Those of us who owns a smartphones have likely been told, at least once in our life, to stop staring at it during family gatherings.
That a lot of people see smartphones as a social barrier that closes us off from those around us is a challenge for Apple and other gadget companies when it comes to marketing. How do you make a heartwarming, holidays-and-family-themed commercial for the device that a lot of people use to ignore their relatives?
A new Apple ad, released to the web Monday, threads that needle absolutely beautifully.
The 90-second ad—titled “Misunderstood”—features a sullen-looking teenage boy coming home on a snowy holiday and, when surrounded by his large extended family, never stops staring down at his iPhone the entire time. Until, that is, the surprise ending:
Turns out the boy wasn’t staring down to ignore everyone—he was filming the party. He put together a family video—presumably edited and scored with music on his iPhone—and beamed it to the living room TV, probably using Apple TV.
It’s a wonderful holiday ad, which neatly subverts viewer expectation while also completely lacking the smug tone often prevalent in Apple’s ads of the past.