Dec 24, 2013
I caught it on TV last night, and I couldn’t disagree more. It’s called "Misunderstood", as in misunderstood teenager. I found it depressing, upsetting, and a sad commentary on our social-, video- and image-obsessed culture. The goal, of course, was to market the wonder of the iPhone using the element of surprise: show a seemingly slacker teen disengaged from the goings-on of family life, his eyeballs glued to his iPhone–save for very fleeting moments–suddenly reveals to stunned family members a touching video he'd made of their Christmas merriment. That he'd been creating all day.
I admit I do this as much as anyone. We all love to photograph and record the activities and people we love. But lately I've been going to bed at night with that nagging feeling that I hadn't lived enough and had spent too much time focused on a device. Seriously. Are we happy that this year’s Thanksgiving and Hanukkah was Instagram’s busiest ever? This commercial glorified that reality. And I don't think it is a positive message.
It's also, Baskin added, "about loss, not embracing the present (pun intended). It’s also really bad advertising, insomuch that he could be staring at any phone, and the punchline — use our equipment to record all the moments in which you don’t participate — isn’t really promotional anyway".
This iPhone ad from a couple years ago is more effective at tugging at the heartstrings while positioning the iPhone as a necessity and something that connects:
In its latest ad, with an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" message, Apple isn't carving aspirational ground, it's caving to people's vices. What would have had more impact was if Apple made a commercial that said, "put down the iPhone this holiday season and actually look at, talk with, be with your family and friends". That would follow what seems to be the backlash against smartphone use that's happening all around us. Like restaurants offering 5% off of your meal if you relinquish your devices so that you have meaningful conversation with your family at dinner. Like my friend who got so fed up with her daughter’s 11-year-old friends texting–to one another–instead of skating at her ice-rink birthday party that she confiscated their phones. Like texting-while-walking bans.
The sacrifice the boy made to make a tear-jerker–and the one Apple made to make the ad–was not worth it, in my opinion.
The sourse: Forbes