Your iPad Makes You a Loser

The NCAA basketball tournament means millions of eye balls watching TV and, hence, new TV commercials from major brands. If I ran a company, I wouldn’t even bother with a ad in the Super Bowl that gets aired once, critiqued like crazy, and forgotten.

Anyone remember the ad with floating QR code? Oh, you remember the ad and it was for crypto currency something, but you don’t remember what the actual advertiser was.

Advertising like AT&T and “Lilly” stepped up their game by adding many big Hollywood stars. The ads aren’t good, or funny, but they’re “there” and that’s good enough for branding. I guess they want me to move my entire family from my current wireless provider to AT&T and they’ll give me a free phone or something, but I know in a year, my family-of-five will be paying around $250 a month, again, regardless of which wireless carrier I go with. Progressive added a new, hilarious “counseling for people becoming their parents” and I applaud the theater. I wonder if anyone switches insurance based on these ads, or because of Flo (also Progressive …I don’t actually know …I know both ads are for insurance), or because of the Geico gecko, but it must work or these companies wouldn’t do it.

But …the ad that really bothers me is the new iPad Air commercial. It shows two students lock eyes across their school playground and without speaking, they wink at each other and know instantly, yup, we’re running against each other for class president. I’m all for storytelling and I don’t really need to see them growing up together and always being rivals, and while this wink-and-nod serves the story enough, what should’ve happened is the two of them shown walking together in the hallway and, together, pass by the “class president election” sign and point and laugh and maybe then a light switch goes off in both their heads and they shake hands or fist bump or go nose to nose (in a playful way establishing their friendship) and then …bam …they’re running against each other.

Whatever, as odd as the premise is introduced, it happens and they each begin running their election campaign on their new iPads. They make campaign posters and draw things and color things and each keeps one-upping the other one. The girl uses her iPad to design “vote for Emma” t-shirts and is shown with a gaggle of supporters walking down the hallway with shirts and we assume she’s created a movement of support. Her competition, not to be outdone, hops on his iPad and designs baseball caps and then his throng of supporters is walking down the hall with hats bearing his name. Hmmmm, so I guess the hats means he’s winning, or the race for class president is neck and neck. 

Then, election night comes and Emma and the other guy stand on stage and it’s the big election night and …who wins …someone else?!?!?!?!  What? Where was this third person? How didn’t these two iPad users with all their designs and data not realize another person was also running for class president and was winning?

This commercial is terrible. I don’t like the movie-making aspect and I really, really don’t like the underlying message …and that’s this …your expensive iPad and all it’s cool features is a complete waste of time if you don’t run a campaign based on substance and issues that people care about. T-shirts and hats?!?!?!  Colorful campaign posters and flyers?!?!?!

Maybe they should’ve been shown writing speeches and rehearsing those speeches? Maybe put the damn iPad (and your iPhone) down for a few minutes and connect with people …shake hands, have real conversations. Randomly sit at someone’s table in the cafeteria and ask what concerns the modern day high school student. 

In the end, the message is clear …the iPad is fun and it’s a toy, but won’t actually get you anywhere in life.

Yes, the winner is shown also having an iPad, but I can only assume she ran a less artistic campaign.

Some ads move me to buy things I don’t or need, but this one, dare I say,  makes me anti-iPad and I demand it be taken off the air.

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