When Apple unveiled it’s new iPad it was met with a flurry of confusion by the press, many of whom dubbed it to be nothing ore than a large iPhone that doesn’t make calls. This confusion was resurrected again when Apple released the first TV advertisement for the device during the 2010 Oscars; an advert that was underwhelming to say the least .
This advert seemed to be more of a demonstration of what the product could do. These attributes were already made aware to members of the public who had read or watched news coverage on the new tablet and so the ad seemed relatively pointless.
However, a few days ago, Apple previewed their new iPad ad. Needless to say, it was much better. Paying a homage to a previous device of theirs, the Newton , the ad explores the diversity of not only the product, but also the audience it it suitable for.
The ad instantly asks ‘What is iPad?’
I find it interesting that the narrator ellipts the definite article to provide the noun ‘iPad’ with more weight and importance. It seems to suggest that this is more than just a machine or an object – iPad is an experience. The noun in the phrase could almost be omitted entirely and replaced with something more abstract.
‘What is love?’
‘What is excitement?’
‘What is fun?’
The ad suggests that iPad could almost be synonymous with these abstract emotions.
People of many different ages, races and genders filter through the advertisement showing how they use the tablet (and how you might want to as well). Almost all of the scenes take place outside which emphasises the freedom permitted by using the iPad and also seems to capture the fun-filled times of summer. One user can be seen carrying her iPad whilst travelling on the back of a bright-turquoise scooter – perhaps trying to encapsulate the romanticism evoked in William Wyler’s ‘Roman Holiday’, the care-free nature of a sun-drenched Italy or maybe just a visual metaphor for summer and freedom. Whatever the real reason, it works really well within the advert.
The ad tries to evoke summer further simply using mis-en-scene from the actors wearing shorts (bright, chalky colours) and fashionable boat-shoes to flowers in a woven handbag.
The cinematography is beautiful. The soft lighting and shallow depth of field add focus to the product and create a more cinematic and visually stunning advert to better reflect the nature of the product.
Apple are still trying to appeal to the more creative and artistic consumers and even manage to squeeze in a few quick shots of creative workstations and people using it in their day to day lives. They also show a businessman traveling by train, where most people squash into overcrowded seats whilst desperately trying to untangle and read their newspapers. Our hero in his instance doesn’t have that trouble. His iPad doesn’t take up nearly as much space as a newspaper and, whilst those beside him have their legs together and belongs stacked upon them, he is able to full relax and enjoy both his journey and his brand, new iPad.
By this point in the advert, the music seems to have matched the viewers feelings of excitement and anticipation for the product as it gets slightly louder than before and also see’s more musical elements joining the original guitar riff.
It certainly succeeds in achieving a state of excitement and enthusiasm for the product, the journey you start with it and the summer of 2010 when you both first met. How romantic.
I know I want one.