iPad globe-trots, gets symphonic in new Apple ads

The electronics giant continues its "Your Verse" campaign with two new TV ads.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
3 min read

One of Apple's new iPad ads features a travel writer. Apple

Apple wants us to become well versed in the iPad Air's benefits.

The company launched on Sunday two new ads for the iPad Air as part of its Your Verse campaign. The marketing push first launched in January with an ad that featured a snippet of a monologue by Robin Williams from "Dead Poet's Society."

"The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse," Williams intoned in the first ad. Then he, and Apple, asked: "What will your verse be?"

Apple is now answering that question with its new TV ads, slated to air during primetime viewing Sunday evening. Unlike the prior ad, the current spots don't feature any talking, aside from an example of a translation. Instead, classical music plays in the background as the subjects go about their daily lives -- using an iPad, of course.

Like many of its ads, the new spots from Apple seem more like short films than marketing. One features Esa-Pekka Salonen, a classical music conductor and composer who works as the principal conductor and artistic adviser of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London and as conductor laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Salonen composes music using an iPad Air as he travels from place to place.

The second features Cherie King, a travel writer who also happens to be deaf.She uses the tablet as she jets across the world, taking photos, translating conversations, making FaceTime calls, and composing her blog posts.

"iPad has allowed me to become a more adventurous and spontaneous traveler," King said on Apple's site. "And I'm just getting started."

For both, Apple has created 30-second and 60-second versions. Users also will be able to learn more about the subjects on Apple's website and through iTunes.

Esa-Pekka Salonen uses his iPad Air to compose music in one of the latest ads from Apple. Apple

The ads come as Apple faces a bit of a slowdown in iPad sales. The company sold 16.4 million iPads in its fiscal second quarter -- an amount that would be amazing for many tablet makers but was a disappointment for Apple. The company had sold 19.5 million iPads in the year-earlier quarter, and analysts had expected it to sell 19 million iPads this time around. The iPad is Apple's second biggest money maker after the iPhone and accounts for about a fifth of sales.

iPad sales have been erratic over the past several quarters amid tougher competition and market saturation. Apple posted its biggest period ever in the holiday quarter ended December 28, with sales of 26 million iPads. However, that's one of only two quarters (out of the past five) that iPad demand rose. Shipments of the tablet, including the larger-screen iPad and the iPad Mini, have averaged a quarterly decline of 4 percent year-over-year since the June 2013 quarter. It's clear that the blockbuster days of 50-percent-plus growth are over, but what's troubling is whether growth will cease all together.

Apple will kick off its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2. However, the company isn't expected to launch any new iPads at the event, instead following its recent plan for releasing new tablets in the fall.