Call me old-fashioned, but I dislike people who actively use their phone when they are hanging out with friends and family. It is both disrespectful and a clear sign that they do not want to be there, as far as I am concerned. Smartphones only make this problem worse, as addictive apps and games keep the user hooked even longer.
But if you see someone clinging to their iPhone 5s during the holidays Apple suggests that you should not be quick to judge, and perhaps label such behavior as anti-social, because those people are doing it for the sake of making everyone else happy. In other words, they are "Misunderstood". Or, at least this is one of the messages that Apple's new ad tries to convey.
A teen plays the key role in the ad, which shows him using an iPhone 5s when departing with his parents for a family reunion, where the young man will keep doing the same thing. What is everyone else around him doing? That's right, they're having a blast and enjoying some quality time with their relatives.
But here's the kicker: the teen was actually filming through this whole thing. So, even if he was on his iPhone 5s all that time, don't worry because he's got a very cool video, shared via AirPlay to the TV in the livingroom -- to add a little geekiness into the mix, to show to his family. See? The young man wasn't self-absorbed, he was just trying to be thoughtful.
The ad is clever, avoiding the cliches of tech-related advertisements where viewers are inundated with information. It does not even specifically mention the iPhone 5s (the slow-motion video shown at the end gave the name away), because people will recognize Apple's brand just by seeing the device (and the logo on the back).
The ad, even though it is focused on a teen and his iPhone 5s, suggests that everyone, of all ages, can enjoy the benefits of the smartphone. It aims to get viewers to remember the time spent with their family, make the iPhone a natural, integral part of such (future) gatherings, and associate Apple and its products with having a good time. And it manages to spin a behavior that I deem anti-social (and rude, disrespectful, etc.) into a positive. Apple nails it.