When The New Yorker introduced its iPad app back in 2010, the venerable magazine tapped Wes Anderson associates Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola to make a video promoting it. Two years later, when it was time to introduce an app for the iPhone, they handed the reins over to another off-center filmmaking talent, Girls/Tiny Furniture creator Lena Dunham.
In the new ad, Dunham plays an alt-universe version of herself (“Lani Darham”) as a guest on a retro-looking talk show, hosted by an ultra-aloof Jon Hamm. The pair make believably cheesy banter for a while, until it turns out that the host does not know what an iPhone or The New Yorker is. (It’s like Rolling Stone, but more terrible, he concludes.) Hamm’s lack of awareness is what leads us into a clip of Dunham playing an editor at the magazine, explaining how the app works to an underling played by Girls co-star Alex Karpovsky.
The 5-minute ad may not have the same impact as Steve Jobs’ dramatic “One More Thing” revelations, but if more companies contracted out their new tech and social announcements to talented filmmakers, many more late-adopters would probably be converted.