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Apple execs put themselves in ad (with James Corden)

Technically Incorrect: A new Apple Music ad airing during the Emmys saw Apple's Eddy Cue try to act.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Eddy Cue, front and center.

Apple Music/Twitter screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

One of advertising's more famed agency owners, David Ogilvy, had an adage.

Actually, he had many. One was: "Only in the gravest cases should you show your clients' faces."

It's marginal nonsense, of course. Some clients perform well on camera.

Just ask the wonderful George Zimmer, who fronted Men's Wearhouse ads for what seemed like a century and promised that we'd like the way we look.

However, on seeing Apple Music's ad during the Emmys (video below), I fear that some of Apple's execs might have heeded Ogilvy's warning. They aren't quite yet in Zimmer's class.

The scenario was that actor and late night show host James Corden was pitching ideas to them for an Apple Music ad.

Please just imagine the pressure. On the other side were Apple Music's Jimmy Iovine and Bozoma Saint John, accompanied by Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue.

They all have a commercial interest in Corden. After all, Apple commissioned 16 episodes of his "Carpool Karaoke" concept for its music service. Tim Cook even sang along with Corden before Apple's event last week.

Here, Corden suggests one lunatic idea for Apple Music after another, while the execs attempt to look appalled.

Iovine, a veteran of "American Idol" -- where there was plenty of fodder for negative expressions -- knows how to pull it off.

Cue, however, isn't quite as natural an actor. He's not remotely as natural as Jeb Bush, who offered an excellent cameo at the Emmys as an Uber driver.

Moreover, who among the viewing audience would even know who Cue is?

Apple Music has created many ads to support its service, which now has 17 million subscribers. Its biggest rival, Spotify, boasts 39 million and is much loved by those who use it.

Perhaps Apple will win in the end, given its superior commercial might and its enthusiasm in attracting so many famous stars.

It has, though, spent a lot of money on advertising, while Spotify has spent very little.

Steve Jobs was rather wary of putting himself in the way of his brand's ads. Even when he voiced Apple's iconic "Here's To The Crazy Ones" ad as a test, he decided his voice shouldn't be used.

Richard Dreyfuss was chosen and performed brilliantly. He delivered the lines beautifully. The message got through.

Through these two minutes of the Apple Music ad, however, what do you learn about Apple Music and what makes it different?

Not much, I fear.