Apple’s Christmas ad features a mopey teen whose head is permanently buried in his smartphone. But wait, he’s not really so grumpy after all…
Anyone with a teenage son will be familiar with this particular scenario. As the Yuletide fun goes on around him, the star of Apple’s Christmas ad Misunderstood (which we are presuming is by TBWA but no credits are available as yet), appears uninterested in anything other than the screen over which he is perpetually hunched. What has he been up to? Endlessly texting his mates about how boring everything is and how much he hates his parents? Watching ‘hilarious’ YouTube clips of people playing video games? Or something far more creative and heartwarming?
As well as the commercial itself, Apple has also posted the film from the ad – A Harris Family Holiday – which was apparently shot entirely on an iPhone 5S.
So, instead of turning us all into screen-obsessed zombies, the iPhone is actually a device for promoting family togetherness and social cohesion, allowing us all to share and preserve precious moments, or something. Much of the response so far in the US has been positive – Time’s story was headlined “Apple New Christmas Ad Might Actually Make You Cry” while The Verge called it “endearing“. While it’s a clever piece of product demonstration and certainly insightful, we sympathise with the Forbes writer who called it “depressing, upsetting, and a sad commentary on our social-, video- and image-obsessed culture“. Come on kid, put the phone down and go sledging.