Hi, I'm an iPad Pro! — 'We hear you' brings classic feel to new ads

"We Hear You", Apple's new iPad Pro campaign, reminded me immediately of "Get a Mac", the classic series of ads that had John Hodgman as PC and Justin Long as Mac show how Windows pain points could be easily, often delightfully fixed simply by switching to a Mac.

Apple has had its biggest success with iPad when it's targeted people who were alienated and frustrated by traditional Windows PCs. Smart people. Productive people. Creative people. People who, simply by virtue of nature or nurture, found pointers and file systems indirect and abstract.

"We Believe", the iPad 2 ad where Apple affirmed for them that technology alone wasn't enough, that it had to get out of their way for magic to really happen, was like a breath of fresh, directly manipulable, infinitely relatable air.

"Your Verse", the iPad Air campaign, touched on a similar concept but was too extreme. Going to the tops of mountains and depths of oceans was cool, but it was, in its own way, as far beyond a mainstream customer as registries and command lines.

For a while now many of us who love iPad deeply and who benefit from things only iPad can do have been hoping Apple would start telling that story again.

My colleague, Serenity Caldwell, got so enthused she started a new column called iPad Pros to help tell exactly those types of stories.

With "We Hear You", Apple isn't doing exactly that. Instead of telling stories, they're addressing pain points. And I think, in the commercial format, that's a better tactic.

"Get a Mac" was successful because, despite PC being adorable, he represented every side- and roll-eye all of us have ever shot at a Windows PC. And Mac, despite being a little too cool, showed us computing didn't have to be so onerous and annoying.

That's the vibe "We Hear You" hits. Instead of PC, we get Twitter cards, but we get the same type of problem/solution formula.

If Apple is smart and hits exactly the right pain points and shows exactly how iPad Pro can address them and make our computing lives less miserable, it could be a huge win.

"We Hear You" targets switchers rather than addressing upgraders or the lengthy iPad upgrade cycle. That's strategically sound, since the latter is a far bigger challenge.

This is a really good start, and that's what iPad marketing has most desperately needed for a while now.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I feel like they should have done the iPad pro VS Surface version. Sorta like Mac VS. PC.
  • no need to draw attention to a competitor
  • The Mac vs. PC series was about Mac vs. PC, not iMac vs any particular PC. Also picking a particular model is cheap and it's what failed companies like Microsoft do.
  • Well...
    (1) Surface didn't exist when they were doing Mac vs. PC (Microsoft wasn't producing any laptop/desktop/tablet hardware.
    (2) I agree that it would be a cheap move, though I think ANY "vs" ad is cheap (no matter who does it)
    (3) Microsoft is pretty far from a "failed company"
  • " (3) Microsoft is pretty far from a "failed company" " Most people pirate Microsoft's software products, either because of the ridiculous price or subscription pricing. This is why the Windows 10 upgrade was free, Microsoft gave up. The Surface isn't doing great, most people are still buying iPads for tablets. The main people buying Surfaces are artists, and now with the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil a lot of them are now buying this instead. Windows Phone is dead, I don't really need to say anymore than that. Microsoft might not be a failed company, but they're certainly not doing great and are heading in that direction
  • (1) So what? Get an encyclopaedia and search for "principle". (2) Your opinion, now Micrsoft's FUD campaigns against Apple and USB-C aren't cheap, are deplorable. (3) Considering they sell less Surfaces than Apple's FY 1997 (when they were really domed, and before the iMac) and that's without the inflation, with inflation, they sell less than half. Sorry, but Microsoft is now "just one more company".
  • The 'I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC' ads were pretty specifically aimed at Windows Vista, which was indeed a laughably terrible OS, and Apple stopped making them when Microsoft upped its game somewhat. Although my opinion is that Windows 10 is still awful, it just isn't funny anymore.
  • How do I take an MP3 and add it to iTunes on the iPad. This is really the only sore spot I have.
  • Waltr is the easiest way. Cost $40 bucks though https://softorino.com/w2
  • He wants to do that in the iPad, there's no need for that horrible and expensive software
  • Yeah. Say if I find a free MP3 file on the internet on my iPad. It should be easy to save it straight to iTunes. But it's impossible.
  • They made it that way on purpose. Everyone hates it, but they haven't changed it in 10 years, mostly bc they don't want to support / encourage downloading music from the non-Apple controlled internet. Sent from the iMore App
  • Apple Music is what they want you to use. Spotify is free on iPad. Sent from the iMore App
  • Also I wish I could attach external storage. I have a ton of files inside procreate. I wish I could more easily export them or back them up. You have to do one at a time.
  • Technically speaking it could be done but someone would have to create an app to allow it. It would require a dongle, lightning to USB or whatever and an app to read the files. I'm amazed no one has created it yet, either that or Apple doesn't allow it even though they allow the apps for flash drives to read...
  • I could live with a dongle, etc. I have had a 12.9" pro for over a year and use it 99% of the time rather than 15" Macbook Pro. Even have a wifi drive but since I have several drives (TB & USB) I need to access them. The wifi drive is just a bridge for travel. I use a BT keyboard and the Pencil and have found over the years (have had an Ipad since second week of Ipad 1) I would rather use the Ipad and have put together apps that work--and with split screen, etc--its my preferred computer. I am sure there are others like me. BTW, I completely switched to Apple from many years with custom built PCs after experience with IPads.
  • Procreate supports iCloud Drive which you can access on both a Mac and Windows and backup through there.
  • Yeah. If I want to spend days exporting them. One at a time. I should be able to export them all at once.
  • They are already backed up to iCloud
  • I have had iCloud backups fail to restore. Since the files are stored on the iPad backup itself. If the backup fails to restore You can't restore just a single apps files. You're just out of luck. It shouldn't be that hard to work with multiple drawings. I love my iPad, it's my only computer. But there's just some things that are too difficult or that I can't do without a computer. I have so many drawings in procreate that my iPad backup is now several gigabytes. And it takes forever to backup.
  • Never happens.
  • Yeah, to bad there's not things like the PNY DUO-LINK, the Sandisk iXpand, the Leaf iAccess, the G-Technology G-drive...
    Oh wait , there is.
  • Finally! Good first round of iPad Pro ads. They definitely can take this even further with split screen, PIP video, etc. Finally!!
  • I'm not an "iPad can replace my laptop" guy, but I like these ads. Well done. They can continue to build on these. Sent from the iMore App
  • I have both the iPad Pro and the new MacBook Pro both have good points. If I had to only have one of these it would be the MacBook but I would feel lost without my iPad Pro out and about on construction sites.
  • These are the first iPad commercials in a while that I've actually enjoyed. It's good that these are short and to the point.
  • These are really good ads! Kudos to Apple and its ad agency!
  • Ugh - these commercials are so lame - even worse than the Mac vs. PC ads. Apple used to produce classy ads, but these are terrible.
  • These ads are great, simple and to the point. That's what the general consumer wants.
  • It could replace, but its lacking few main things. Its so close though.
    Hardware: add in USB support to transfer files. Keyboard accessory to have trackpad and function keys.
    Software: file system access, even a simplified one. OS layout to take advantage of the big screen. Mouse and trackpad support.
  • Mouse and trackpad support won't happen because iOS isn't designed for mouse support, the same way macOS doesn't have touchscreen support because the OS isn't designed for a touchscreen. The other things could definitely be added though.
  • LTE. Such a smart selling point for iPad. Being connected no matter where you are is the main reason an iPad is better than a laptop, such a quality of life improvement. Who wants to travel with a laptop and hunt for wifi or tether to a phone? Not me. iPad truly becomes something special when you know it's always connected. Glad to see it highlighted in these delightful ads.
  • These ads reek of desperation to slow 4 years of declining iPad sales. Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • LOL ok Mr. "Posted from my Nexus 6P". iPad sales are great, I don't know what planet you're on.
  • iPad sales have been on decline for the past 4 years straight. If you read non-Apple centric tech blogs you would know this. Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • I do read non-Apple centric tech blogs actually, so I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking about.
  • You don't because iPad sales have declined steeply for at least three years.
  • Ok the sales are declining, but either way, the iPad still sells better than any other tablet on the market. Plus a lot of people are keeping their old iPads because they're powerful enough now to not always need upgrading. Many people own laptops for over 4 years, it's more important to look at how many people are currently using iPads, rather than sales
  • Very true. I have an ipad 2 knocking about that still works for the basics (some apps won't work probably as they need iOS 10 and it's stuck at 9) so long as it's plugged in (the battery gives up after twenty minutes.
  • I don't care if you are an Apple fan or not, these are really good ads. Some of the comments on here crack me up.
  • Only the punchlines are a bit lame. Like the "Word? Word!" one. But the rest fall flat.
  • Nope, Nope, Nope... not funny... just sad. I'm sure it looked good on paper. iPad Pro is good but it needs desktop level apps to be useful. I wanted to buy an iPad pro but there is no 'good' software..... I could only get a naff watered down version of Photoshop which is crap. I want my iPad pro to have a full OSX mode and run full OSX apps and a normal iPad mode... then i would buy one! Sorry @timcook I'm seriously considering a Surface 4 because it has....real software and beefy apps that do what i need. iPad pro just does not have this - Pro means Pro features and a competitor for the macbook.
  • The I'm a Mac ads left a nasty taste in my mouth about Apple and only got on Apple train when I bought an iPod touch.
  • Don't worry I'm now a full Apple fan.
  • The ending of the Virus one is funny. However, Apple needs to change the friggin resume feature. Couldn't begin to count the number of people I had call in to Apple when I worked there, saying "Well, the popup came back after I closed Safari, so I thought it was real!" (happened on Mac too). And I will stand behind, an iPad is not a laptop replacement. No file browser, and no ability to do things the devs didn't intend means not a laptop replacement.
  • These ads are lame and confusing.
  • Must be some good ads: The Apple haters are out in full-force and giving the YouTube videos as many thumbs down as possible, especially the PC ad. They can't stand it! 😂😂😂