Watch Apple’s Holiday Ad Turn the HomePod Mini Smart Speaker into a Tiny Clone of Rapper Tierra Whack
Apple’s new HomePod Mini may be small, but the plans for advertising it are as big as they ever are during the holidays. Popular rapper and songwriter Tierra Whack stars in “The Magic of Mini” ad as herself, coming home sad until she sees her HomePod Mini and a tiny replica of herself eager to help her feel better by performing Whack’s songs with her. The two-minute ad is full of magic transformations that the smart speaker isn’t quite able to pull off in real life, but is clearly supposed to convey the feeling Apple wants people to have with the smart speaker.
The HomePod Mini is not capable of that but is a $99, scaled-down version of the standard HomePod costing half the price. It still uses Apple’s high-end hardware but is going for a different market entirely. It arrived in tandem with updates to Siri aimed at encouraging people to use the voice assistant more. The “What’s My Update” feature gets Siri to pull together local weather, personal calendar data, reminders, and other details to report to the questioner, for instance.
The HomePod Mini ad is directed by Calmatic, who has handled high-priced ads before, including at the Super Bowl. It’s not quite the same as having Spike Jonze direct FKA twigs as he did in the “Welcome Home” ad for the original HomePod in 2019, but the new ad still brings some very high-quality ideas and performances to people’s screens. Apple can also brag about featuring Billie Eilish in an ad in 2018 before the performer became a household name. Whether “The Magic of Mini” will be enough to make up for Apple being relatively late to the entry-level smart speaker market is another question entirely.