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Apr. 24 2010 - 3:39 am | 14,509 views | 1 recommendation | 11 comments

The Best Apple Advertisement Yet

Apple has had some marketing coups in its day, but this … is genius.

Virginia Campbell, a 99-year-old resident of Mary’s Woods Retirement Community in Lake Oswego, Oregon, recently got an iPad. She says it has changed her life because it enabled her to read and write again. Now, there’s video.

This clip was especially moving to me because my grandmother, Pat Webster, who passed away in recent years, suffered from failing sight in her declining health.

It was her inability to read that hurt her most, being a lifelong news junkie who married an SMU law professor. Of course my family tried to set up some kind of digital solution, buying a desktop PC, special zoom-monitor and software to assist seniors with computer interactions. Sadly, she never could seem to master moving the mouse while the screen was zoomed in on a batch of text, causing untold frustration.

I’m a writer because of my grandmother. This video made me think, if only she’d been given an iPad, we could have been video chatting over coffee and The New York Times on the spur of the moment instead of only seeing each other every few months. It also made me want to buy an iPad for my surviving grandparents who have the same sort of apathy toward their Windows XP machine.

Apple has on its hands one of the greatest pieces of viral advertising ever. I predict this will be remembered in the same vein as their famous 1984 commercial that introduced Macintosh computers, except this time the company apparently has nothing to do with it.

Added bonuses for marketing of this variety: the video’s amateur nature and simple premise make it far less intrusive and intellectually offensive than most advertising, and it’s optional for the viewer. Those are the kind of hooks I can appreciate.

Compared to this Apple sensation, there’s no better ad out today. Bravo!

(H/T: The Oregonian)


One T/S Member Comment Called Out, 11 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    Hey Stephen–

    Theres no camera on the iPad. How would you video chat?

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  3. collapse expand

    Is this as ironic as it appears? The video appears as the familiar missing Flash plugin icon on my iTouch which presumably means Virginia also can’t see her five minutes of fame on the device that she apparently praises and that Apple claims gives the best internet experience.

    Unless I’m missing the link to a non Flash version (presumably to the small screen which means I should upsize to the iPad), I don’t see how it’s such a good ad for Apple.

    • collapse expand

      Didn’t YouTube incorporate HTML5 recently? I agree with you though, Apple needs to get over its beef with Adobe.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Indeed they did… you just didn’t include it. I can Google for the original YouTube video and see it in full, but this still doesn’t represent a good experience for me.

        I also wonder how she’s getting her iPad sync’d. I’m happy that at 100 years old she has found something new that makes her happy, but I’m sorry to say that I think the video and to some extent your article, are a little misleading since they don’t represent the whole process of how to work with the iPad (the wireless network, computer backup, etc…). I get the spirit of the article. I just hope all the independent pensioners don’t go buying these things and expecting to get the internet out of thin air!

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  4. collapse expand

    Your family tired or tried? Even with spellcheck, you should proofread.

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    About Me

    My name is Stephen. I am a News Junkie and an assistant editor at RawStory.com. My work has appeared in publications both printed and online, including The Dallas Business Journal, the cover of Fort Worth Weekly and in the pages of The Dallas Morning News, Austin Monthly, Envy Magazine and others. I also covered the rebirth of the U.S. peace movement first-hand for The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, starting with the city's first public screening of 'Fahrenheit 9/11' all the way through the end of Cindy Sheehan's stay. I've seen my reporting discussed in publications such as Time, Wired, Reason, The Washington Post, D Magazine, The Guardian UK, Media Matters, ThinkProgress, Alternet, Cannabis Culture, 1-UP, Destructoid, Kotaku, GameSpot, G4TV and many others. I am currently open for freelance assignments and actively seeking a literary agent. You can follow me on Twitter @StephenCWebster, or from Facebook.com/StephenCWebster.

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