Apple gets 'The Office' actors to make its FileMaker exciting

Commentary: In an attempt to make its enterprise services memorable, Apple heads to the farm.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

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


Once, he was a high-flyer with Dunder Mifflin.

FileMaker/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

How do you sell your high-tech database platform?

Apple subsidiary FileMaker has taken to a vegetable farm to show how a little high-tech can help seemingly low-tech farmworkers to, umm, lay low a little.

In a new ad, we see Kate Flannery, Paul Lieberstein, and Leslie David Baker as overall-wearing agriculturalists. If the names don't ring a bell, you might remember them as Meredith, Toby and Stanley from the TV series "The Office.

Yes, there's life after Dunder Mifflin, the show's fictional paper company. 

Down on this beet-harvesting farm, which appears to be called Beet Lord, they use a custom app. No prize for guessing that it was created using FileMaker. 

The app makes life so very much easier. So easy, in fact, that our three heroes appear to have very little to do other than shoot down drones, which they have mistaken for birds.

I asked FileMaker why it had suddenly emerged with this homage to country life. 

A spokeswoman told me it was to increase brand awareness, recruit new developers and help with framing. (Yes, framing, not farming.)

"Thirty years ago, FileMaker Pro began as a database management software but today, it's so much more than that," the spokeswoman added. "Now, FileMaker is a powerful, scalable custom app development platform."

The company released its latest version, FileMaker 16, last May.

Does this ad reek of power and scalability? I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

Oh, perhaps it will charm some. I fear, though, that FileMaker might have to do a little more cultivation before it can make itself seem truly exciting.