memorable score and an engaging story – all attributes of Apple’s television advertising dating back to their first commercial that aired during the 1984 Super Bowl. With respect to the MacBook Pro only appearing in the last few seconds of the spot, this is really irrelevant as Apple is the most recognized brand in the world and doesn’t necessarily need to tout all of the features of its product in its maiden advertisement – it’s more about keeping the brand top-o-mind, and creating conversation and anticipation. Going back to Apple’s 1984 spot, they never even showed the product, but simply produced an amazing spot that grabbed the viewer’s attention and simply said that the first Apple Computer would be available shortly and drew a 18O degree contrast to Orwell’s 1984…in a humorous way. My only issue with production of this commercial has to do with the fact that it appears to be linear in bringing us from the past to the future or present, and yet it appears that ther editors have juxtaposed the discovery of several of the inventions with one another such as the zipper being invented after the first Apple Computer, among other similar examples.

    • Mr Jazz says:

      If memory serves me, the zipper was a reference to Brooke Shields Calvin Klein ad.

      But, as Peggy Lee once sang, ” Is that all there is? Is that all there is? If that’s all there is, my friend, then lets keep dancing. We’ll bring out the booze and have a ball, if that’s all . . . there is.”

      Still running Snow Leopard and loving it!

  18. Ogles of Kansas says:

    Well isn’t this fantastic. Hot off the news apple is killing Automator and the command line they release a commercial. Cool.

  19. Ken Jaysen says:

    Irrelevant and way to long to see product.

  20. Scott says:

    Photographically beautiful, but a terrible commercial. The thing being sold showed up in the last 1% of the runtime. To me, that shows very little confidence on Apple’s part that the Touch Bar will be a motivating factor in a purchase decision.

  21. Scott says:

    Photographically beautiful, but a terrible commercial. The thing being sold showed up in the last 1% of the runtime. To me, that shows very little confidence on Apple’s part that the Touch Bar will be a motivating factor in a purchase decision.

    • Mark jones says:

      The best commercials have barely even shown the product. 1984 Apple commercial never showed the product. It is hailed as the best commercial ever.

      This commercial is amazing because it sparks emotions other companies have trouble doing.

    • Larry says:

      Who cares if the product isn’t revealed until the very end. The commercial is so beautifully done that I didn’t want it to come to an end. Not showing what the product is was genius. You keep seeing advances in technology and the bulbs (bright ideas) kept bursting, so you know that some new technology is bursting out. I don’t feel that Mac is any better than Windows, but I loved this commercial.

  22. Roark obrien says:

    Fun commercial. I look forward to trying the MacBook Pro.

  23. Dongle Touch Pro says:

    This is a fantastic commercial for a fantastic product, it hits the nail on the head about how forward thinking The Apple is and shows The Apple is on top of the pinnacle. Beyond the pinnacle. The Apple.

    MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is the most amazing innovation to ever arrive.

    In the future, 2016 will be remembered only for the debut of Touch Bar.

    If Stanley Kubrick had known Touch Bar would debut, he would have used it instead of the Obelisk in 2001. The monkeys discover the Touch Bar, and everything changes.

    Nostradamus couldn’t have predicted Touch Bar, it’s that good.

    Touch Bar is easily the most amazing piece of technology ever to exist, it is beyond the wheel, beyond robotics and AI, beyond neural networks, beyond fusion, it is Touch Bar.

    Touch Bar Pro, with 8GB RAM and a 256GB hard drive. Only the best. I can’t wait to do it.

    * Dongles sold separately.

    • OURDESK says:

      I hope you were joking cause if so, that was very funny :)

    • Thom Gillespie says:

      Touchbar to Dongles? I’ve heard of mixing metaphors, but you seem to be mixing technologies.

      The Google phone has been using USB-C for almost 2 years and you are complaining you have have to get some dirt cheap connectors?

      Get real.

  24. lawrence77 says:

    How many bulbs Apple wasted for Pushing this ad idea or that is a CG? :)

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