Poetic, Peculiar iPad Air Ad Marks Departure from Norm

By Erik Oster 

In case you missed its multiple airings during the NFL playoff games over the weekend, here’s a new anthem ad for the iPad Air, which perhaps interestingly enough is not a TBWA\Media Arts Lab joint according to folks on the Spy line. (we’re checking on this)

That may come as less of a surprise after viewing the spot, which is something of a departure from Apple’s recent tone and style. The 90 second long “Your Verse” attempts to inspire via an ode to poetry and beauty, while documenting a wide range of different ways people use their iPad Air. While the device is never mentioned during the ad, it is shown in action during almost every shot, in locations around the world. The title of the ad comes from the Walt Whitman poem, “O Me! O Life!” (you may recognize it from the movie, Dead Poets Society) which it directly quotes from. “Your Verse” ends by repeating the final line of the poem — “That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.” — before asking, “What will your verse be?”

The visually impressive, Whitman quoting spot is, while a departure from recent advertising strategies for Apple, also something of a restatement of the company’s supposed core values. Instead of telling you about device functionality, or attempting a sentimental family scene, the spot instead tells you about what Apple stands for, or at least what they’d like you to think they stand for. For Apple, that’s something of a return to the fundamentals. Whether that’s inspiring or overblown and pretentious will depend largely on the viewer.