“Everyone else seems to love it,” Jennifer Rooney writes for Forbes. “It is being referred to as ‘endearing’ and ‘touching,’ eliciting a ‘merry little cry.’ It will ‘tug at heartstrings,’ even. It’s a new commercial for Apple’s iPhone 5s and its AirPlay technology.”

“I caught it on TV last night, and I couldn’t disagree more. It’s called ‘Misunderstood,’ as in misunderstood teenager,” Rooney writes. “I found it depressing, upsetting, and a sad commentary on our social-, video- and image-obsessed culture. The goal, of course, was to market the wonder of the iPhone using the element of surprise: show a seemingly slacker teen disengaged from the goings-on of family life, his eyeballs glued to his iPhone – save for very fleeting moments – suddenly reveals to stunned family members a touching video he’d made of their Christmas merriment. That he’d been creating all day.”

“The problem is that while he was creating, he wasn’t really living the day, he was a mere voyeur during it,” Rooney writes. “The message? Life is better through video. Don’t live life, tape it… Are we happy that this year’s Thanksgiving and Hanukkah was Instagram’s busiest ever? This commercial glorified that reality. And I don’t think it is a positive message.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re of two minds on this one:

“Misunderstood,” indeed.


Rooney does have a point worth thinking about. In fact, over the past year or so, we’ve taken to NOT recording our childrens’ dance recitals, skiing trips, concerts, and everything else precisely because we found that we couldn’t really remember very well what happened. There’s a time and a place to record video and shoot stills, but it’s definitely not all the time.

We’ve gone back to experiencing the moment with our organic hardware instead of holding an iPhone between our eyeballs and life.

You should, too.

The ad is an interesting spot, but there’s something flawed if it leaves some thinking, “But, he missed Christmas Day!”

(And, we only called it “touching” because it worked on multiple levels.)

Related article:
Apple debuts touching new ‘Happy Holidays’ TV ad (with video) – December 16, 2013