An iPad Turns Boring Old Homework Into an Irresistible Adventure in Apple’s Latest Ad

A forward-thinking spot that's also deeply nostalgic

Headshot of Angela Natividad

Following its release of a new, more affordable and Pencil-friendly iPad, and a bunch of snazzy education tools, now Apple has released “Homework.”

The two-minute-plus spot feels at once nostalgic and idealistically rooted to the present. In it, narrator Mark Fenske solemnly reads Jack Prelutsky’s classic poem “Homework! Oh, Homework!” while a classroom embarks on the week’s assignment—exploring the concept of gravity.

A few things before we roll to the spot. We’d never treat an iPad like that, even at its somewhat-more-reasonable “starting from $329” price point. But assuming this iPad is hardier than its predecessors, and that there’s a world of kids out there with equal access to them, using iPads seems a lot funner than those three-sided display boards we were stuck with.

Of course, the ad also posits a modern suburb in which kids still ride bikes and play outside until dusk. Don’t we all feel weepy over Stranger Things specifically because nobody does that anymore … and tech is one of the reasons why?

“Together the iPad and Apple Pencil turn mundane tasks like homework into a thrilling exploration of inventive imagination,” a statement on behalf of Apple reads.

It’s interesting that they chose to phrase it that way, since it emphasizes to what degree the iPad and Apple Pencil are really just an electronic pencil and pad. (And we all remember how fun homework was with just those.)

But the spot does a nice job of integrating the iPad’s functionalities into the kids’ madcap experiments. In addition to filming them live, they use AR to simulate tests and create presentations on the fly. A messy beauty and magic illuminate the scenework, like early ads for Sony’s Bravia.

Back in Grown-Up Agency Life, we almost wonder what we’re doing wrong with our iPads. Could insight-gathering and cool presenting actually all be this easy?!


@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.