Apple's new holiday commercial is 'Misunderstood'

Apple has released a new holiday commercial called "Misunderstood" which seems to show a disenfranchised and disconnected young man lost in the periphery, and to his iPhone, as his family celebrates the holidays without him. In heartwarming fashion, however, it turns out there might just be more to this young man than meets the iMovie.

It's strong stuff, and the kind of "technology alone is not enough" advertising that Apple can do better than anybody. It also tells a story, and places Apple products in the center of people's lives, something they've struggled with at times over the last couple of years.

How it translates to television - whether Apple buys 90 second slots, or has one or more 30 seconds distillations - will be interesting to see, but overall it's great to see them nailing their focus this hard again.

Update: Apple has also posted the video from the commercial, dubbed "A Harris family holiday", and filmed entirely on an iPhone 5s.

Source: Apple

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple's new holiday commercial is 'Misunderstood'


I saw this on NBC tonight. It was the full ad. It's such a great ad. But weird that the song chosen was Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and at least once in the ad someone says "Merry Christmas" (and we see a Christmas tree) but yet at the end of the ad it says "Happy Holidays", and the youtube video is called A Harris Family Holiday. Seems like some silly politically correctness that isn't necessary. It's quite obvious the family in the ad is celebrating Christmas, so why the "happy holidays" nonsense?

As a Christian pastor who loves and celebrates Christmas, I think too much is inferred from the phrase "Happy Holidays". As a Christian, I celebrate three holidays during this time of year: Christmas, New Year, and Epiphany. So I often say Happy Holidays instead of saying Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a wonderful Epiphany, as that seems way too long and it has nothing to do with political correctness. Yes, it's true that Happy Holidays is used by people who don't celebrate Christmas, but it's also used by many people that do.

The thing that's most interesting to me is that this commercial is so un-Apple. It's not super clean or highly polished. Is average. It's not a pro producer. It's really the guy next door. It's not "them", those perfectly designed characters on TV - you know, the girl in the hospital 1 week after a coma inducing plane crash & her makeup is impeccable...
It's "us".

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Fantastic ads. Really brings home how amazing these devices are sitting our pockets to produce such real life events in super high quality. Actually inspired me to make a nice video package with my family this year :)

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this commercial was filmed in St. Albert, Alberta/Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Local news in Edmonton confirmed it this morning

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I just saw this ad on Australian Television.

It was definitely shortened, I'm not sure if it was 30, 45 or even 60 seconds in length, however it was definitely not the full length ad.

It was the same as the full length, for the most part, with just a few of the scenes cut out, and the end video shown by the boy also shorter.