Great holiday Apple ad turns “staring at your phone” on its head

Sections: Ads & Media, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad

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Apple's holiday ad

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.

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  • Jane Chin

    You’re joking, right? If he’s filming, he’s not participating. The iPhone is still a distancing mechanism. And why beam it to the living room TV, for crying out loud? The people in the living room are in the real thing.

  • Jacob

    Haters gonna hate

  • Dan

    I’m an Android guy, and I think it’s the best Christmas commercial.