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Apple iPad 2 TV Commercial: ‘If You Asked’



Apple’s latest iPad 2 television commercial points to how different people love different aspects of the device. In the commercial, Apple lists how people with different backgrounds might view the device.

If you ask a parent, they might call it intuitive.
If you ask a musician, they might call it inspiring.
To a doctor, it’s groundbreaking.
To a CEO it’s powerful.
To a teacher, it’s the futre
If you ask a child, she might call it magic.
And if you asked us, we’d say it’s just getting started.

Again, Apple’s sticking to simplicity in marketing. Rather than pushing specs and technology in our faces, it pushes usage scenarios.

Apple’s no stranger to hyperbole, especially during keynotes. When I first watched this ad during the Voices show on NBC last night, I chuckled a bit.  But the more I thought about the ad, the more I could relate to the ad. There are people in my own life that can fill in each of the roles in the iPad 2 commercial. My cousin, a pediatrician, was blown away when I showed him the NOVA 3D medical apps on my iPad 2 during a recent visit. A relative with a toddler swears by the iPad 2 and insists that it’s the only ‘toy’ that will keep her son occupied for 20 minutes. Executives, including SAP’s CIO, are relying on the iPad to interact with complex systems, including ERP and CRM applications.  My little nephew sure thinks the iPad 2 is magical after he produced a multi-track song in Garage Band.

Specs simply don’t matter to consumers, experiences do. You can read more about my thoughts on this matter here. Unfortunately, iPad 2 competitors insist on pushing specs to the front when marketing to the masses. Tablets are essentially slabs of glass. It’s what individuals do, or can imagine doing that matters.

What do you think of Apple’s latest iPad ad? Is it too simple or is Apple on the right track with its latest iPad commercial?



  1. Anonymous

    05/04/2011 at 6:56 pm

    The iPad commercials are so pretentious, I skip or fast-forward when they come up. I’m not their audience though. Their audience are the people that think Garage Band is magical from the strings following the person’s finger in the last commercial.

    You said in the article. It’s the apps. People are willing to bust their humps coding and putting up with Apple to get their apps out there. They just don’t put that level of sweat and care into other systems and it shows. Our bank even has an iPhone app. No one could even explain why they wouldn’t just make their mobile site not suck instead of making an app (that still sucks).

    Apple has made the tablet pc into a console. People are able to wring every last bit of power out of a known hardware configuration. Just like console vs PC. That’s why so many of these good, cool apps aren’t available for Android. The developer has to get 1 iPad or emulator, vs. how many different chipsets for Android that are almost all ARM based but with just enough differences so that you aren’t sure your program will still work.

  2. Anonymous

    05/04/2011 at 8:25 pm

    If you ask an artist or somebody who needs to take notes they might say it needs a stylus.

    For that matter – a whole series of counter-ads could be done where people ask things like “how do I hook it to a tv” or “how do I hook it to a thumb drive” or “how do I get it to read the SD card from my camera” … and the answer is always some other $39 dongle you need to buy.

    • Alexis Kent

      05/05/2011 at 6:41 am

      As an artist I disagree completely. many have learned to work with it and make amazing work.

      • Anonymous

        05/05/2011 at 3:14 pm

        Well – humans can adapt to all kinds of things.
        And certainly the ipad2 has a lot to recommend it.
        It also has a lot of shortcomings though.

        Are you saying that if it had a stylus you would not make use of it?

        It’s perfectly possible of course. Even in the real world, where choices are nearly endless, you could easily find artists who would eschew pens,pencils – even brushes – in favor of fingers or hands or… well… other things. To each his own. I want a stylus.

  3. Alexis Kent

    05/05/2011 at 6:40 am

    The ads are right on track if you ask me. I own only one apple product and it is an ipad 2. I know other tablets have more power but they lack the simplicity of the ipad in almost every way. As and artist I dont want the technologuy to get it the way< I just want to turn it on and draw to my hearts desire and I can…for those that say ti needs a stylus.. it has may choices if you cant draw with thoser guess what you cant really draw. As many artist have made amazing pieces of art with it. So take the time to learn hwo to use it as you would with any other tool.
    Sure other cameras may be bad ass and have 8mps…i dotn care as long as it allows me to talk n vid chat without a problem. My ipad2 has done this since day one. It is a life changing device, i manage my website, personal finiances, books, school work, photos, n phone calls, video calls, and is now my go to sketchbook, and music making and playign device, and even animation and movie editor. Sure my laptop can do this, but it also has less battery life is heavier and doesnt beg me to interact with it. As the ipad 2 design is meant to be interacted with to be held and touched, as it would be nothing but glass without my gestures to guide it…it is revoluntionary as the first time it really creates connection between the user and the device to make it all disappear and make it about the experience more than any other gadget on the market. Call me an apple fan boy if you want, I am not, as I stated i own only this device and my home cpu is custom built desktop that runs win7, which I love as well. But also serves a different purpose than my Ipad.
    So you asked and artist and I say yes it is that awesome.

  4. Ben

    05/05/2011 at 4:02 pm

    The ad simply makes statements that are far to simple and grandiose to be taken seriously, and it’s just too easy to mock. Here’s how I would respond to that ad:

    If you ask a parent, they might call it an outrageously expensive toy
    If you ask a musician, they might call it an over sized mp3 player
    To a doctor, it’s unnecessary
    To a CEO it’s not nearly as useful as a laptop
    To a teacher, it’s a huge distraction
    If you ask a child, she might call it cool until something new comes out

  5. Anonymous

    05/05/2011 at 7:51 pm

    The advertisement is pretty cool, but it’s still next to impossible to find an iPad 2 without waiting at least a week or two. only sporadically shows retailers with inventory and it’s nearly two months after the initial release. I wonder how long this will go on and if the commercial actual increases demand.

  6. Guest481

    05/13/2011 at 2:42 am

    If you’re a big ad company exec and you refer to a singular parent, and then use the plural “they”, YOU might look like an idiot. 

    • Siuss

      06/06/2011 at 5:06 am

      It makes sense. “They” can be used as a singular and gender-neutral pronoun.

    • Siuss

      06/06/2011 at 5:06 am

      It makes sense. “They” can be used as a singular and gender-neutral pronoun.

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