Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Misunderstood

Federico Viticci, MacStories:

As Christmas approaches, Apple is once again advertising the iPhone as an experience more than a gadget. It’s not about the camera sensor, the faster processor, the apps, or wireless streaming taken individually — it’s about how all these elements, together, make technology (in this case, Apple’s technology) fit into our lives, empowering us.

I didn’t like this ad when I first saw it; I found it saccharine, which made it difficult to watch. But, having rewatched it a couple of times, it’s pretty marvellous, and I no longer think it’s phoney.1 It falls into the line created by the “… Every Day” ads from earlier this year: quiet, subtle, and relatable.

It reminded me a lot of the last few minutes of the Mad Men episode “The Wheel”, in which Draper explains his concept for the carousel slide projector campaign. It works in much the same way:

Technology is a glittering lure. But there’s the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash: if they have a sentimental bond with the product. My first job, I was in house at a fur company with this old pro copywriter, a Greek, named Teddy. Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising is new; it creates an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of Calamine Lotion. We also talked about a deeper bond with the product: nostalgia. It’s delicate but potent.

This is that same ad concept.


  1. Well, it’s an advertisement selling a product, so it’s as authentic as that can be. ↩︎