Apple’s Siri Ads and the Role of Its Spokespeople

The latest Siri ads starring John Malkovich have debuted, and they’re a departure from the previous Zooey Deschanel/Samuel L. Jackson clips. Actually, all three are pretty different from one another.

Here, Malkovich is doing his Malkovichian thing, giving Siri the word “life” to respond to and laughing at one of the phone’s non-jokes. As The Huffington Post notes, the previous ads have generated “scorn and derision” as well as a lot of talk. It’s likely the new ones will as well.

TechCrunch points out that while the spokesperson choices may seem odd, they hit on demographic targets — “ironic post-gen-X” types with money, hipsters, and geeks — that are the bread and butter of Apple sales.

“These new commercials allow a certain type of consumer to associate him or herself with a certain archetype. As inclusive as Apple seems to its fans, it’s still important to segment those still on the fence and, one by one, speak directly to them,” TechCrunch writes.

Apple has also chosen unique, standout celebrity personalities who are ripe for the spoofing. Samuel L. Jackson’s foul-mouthed, cool guy persona; Zooey’s wide-eyed modern girl; and Malkovich’s left-of-center peculiarities are singular to them and lend themselves to the exaggeration in the different parodies that have popped up.

Moreover, by choosing these one-of-a-kind spokespeople, the marketers have made a statement about Siri and Apple — no matter how unconventional, smart, artistic, or just plain strange you are, our technology can keep up. Siri is a character in these ads as much as the celebs are, and the device is able to handle whatever the spokespeople are throwing at it. Like improv. Users, living hectic lives, doing random things, are looking for that kind of sophistication and dependability from their gadgets. And since a mobile device goes wherever you do, that’s a good quality to have.

Although, notice that all of the ads take place while the users are at home. Perhaps we come up with our wildest ideas and requests when we’re just hanging out without much to do.