Siri-ously, Has This Ad Gone Too Far?
I've been hearing a lot of negative comments surrounding the ads that enlisted Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson to portray the personal assistant-esque powers of Advertising Agencies Siri, a voice recognition software that "helps you get stuff done," according to Apple.
Keep in mind that the brainiacs at Apple probably didn't pick Sam and Zooey's names out of a hat. Advertising Agencies they could have gone with Duchess Kate or Lady GaGa or, I don't know, any of the Kardashian girls. But they didn't. They chose two people who actually seem marginally relatable; especially when you put them in pajamas or in their own kitchen as they are in these commercials…
Yet somehow, the Advertising Agencies are receiving bizarre backlash for depicting an elitist snob-fest of overindulgence by way of excessive gadgets, one that is inappropriate and offensive to those of us who lack celebrity status and wealth (and untimely given that people are facing economic distress). The implication is that Apple is transitioning into a luxury brand, one that us middle class non-celebrities will find impractical, unreasonable, and ill-fitting for the throes of normalcy. Oh, and that they are alienating both potential and current consumers with this slap in the face of a commercial.
I'm no celebrity, but I'm also not a peasant, and I don't think anyone who owns an iPhone 4S (a qualifier for purchasing Siri) is either. I have an iPhone and therefore I can afford tomato soup. The last time I checked, staying in on a rainy day/making dinner for a spouse are actually pretty standard adultactivities.
I mean, Zooey could have spent her day off getting an oxygen facial at a Tahitian spa and Samuel's spot could have depicted date night in any number of L.A. "hotspots" where dinner costs more than an average month's salary, but that's not how the story goes. Advertising Agencies because thatwould be an extravagant display for the wealthy and privileged. An ad like that could be criticized for showing that post-Steve Jobs Apple is out of touch.
I find it laughable that while people seem to be appalled at the fact that a brand like Apple could even exist in the same sentence with the word "elite," let alone flaunt lavishness in a commercial, the iPhone is the most expensive smartphone on the Advertising Agencies that I'm aware of, and the same price elevation can be found in any of their other products. I'm not denying that they are great products, I'm denying the fact that they are or have ever been what most people would call "inexpensive."
It's no surprise that consumers are uncomfortable with the distinction between necessity and status symbol that commercials like this inadvertently force us to confront. Advertising Agencies we participate in electronic trends but refuse to admit that they are fundamentally extravagant in nature. It's not the commercial or Zooey or the premise of Siri that's extravagant, it's the phone. Which by the way is purchased by 402,000 people every day. Every. Single. Day.
Bottom line? Apple seems to know its customers better than we know ourselves.