Apple's latest ad: Not enough crazy?

A new ad presented at Monday's WWDC exuded warmth and pleasantness. But did it also show how much revolution Apple has left behind?

Sweet. But hardly revolutionary. Apple/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Here's to the warm and cuddly ones.

It doesn't quite make one's smaller hairs salute, does it?

In recent years, Apple has tried various advertising routes, yet its default is still the tender, the human and the ever so slightly safe.

On Monday, in conjunction with its WWDC 2013 stage extravaganza, the company released an ad that echoed a huge amount of warmth and yet somehow offered a chilling relief to what used to be.

I was watching a presentation given recently by Apple's most experienced advertising creative director, Lee Clow.

In it, Clow explained how, in order to buy the company time to create truly revolutionary products, it released the "Here's To The Crazy Ones" ad, one of the most moving and brilliant of all time. (I have embedded it below, in case you weren't alive at the time.)

This ad promised a revolution that it ultimately delivered: products that startled. Products that seemed to emerge from the imagination of someone who had ingested very interesting substances voluntarily.

Monday, by contrast, we saw safe images of lovely people from around the world.

It could have almost been an ad for a nation's tourism authority. Which, in a sense, it is. Apple is now so much more international, so much more scrutinized, just so much bigger.

Suddenly, we see happy people all around the world. We an explicit approval of using your iPad in a restaurant, instead of talking to the locals. And we hear boasting, as opposed to ambition.

Are these the new crazy ones?

The world has changed. But in a period where Apple has yet to reveal the next revolution, the promise of a revolution would somehow be stirring.

Certainly the new iOS 7 design offers a step forward: grace and taste to replace that painful Game Center icon and its friends.

But even the crazy ones find it hard to create revolutions all the time.

You have to wait and just be happy with what you've got.

The patience level of Generation Instant might not be that high. So it would be heartening if, instead of using the word "product" in ad, Apple could offer a higher promise.

Perhaps it still will.

 

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