When might you want to connect with more than 30 friends via the iPhone’s Group FaceTime video chat? Well, perhaps you’re an Elvis impersonator looking to harmonize with your fellow Kings all around the world.
That’s admittedly a highly specific scenario, but it does make for an endearing new ad from Apple that illustrates the feature.
In “A Little Company,” we see real impersonators from multiple countries capturing different eras of Elvis Presley’s career, from his early rock roots to his bedazzled Las Vegas years. As the performers rotate, taking on different lines of 1961’s “There’s Always Me,” we see how Group FaceTime’s display adapts dynamically to focus on the participant stepping into the spotlight:
The ad avoids the longstanding temptation to make fun of Elvis acolytes, instead presenting them in a way that’s both fun and appreciative of the style they bring to their portrayal.
The settings are just as much characters in the ads as the singers are, with each impersonator’s distinct situation being called out or at least hinted at before the scene jumps to the next performer. We’re used to seeing Elvis impersonators in full-motion, high-energy, arm-windmilling action, and this spot goes against the stereotype by conveying Presley’s effortless cool and having the Kingly crooners looking relaxed and contemplative.
Will it make you want to take part in a cellular sing-along with 30 of your friends around the planet? Probably not, but at least it’ll help you remember how the feature works—and that Elvis rocked a truly under-appreciated black leather outfit when he launched his comeback in 1968.