Your Verse, My Inspiration
I will not pretend to have some groundbreaking insight born of years watching Apple and scrutinizing its marketing tactics, but perhaps this inability to immediately evaluate, classify, and dismiss Your Verse works to my advantage in this case. In his article written shortly after the ad went live, Stephen Hackett conveyed his general disappointment in Apple at employing a tactic of engendering a powerful emotional response from its viewers once again, as it did last month with Misunderstood. Others have made similar criticisms, some even going on to chastise Apple for making their latest ad unrelatable.
As Zac Cichy pointed out earlier this afternoon though, Apple did not make Your Verse for those who already happily own its products, and especially not for anyone who uses Editorial to create Python scripts that download and parse close to ten thousand WordPress articles into Markdown: we already know we made the right choice — that we picked the right team, in Stephen’s words. No, Apple made Your Verse for everyone on the fringes of its ecosystem, those looking in with indecision. I would take Zac’s theory one step further and say that Apple also created this ad for its apathetic users — the parents, grandparents, and relatives who had an iPad recommended to them over a Kindle Fire — who see this device as nothing more than a plaything. Your Verse is Apple ever so subtly beating its viewers over the head, doing its darnedest to show everyone that the iPad is not just a toy, but actually so much more. Ben Alexander hit the nail on its head responding to Zac:
“I think the recent sequence of ads could all be considered a user manual:
‘Here’s what these things are for dammit.’”
Apple targeted an audience that see their iPads as portals for Candy Crush, email, and Amazon’s Kindle app by showing them marine biologists who take these nondescript tablets a hundred feet underwater and engineers who bring them equally far above ground atop a wind turbine adrift in the middle of the ocean. If an iPad can do all those things and more, surely it can accomplish more than run the same three apps all the time. Therein lies the genius behind Your Verse: it may not be relatable, but it doesn’t have to be: it’s inspiring.
“To me ‘Your Verse’ shows you can do anything. If you can stand on top of a giant windmill, record a movie, improve your hockey game and compose music, surely you can read a book.” - Jim Dalrymple