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The advertising of the iPhone, or of intimate memory

Apple launched the first iPhone campaign with the spot broadcast on Oscar night. The low, medium and high definition version also available on the Cupertino house website. The spot, successful in the tradition of some cornerstones of Apple's communication such as "1984" and "Think Different", an excellent tool for attempting another type of analysis compared to that of the functions or possible characteristics of the iPhone. So let's see it better.

Accompanied by the song Inside Your Head Eberg's (here the singer's site with an Mp3 of the song), the first approach to the funny spot and stimulates the spectator's curiosity. After the image of an old ringing phone, the succession of stars of the last fifty years who answer the phone like playing trivial pursuit: guess who that … and which movie.

But the more external side, which must capture the general public: you can start (and end tomorrow) to discuss who they are and why they were chosen (the quotes to the tastes of Steve Jobs, such as Zoolander's Ben Stiller, also shown during the keynote last January, they are also very interesting as inter-textual narrative forms to build the mythology not only of the products but also of the charismatic leader of the company) but another is the most captivating speech. What symbolic universe, what invitation does the spot communicate to its audience?

The theme of the actors, their plurality and the Hollywood catalog (all of them have won Oscars with the films shown and not) obviously a "harmony" with respect to the context in which the spot was broadcast: the night of the Oscars. Okay, this one. But not equally implicit is the reason for the theme: "The phone to which you answer by saying Hello". What does it mean?

There is a first level than that of the telephone as such: the commercial shows the use of the telephone over the decades, from the oldest to the newest (however, there are no other cell phones except for Cameron Diaz, Samuel Jackson and Ben Stiller, who however They "hide" their device) to build a path of meaning that says: telephony evolves, starting from bakelite devices from the 1930s and 1940s to get to iPhones. Well, this from a communicative point of view is the "rational" aspect, the script of the spot's story. But what is its meaning?

The thirty seconds are, after the initial trill and before the arrival of "iPhone-Hello-Coming-in-June-Apple", built playing on a little trick of very intelligent communication. In practice, when you answer the phone, the person who calls us is greeted with a greeting. It is the way in which in less than a century human language has adapted to the insertion of voice telecommunications in the panorama of language. For the Italian "pronto", for the French "bonjour", for the Japanese "moshi moshi", for the English "Hello" (declined in the spot also in other ways (such as Hi, Are you doing there, Yoo and Yo -yo). In practice, a greeting and a welcoming invitation to start communicating. It is easy to think of the leap in the plan: "good morning" or "welcome" that all the actors – that is our darlings and our projections in the dream of cinema – damage to the iPhone.

Not so much a greeting to a new star, although surely this component is there. It is rather a form of identification, of rapid insertion into the landscape of the imaginary: here is the iPhone, welcome!

It is a very emotional advertising spot, clearly aimed at an audience that is waiting to see the trace of emotion to be associated with the new Apple product, but also more graceful and lighter than other spots of the past. The strength and emotional impact of Think Different (the great geniuses who "think different", in the Italian version told even by the Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo ') or 1984 (the big brother who is defeated by the hammer thrower, a metaphor for breaking of the schemes and our desire to escape from a gray world of unifornizzazione with pre-established values ??and thought) are dampened because here there is no utopian revolution of the world through the new paradigm of the computer for more "different", instead it is politely proposed a personal object, a companion in our lives who will help us and assist us in everyday life, in our conversations, in our moments of freedom but also at work, in fun and in daily life.

The iPhone, then, according to this advertisement, will be an object that will become more intimate and personal than an accessory of our clothing: comparable to a tattoo, to the faith for those who are married and wearing it, to glasses for those who use them. Something that defines and accompanies us but also that helps us and allows us to do something more, with humility and day by day. A road companion, which is no small feat, if you think about it. After all, by borrowing the concept precisely from his religious faith, Steve Jobs himself always says that the prize in the journey, not in the goal. And the iPhone will be this: a travel companion for a piece of the road in our life.

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