Why Tim Cook narrated Apple's new environmental video, Better

Apple recently launched a new, environmentally focused video called "Better" and what's more — it was narrated by their CEO, Tim Cook. That, having a high ranking executive voice-over a video, marketing or corporate, isn't common for Apple. Steve Jobs, famously, recorded the voice over for the now-iconic "Think Different" ad but ultimately went with Richard Dreyfuss as narrator. So, why Tim Cook?

My best guess as to why Tim Cook narrated the "Better" video is because it speaks to Apple's core values, and speaking to Apple's core values is both deeply important to Tim Cook, and how he's been positioned atop and within Apple. back in January, I wrote Tim Cook is Apple's moral center and 'we believe' its post-PC battle-cry:

Tim Cook comes out at the beginning and end of Apple events, just as Steve Jobs did in his latter years, and where he inherited "the crossroads of technology and liberal arts" he's steadily, passionately, visibly moved Apple down the road of core values. From matching charitable donations to apologizing about maps to championing equality in employment to stating when and how Apple would put their signature on their products, Cook has brought the discussion of not only what Apple does, but how and why they do it front and center.

Earlier this year at Apple's annual general shareholders meeting, when asked about environmental policies impacting Apple's bottom line, Cook not only replied but got as close to angry as we've ever seen him in public:

"When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind," [Cook] said, "I don't consider the bloody ROI." He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader. [...] He didn't stop there, however, as he looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said, "If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock."

It's obvious these issues mean a great deal to Cook, and Apple's ability to make a difference means a great deal to Cook.

And he's not just championing those issues and those values on stage or with shareholders, but in videos and with everyone.

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.