“This week, a woman checking Facebook on her smartphone plunged off a pier in Melbourne. Last year a woman fell into Lake Michigan while texting. A Texas man drove off a bridge and nearly died shortly after sending a text saying, ‘I need to quit texting,'” Kyle Smith reports for The New York Post. “An Ohio State University study recently found 1,500 people were treated in nearby emergency rooms for cell phone-related injuries in a year, a tripling from previous years. In Seattle, researchers found that texters were four times as likely to disregard traffic signals while crossing streets.”

“All of this is less disturbing than the probability that our smart phones, these magical gizmos of connectedness, are turning us into disconnected loners untethered to reality,” Smith writes. “Apple knows it has turned us into iZombies, and has become defensive about it, releasing its own little movie arguing that there’s some upside to this depressing new reality.”

“The weird loner, the emotionless little gadget monkey who never talks to anyone, is actually a proto-Spielberg who loves his family and is destined to warm hearts by the millions,” Smith writes. “Apple’s intended message is that if you get an iPhone, you’ll be more in the moment, more in harmony with your surroundings, more lovingly connected than ever before. In the history of nice tries, this one has to rank just below the mid-century effort by the tobacco industry to assuage fears about the safety of its products: One ad declared, ‘More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette!'”

Smith writes, “As pitches go, “Buy an iPhone in order to get in touch with loved ones sitting on the couch next to you” makes about as much sense as teaching the world to sing by buying it a Coke… Moreover, the “Misunderstood” spot is a nonsequitur: Chances are the kid at your family gathering who is fixated on his iPhone is watching a video or texting peers about how lame you are or playing Candy Crush Saga, not making a movie about his vast love for family. There is no twist in real life: Most iZombies actually are oblivious to their surroundings.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The amount of buzz (good or bad, people are talking) this spot has generated puts it in a very special league. This is Apple’s first real grand slam of an ad since the ‘Get a Mac’ (Mac vs. PC) campaign and it proves that Apple and their ad agency actually can execute world-class marketing in the post-Steve Jobs era (which, not so long ago, was seriously in doubt). That alone is the single most important fact delivered by this spot.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

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