Apple’s Latest Ad Is Probably Going to Give You Chills

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Apple debuted a new 90-second ad for the iPad Air on Sunday. Much like previous iPad advertisements, the spot positions the tablet as a do-anything device that goes far beyond simply checking email and browsing the Internet. The new commercial, with its sweeping vistas, makes the case for the many ways in which iPads might help people create, from making movies to (presumably) calibrating wind turbines. Apple has a website detailing some of the feats shown in the spot.

More surprising is actor Robin Williams’ narration, which seems to come entirely from a scene in the film Dead Poets Society. The narration is:

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering – these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love – these are what we stay alive for.

To quote from Whitman,

“O me, O life of the questions of these recurring. Of the endless trains of the faithless. Of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer: that you are here. That life exists and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

“That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

What will your verse be?

69 comments
brookehubert2
brookehubert2

What date was the original commercial aired?

JimmyNue
JimmyNue

There's just something about using someone's death for commercial gain that doesn't feel right about this. Amazing words and imagery though.

ArnoldJackson
ArnoldJackson

42 sec. "This is what we stay alive for"  RIP Robin Williams

SamanthaAtkins
SamanthaAtkins

Any chills are from the music, scenery and poetry.  Not from sticking an iPad in everywhere possible.  Sheesh.

time_magazine
time_magazine

Marketing indeed; however, apple has just re-popularized Walt Whitman, the silver lining.

MelissaHumbleheart
MelissaHumbleheart

Stop and look at 33 secs into it, any illuminati foreshadowing??

VulgarWit
VulgarWit

What a bunch of crap. Apple tries to equate the use of their product with participating in life when it facilitates exactly the opposite. They contribute to the techno-isolation and dehumanization of the world and try to spin it as art... despicable.

ij
ij

@VulgarWit They spin it as people using an iPad for work, among other things.


That you are incapable of seeing the obvious should worry you.

NathanBuchanan
NathanBuchanan

@VulgarWit Techno-isolation and dehumanization are an individuals choice. Not the choice of a corporation. The real question is, why do individuals choose it?

RossNicholson
RossNicholson

The non-Whitman lines in this are mine.  Oh, I don't suppose any of you will believe it, but long ago and far, far away I was sought after by Hollywood.  No.  I'm not delusional.  Once upon a time, I befriended a lonely, insecure Steven Spielberg way back in 1972, we cooked up a few stories together, and when those did pretty well (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Independence Day, Armageddon, Deep Impact, Joan of Arc, Back to the Future, Explorers (oops), E.T., Close Encounters) I started getting visiting delegations.  Geffin, Copola, Del Toro, James Cameron, Shymalan, and many others, most arranged by one "Roy Hunt" who "was on scholarship"--a $235,000.00 scholarship--I laughed, since his rent in my basement was $250.00 a month.  Never figured out who "Roy" really was.  The name he got from the dead playwright for Stagecoach.  

So one day, Roy needed a little more help.  I'd already "helped" him with dozens of stories, all for class "projects", or so I thought.  One day he asked me for poems, and I obliged.  All but one of the poems in Dead Poets I supplied, and lo and behold!  The props photographed in the film are my handwritten copies!  Are these guys nuts?  No.  It seems Spielberg put my two letters (dictated by the director on stationery he brought with him from Hill Valley California, I think) in Back to the Future.  I drew the creature drawings for E.T.--the initials also in my handwriting!  Indeed, that's my name on the VHS version top of that drawing--the one Elliot's teacher holds up to the camera just before he lets the frogs loose.  Ditto for Close Encounters, Good Will Hunting, K-PAX, and others.  I did the hallway problem for GWH, it's wrong, since the valence of carbon is still 4 last time I checked.  It was like some sort of talisman for them or something.  They wanted something of mine for each project.  That's my handprint in Borne Identity.  You get the picture.

So, after I'd contributed four poems for Roy's "project" which was already filming at the time, I asked him what it was about and he told me.  "A suicide?" I asked.  So, I scratched out the lines for this Apple iPad commercial, in hopes of discouraging a young man's attempt, I hoped it would change the story.  Sadly, it did not, and the rest is Dead Poets.  Stevie inserted the marching in step bit, the desktop standing in awe, the desktop standing up,  and the whistling bits from my model for him back in 1972.  He must have loved DPS?  

So, thanks, Apple, Inc., for pushing my lines into the future.  Perhaps, your beautiful mind toys have helped me save the lives of fictional characters, even a few live ones.  I do hope so.

But you know what's better?  I actually figured out what causes suicides and how to fix them:  put it on iTunes in a little book.  It's called "Suicide, PTSD, and Ending Toxic Military Leadership" and the cause is a simple pheromone deficiency, while the cure is the grease on the end of a man's nose--anywhere a child would kiss his/her father.  You see, there's a "kissing pheromone" we pass in kissing, and some of us fail to kiss our fathers faces enough.  He's gone, he washes his face too much, or air pollution interferes.  So read my little book on iTunes and cure suicide.  Works great.  

TylerKavanaugh
TylerKavanaugh

You need to have an AMA on Reddit. Show them this comment. Just don't forget that it was me who pushed your lines into the future.

Anecdatum
Anecdatum

Apple is very good at knowing who its customers are and appealing to them without trying to mainline their ads to appeal to a wider base of people who aren't really their target. This ad nails that Apple appeal factor and to all the people saying it is too pretentious or artsy or whatever and this would never convince them to buy an Apple product, that's OK because Apple already knows you are not their customer and has no real desire to pull you into the fold if doing so would mean diluting messages like this to their current base.

cryofax
cryofax

Chills? lol. Yeah if you're a consumer tool who is easily manipulated. Their job is to sell you stuff. They don't give one rat's behind about all the silly mumbo jumbo they spew in that ad.

KimberSmith-Fidler
KimberSmith-Fidler

It was obvious to me that was Robin Williams as John Keating from Dead Poets Society.  I wish, however, that they'd have just started with the "O me, o life..." as it felt like it made a point and then stubbornly kept going after they'd gotten the nod.  It was just too long.

AndrewDallons
AndrewDallons

TBDBITL. That's all that matters about this commercial.

TrinityQ
TrinityQ

You may be interested to know that, very rarely, does a marketing department (the ones creating ads) have anything to do with the product itself; they are merely paid to make the product look good. So to the marketing team that created this ad, kudos. It is a rare thing to find an ad that one could consider inspirational by any reasonable standards, let alone one that retains its "watchability". It is even less likely to find one of these doozies outside of the Superbowl line-up but alas you succeed in doing so. 

So in this case I would hope that one could set aside their personal feelings about the product being advertised, as the article is about the advertisement not the product, and acknowledge that the team that created this ad did a real fine job.


2 cents shared

earthchild
earthchild

The creepiest thing about Apple's "iPod innovation" is the connected consumer-folk with these giant rectangles at every public event, holding them up like cameras, rebroadcasting in real time & blocking the scene. Orwellian frames within frames...

Creepy because we have become so "selfie" absorbed with our smart gadgets who even knows what is "rude" anymore?

https://rebelmouse.com/WonderPlucker/

Butter333
Butter333

No, they couldn't. And no one did.

PhillyCannabis
PhillyCannabis

New Mac Pro looks like the best engineered computer on the planet.

pepere007
pepere007

How ironic that the dummies who don't like this ad are referred to in the poem itself, "cities filled with the foolish." Whitman had your number over a hundred years ago.  Needless to say, you don't know Whitman from Adam, you "endless trains of the faithless."  Great poem, great ad.

altavista
altavista

You take yourself too seriously.

PrabuddhaGhosh
PrabuddhaGhosh

Could hardly make out what the guy was saying. Sounded like he had a stroke or something

cutiepye
cutiepye

Apple has been in a free-fall since Jobs passed...it's really sad.
 Even their commercials are crappy now.

charlieddrum
charlieddrum

youre so right. this is the crappiest apple ad ever. just like the ipads...piece of crap!

andsoitgoes
andsoitgoes

Can't tell if serious....

Because that sounds like what people said before the iPad launched in 2010. We all know what became of the prophecy of "no one, not even Apple fanatics, will buy this"