Yesterday, Apple released another brilliant TV ad that captures the essence of the intersection between art and technology. The ad focuses on the centrality of technology in our lives, the ability to create with that technology and how that technology can be used to touch the hearts of family and friends.
Of course, as with anything related to Apple, controversy began to brew the moment the ad was released. Forbes actually had the nuts to say the ad was a "sacrifice" for Apple:
The problem is that while he was creating, he wasn’t really living the day, he was a mere voyeur during it. The message? Life is better through video. Don’t live life, tape it.
I admit I do this as much as anyone. We all love to photograph and record the activities and people we love. But lately I’ve been going to bed at night with that nagging feeling that I hadn’t lived enough and had spent too much time focused on a device. Seriously. Are we happy that this year’s Thanksgiving and Hanukkah was Instagram’s busiest ever? This commercial glorified that reality. And I don’t think it is a positive message.
And it is not a great message for Apple.
The ad isn't at all about "Life is better through video". The ad doesn't document a withdrawn teenager who is completely unfulfilled by his physical whereabouts. The ad doesn't document a sluggish, dejected or depressed teenager either.
Instead, the ad documents a teenager creating art, imagining design and utilizing technology.
How many prior Christmases did this young boy sit around with discontent, unappreciative — or maybe even unaware — of his true talents. Apple is showcasing the centrality of the ability to create. Not just to create, mind you, but to create anything, anywhere with a device no bigger than your hand.
The teen's suppressed nature is a bi-product of what is truly happening: the newfound understanding of creative talents. This young man, up to this Christmas, has misunderstood himself. The ad documents the young man's learning to understand himself and his talents. Apple is promoting Apple's ability to bring out the best of people through personal technology.
Apple has always (always) prided itself about creation, liberal arts and design. They are three of Apple's fundamental pillars. This ad thoroughly displays Apple's commitment to its roots and to its foundational creed.
And for Forbes to document the paper-thin concept of disconnecting from family because of an iPhone? Well, maybe that's just reflective of paper-thin Apple reporting.