Over the past 32 years, Apple has strategically developed commercials that simultaneously focus on their products and inspire creativity, inclusion, and diversity amongst their viewers. In the recent commercials, “The Human Family” and “Your Verse Anthem,” Apple utilizes images and videos shot on the iPhone and iPad to establish ideals of inclusion, demonstrate the importance of accepting our unique differences, and support equality. The optimal timing and narration by well-known American figures, Maya Angelou and Robin Williams, helps to promote ideologies of civic acceptance and diversity through their experiences and credible perspectives. This focus on diversity’s positive attributions to our community is reflected in the Vice President at Apple, Denise Smith’s, description that diversity is “richly representative of all people, all backgrounds, and all perspectives. It is the entire human experience” (“Inclusion & Diversity”). Apple’s commercials apply these ideologies of unity of multiple backgrounds and perspectives to encourage society to have a common understanding of the positive role diversity has in our community. By emphasizing the importance of diversity, we can better understand our duty to establish civic inclusion and equality within society to help embrace the differences that set us apart from others.
These two Apple commercials were released at times during which the kairotic situation helped promote civic inclusion and acceptance to a targeted audience of diverse viewers. This is seen in the timing of the release of “The Human Family” commercial during the Olympics, an event which reflects the importance of civic inclusion and diversity due to the gathering of people of different races, religions, and ethnicities from across the world. Viewers and Olympians are given the chance to be exposed to a diverse group of people, which conveys the importance of valuing the diversity that already exists within our community. In the commercial, images of people from across the world support these Olympic ideals when they are narrated by the words, “I’ve seen the wonders of the world not yet one common man” (“The Humany Family – Shot on iPhone”). Highlighting that not everyone is the same strengthens the argument for equality because our differences define who we are as individuals. Given the global circumstances of the Olympics, the message of civic inclusion in our community is further portrayed in the commercial because viewers are already supporting ideologies of inclusion and diversity by watching and supporting the Olympics. The Olympics encourages diversity and represents a small, but widely diverse, embodiment of the human population to show we are collectively a whole despite the differences we have.
The iPad commercial, “Your Verse Anthem,” was similarly released during a high-volume viewing time of Sunday Night Football and the Golden Globes. These two contrasting events represent a varied group of viewers which aims to encourage a larger, diverse audience to consider their “verse” (“Your Verse Anthem – iPad Air”) in our society and what they can contribute to make our human population more unique. The commercial demonstrates the unity of humans by connecting how people with various interests are still able to contribute their part to society, which is demonstrated when Robin Williams says, “That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse” (“Your Verse Anthem – iPad Air”). The word “play” (“Your Verse Anthem – iPad Air”) intends to symbolize a variety of activities that people partake in. Whether it be a play in a game or a theatrical play in the liberal arts sense, these commercials reflect this diverse interpretation by showing videos and images of a wide range of places people have been and the experiences they have been a part of. People watching both the football game and the Golden Globes may have distinct differences in their personality and interests, however this commercial appeals to all ranges of people to show how inclusion in our community encourages diversity. It draws on the fact that it doesn’t matter what your “play” (“Your Verse Anthem – iPad Air”) may be as a viewer, but that we can all contribute our own unique part to the human community. These commercials use the kairotic situation to extend the message of inclusion within our community to a wide variety of individuals in order to demonstrate how we all have these commonplaces within the realm of diversity.
The narration by Maya Angelou and Robin Williams in these commercials utilizes their credibility to express the importance of civic inclusion and acceptance throughout the world. Apple’s selection to have Maya Angelou narrate her poem in “The Human Family” commercial strengthens the message of togetherness and equality within our community through her leadership roles and her perspective of being a Civil Rights activist. Maya Angelou served on two presidential committees, recited her poems at Clinton’s and Bush’s inaugural addresses, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama (“Maya Angelou”). All of these demonstrate her dominant role in our American community through her commitment to activism and service in our government. She also worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X during the Civil Rights Movement (“Maya Angelou”) in hopes of uniting people of all races, ethnicities, and religions to value our similarities and support equality. Maya Angelou experienced civic resistance to equality during a time where people were discriminated against simply because of the color of their skin. Her poem in the commercial promotes the opposite of what she experienced. Rather than civic resistance, her poem Human Family advocates civic acceptance which we are encouraged to support through this commercial. Maya Angelou recently passed away in 2014, and the fact that a poem she wrote over 50 years ago still embodies the ideology of equality in our modern society demonstrates her strength in revealing Ogrodnik 4 our American and civic values not only during her lifetime, but even today as we remember her through this commercial. Apple selected another well-known figure in society, Robin Williams, to narrate the commercial “Your Verse Anthem.” Accompanied by a variety of videos, Williams narrates a crucial speech from the beloved film, Dead Poets Society, in which he plays the main character. His role as an actor, comedian, producer, director, and writer provides him with a breadth of knowledge in the film industry which enables him to bring a unique perspective to the commercial. Robin Williams’ presence and distinctive voice comes from his dominant role in the film industry, which is exemplified through his six Golden Globe awards, five Grammy awards, and two Emmy awards (“Robin Williams Awards”). Apple utilizes his role as the narrator of this commercial to draw on any prior connections the viewers may already have to the theme of diversity if they have seen the movie before or even just recognize Robin Williams’ voice. The recognizability factor of Williams’ voice helps to promote a sense of familiarity and comfort for viewers hearing these ideals from someone they have listened to before. Similar to Angelou, Williams recently passed away making this commercial particularly meaningful given that it served as a tribute to his role in our community. Apple’s selection to have him narrate the commercial reflects the positive impact he was able to have on people throughout his lifetime and today as we remember him for his many accomplishments. Williams unexpectedly took his own life, so as viewers hear his voice preach ideals of acceptance and inclusion of all people, it further extends our duty to accept differences and encourage diversity to make sure everyone feels as if they are equally accepted in our community.
Civic inclusion and diversity focuses on individuals contributing to our community and accepting differences in others, but it also exemplifies the likelihood that people will have different goals. Ranging from technical goals, such as problem solving, to humanity driven goals in topics such as religion, art, music, and language, these commercials encourage diverse creation and innovation within a varied range of subjects. The videos in “Your Verse Anthem,” illustrate this concept by showing people all over the world participating in a variety of activities such as playing hockey, controlling a wind turbine, and participating in a marching band. The commercials utilize the iPhones and iPads to represent a commonplace of technology incorporation in our lives to draw on the fact that despite our differences, people are still able to take advantage of the same opportunities technology has to offer not only for high-tech focused activities, but creative humanity activities as well. The incorporation of the humanities within these commercials demonstrates that although humanities contrasts greatly from fields such as medicine, law, and engineering, our encouragement for diversity amongst people enables the creativity within music, art, and other forms of creative expression to be accepted as a valuable part of our community. Everyone contributes their own, diverse passion and the ideology of inclusion in the commercials show that both the unique technical and creative aspects of our lives are encouraged and supported in society.
Overall, both of these commercials promote ideologies of civic engagement to establish inclusion and human equality in our community. Apple conveys the message of equality for all people by using the kairotic release of the commercials, the credibility of the narrators, and the visual representation of our different goals and achievements. Using these strategies, Apple reminds us of the importance of inclusion and diversity within our vast community of people in hopes of demonstrating the important role diversity has. We are encouraged to embrace our differences and accept others for who they are because as a community everyone contributes a unique part to our shared human story.
“Inclusion & Diversity.” Apple. Web. 8 Oct. 2016. http://www.apple.com/diversity/.
“Maya Angelou.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Oct. 2016. Web.
“Robin Williams Awards.” IMDb. Web. 11 Oct. 2016. www.imdb.com/name/nm0000245/awards.
“The Humany Family – Shot on iPhone.” Advertisement. YouTube. 4 Aug. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztMfBZvZF_Y. “Your Verse Anthem – iPad Air.” Advertisement. YouTube. 12 Jan. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mYCIKTX0ug.