Say what you will about Apple, they know how to sell.
Whatever you think about their technology (innovative or not), whatever you feel about their ecosystem (restrictive or not), whatever you think about their products (overpriced or not), they know how to sell.
They know how to create desire, generate buzz and build a huge fanbase who are happy to shell out year after year for the latest developments in iPhone, iMac and iPad technology.
How do they do it? Well, let’s break down the copy, the tone of voice and the messaging on the sales page for the iPhone Pro and find out.
Big product shot, bold opening statement
The first thing you see on the page is the back of the iPhone Pro - the new triple camera system. It’s clear that this is the stand-out feature.
Scroll down, and the image gives way to Apple’s opening statement. We won’t say too much about the design and functionality of the page, other than the fact that it’s seamless UX. One section beautifully gives way to the next, guiding the reader on a journey to learn more about the phone.
It just works.
Next, we get the opening blurb. I love the headline - And then there was Pro. On the face of it, it’s so unimaginatively simple. And yet, it tells you everything… that there were iPhones before it - so it’s more of what you love, but also that is something different entirely.
The paragraph below then backs this up. Yes, there’s a camera, a battery, a smart chip that does everything you want from a smartphone… but these have all been ‘levelled-up’ to create “the first iPhone powerful enough to be called Pro”.
The tone of voice is uniquely Apple. It’s straight-talking and purposeful, with a little bit of energizer and hints of a sensualizer every now and then to really draw you in.
It’s full of hyperbole - transformative, unprecedented, mind-blowing, pushes the boundaries, but it doesn’t sound false or over the top, because it’s supported by clear, simple explanations.
For example, the triple-camera system is transformative because it ‘adds tons of capability without complexity.” This is where Apple copy excels - it hints at the technology without getting bogged down in detail. It keeps the tone simple, with phrases like ‘tons of capability’ instead of bamboozling the reader with processing power figures that mean nothing to the average Joe.
The detail comes later… and only if you want it.
There are, however, a few lapses of judgement on this opening section:
Two calls to action, both inviting the reader to watch. What’s the difference?
Where do I buy? There’s a small buy CTA at the top of the page, but if I’ve just been convinced by the product shot and the opening paragraph, I want a big buy button here.
Pricing+ - Having an asterix here is just bad UX. It means there’s a catch, and I have to scroll down to find out what that is. It’s a distraction.
Cutting edge technology, legendary simplicity
After more shots of the triple-camera system and an invitation to ‘take a closer look’ at the gallery, the page gets into more detail about the USP - the three cameras.
The background image rotates as you scroll which is a really impactful design. I’m not sure about ‘Pro camera system’. Throughout the rest of the landing page it’s referred to as the triple-camera system. It’s like the copywriters wanted to get Pro in there again to really cement the Pro sub-brand, and this just feels like the lazy way to do it.
But ‘Three is the magic number’ works. It’s a line we all know, so brings familiarity. And it reinforces the USP, the power and the strength of that triple camera system.
Next, we get more details of that camera system.
“Meet the first triple-camera system to combine cutting-edge technology with the legendary simplicity of the iPhone.”
Again, it’s distinctly Apple in the tone of voice, casual and yet full of hyperbole. Bold and purposeful. The rest of the copy follows suit. It describes the advanced technology in a very simple way that works. It’s easy to understand. Easy to identify with. Easy to get on board with.
Apple’s copywriters have thought about the problems users have with smartphone photography, and they’ve framed their statements as solutions. Positive ways to use the new iPhone Pro.
Struggle getting everything in the shot? No problem - capture more
Get rubbish images at night? No problem - get beautiful images in low light
Want better quality video? No problem - shoot in the highest quality ever in a smartphone
The copy then anchors this. It’s all new stuff, but don’t worry, you can still edit with the same tools you love. It’s everything you know already, but better.
And lastly, there’s the killer line. “You’ve never shot with anything like it”. It sums up everything you’ve just read, into one short, emotive statement.
You take photographs, you use smartphones, you shoot videos. But not like this. Not with this technology, this innovation. Not with this kind of power. You’ve never experienced this camera… not until you try it.
It’s a clever statement cramming a lot in, reinforcing all the previous copy and building desire to buy.
The devil is in the detail
The landing page continues with more details, drilling into the technical spec of the cameras. Each camera highlights as you scroll with different info. For the photography buffs, it’s useful, but for your everyday user, we’re asking...so what? What does that mean?
Apple are prepared for that.
Want to know why there are three different cameras? Well the next section tells you AND shows you. The copy is straightforward, explaining how you can zoom in and out.
Then you scroll to see that in action - zoomed in and zoomed out. It’s a brilliant use of graphics to show both the features and the benefits of the triple-camera system.
After that, Apple introduces a new feature that makes use of the ultra wide lens. But they don’t just tell the reader about that new feature. They explain why it’s useful.
That’s followed by simple call to action that’s a superb example of choice architecture.
Are you really interested in the camera system? Do you want a bit more detail about how they work? Click here. It opens a pop up with the following:
“Three cameras that don’t feel like three cameras.
When we set out to design a pro-level camera system, we wanted the three cameras to work together seamlessly as one.
The fundamental challenge: even though we used the same colour system across all three sensors, different camera modules vary in terms of colour and sensitivity. To allow for that, our engineers precisely calibrate each camera individually for things like white balance and exposure. Then they push it even further, pairing the three cameras and calibrating them again for module-to-module alignment.
Those calibrations are applied to every image you capture — in real time. It’s like taking raw images from three different cameras and processing them to achieve a consistent look and colour. Except it happens in a split second. Getting those details right, on the fly, as you switch from Telephoto to Wide to Ultra Wide, takes the kind of computational power only A13 Bionic provides.
We also wanted each of the cameras to be accessible with a single tap, all the time. No matter whether you’re shooting photos, portraits, videos, time-lapse or slo-mo. And we were determined to have beautifully smooth transitions from one camera to the next. All this took intensive collaboration between the sensor team, the camera software team and the chip team. The result is a shooting experience unlike any other.”
This copy does a brilliant job of explaining several things. It tells the reader why the new camera system is so good. It sells the technical expertise behind the development. And it reinforces the claim that the iPhone Pro is something different.
But what’s exceptional is the way it tells the story. It doesn’t get bogged down in technical detail but it does explain the challenges of introducing new technologies like this. It’s written in a way where the reader can identify with the tech geeks who make the iPhone. It’s like they’re one of us… which is the emotion they want to invoke. It really puts the words to work.
Then there are the kickers, the casually dropped-in adjectives in that make a big difference or the small phrases that pick the copy up. “Precisely calibrate” for example, or “in real time” or “Except it happens in a split second”. Even a line like “we were determined…” has power to it, as it makes the reader sympathise - there are real, passionate people behind this. It’s not just technology. It humanises the product.
And tying it back to the main landing page is the final sentence. “The result is a shooting experience unlike any other.” We’re back to the emotional desire. You have to buy this, because it’s the only way to get this experience.
Time for a change of pace
Up to this point, we’ve seen a combination of smart copy and clever design, with some beautiful still graphics. Now, Apple hit us with a video.
It’s dark, it’s raining, it’s about as gritty and atmospheric as you could get.
It’s different and it stands out on the page. The copy follows suit too.
We suddenly have a change of pace. Here comes the Energizer, with a staccato rhythm. Short, sharp sentences. Ordinarily, a change of tone halfway through a landing page is ill-advised. Here, it works.
Why? Because it’s done effortlessly. And because it marks a change in the content, from photos to videos. The change in tone clearly indicates that shift, with more pace and purpose - just like a video.
We’re on video now, and it’s exciting.
The supporting paragraph goes into the technical detail, but once again it does it in a way that’s easily accessible. It doesn’t just talk about frames per second or image detail. It describes videos that are “beautifully true to life” with “epic processing power”. And it puts them in the user’s hands. YOU. You get more creative control.
Then there’s the final statement. “The highest-quality video in any smartphone”. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s a great claim to have. But it just feels odd here. Out of place. Like someone forgot to include it, and it was added in at the last moment. (It wasn’t, as they use the same design later). But it doesn’t really serve much of a purpose at this stage.
Keep scrolling, and the full-page video seamlessly turns into the same video within the iPhone, accompanied by some more technical spec. We get the features, and then the benefit. What it is, and why it’s important.
Well, in two out of three instances anyway.
The third feature/benefit is back to front. It’s a sloppy inconsistency. The feature is the Ultra Wide functionality. The benefit is that you get 4x more scene.
I also think the benefits are weak here too. They could go so much further. Real-time processing - so what? Match audio with video framing - so what?
Two better benefits would be:
A13 Bionic - for flawless, instant editing
Audio Zoom - so you’re never out of sync
Ideally, benefits should always focus on the problems they solve. A rare missed trick here.
The next transition is one of my favourites on the entire website. The video is now in edit mode, demonstrating the features/benefits mentioned above.
And the copy. Boom. Again, it’s classic energizer. Full of excitement. And again, it works perfectly.
You’ve seen how you can shoot video. You’ve seen how our technology makes editing easy. Oh hey look, just like that, you’re a film editor. All you need is the iPhone Pro.
And if all this was too much to take in, the perfectly placed phrase “edit videos like you edit photos” brings in that comfortable familiarity once again.
At this point, we’re only about a third of the way through the landing page. We’ve only looked at the triple camera and video functionality. There’s more specific camera features to come and plenty of other iPhone Pro developments to explore.
Take Note: If you think your web page is too long, think again. If you’re offering useful information that you readers want to know about, feel free to have them keep scrolling.
Because long landing pages work if you’re offering information and value - AND giving users the choice.
Here, you can keep scrolling for extra information, and you can click pop-ups for even more detail. But you don’t have to.
If the hyperbole has grabbed you, you can hit the buy button anytime you want. If you’re keen to dive into the nuts and bolts of models after being wooed by the technical features, then you can jump straight to Tech Specs.
It’s all about choice.
And if your readers are not yet convinced, a long landing page gives you the chance to keep selling your product… as Apple continue to do with outstanding copy, building emotion and generating desire the more you scroll.