Apple has a new commercial out called "Dreams." On the unofficial spectrum of Apple ad-ness that I just invented--which ranges from remarkably tone deaf to "I will more than gladly sit through this whole thing whenever it comes on TV"--"Dreams" dots itself at just above the mean. It's not bad.
As you'll see, it wants you to consider the iPhone a Swiss Army knife, displaying its utility as a viable tool in a number of different fields. In "Dreams"--which is soundtracked by the requisite acoustic guitar/heartstring-yanker Apple's marketing folks seem to go nuts over--the phone is used:
- To help a pair of meteorologists measure wind speeds along a breezy beach
- As a magnifying glass to help a jeweler set a diamond
- To pinpoint the exact location of an emergency for firefighters
- To translate English to Spanish for a doctor
- And to listen to the heartbeat of a horse
Aspirational? Sure. Diamonds and horses tend to do that. But the ad seems eerily positioned to deflect recent criticisms leveled at the app economy, which is either broken or more innovative than ever, depending on which side you fall. Marco Arment put it best recently when he wrote that the App Store is bloated, with "vast floods of spam, sleaziness, clones, and ripoffs."
But look! The iPhone can do things! Apple insists here. Apps don't just send self-destructing selfies!
It isn't the first time Apple has spent airtime highlighting the iPhone's difference-making potential in an advertisement, either. But, all said, it is one of the better executed.