Apple “Misunderstood” Holiday 2013 ad divides opinion

Dec 17, 2013
Apple “Misunderstood” Holiday 2013 ad divides opinion

Apple has released its new 2013 holiday advert, "Misunderstood", demonstrating what an iPhone, AirPlay, and a little video editing can do for the festive season. The commercial, which shows a teenager secretly recording his family as they gather for the holidays and then cutting the clips together into a video he subsequently plays via AirPlay, is one of the quieter ads Apple has put together in terms of promoting features.

Whereas previous advertisements have focused on a specific feature, whether that be putting Siri in conversation with various celebrities, or showing how iBooks can turn an iPad into a virtual library, "Misunderstood" doesn't actually mention a single product bar the "AirPlay requires WiFi" message at the end. Instead, figuring out which products are being used is left up to the viewer.

That's actually a reasonably clever conceit, given what's being demonstrated. For instance, handset is obviously an iPhone 5s, since it's shown to have recorded slow-motion video at one point, and that's a feature limited to the latest model.

Meanwhile, the editing itself is likely done in iMovie for iOS, which Apple released as a free download for anybody buying a new iOS 7 device this year. As we found in our review of the iPhone 5s, it's a surprisingly capable media editing package, particularly when running on the new CPU/GPU combo of the Apple A7.

As for the AirPlay support, that implies an Apple TV hooked up to the family's big-screen set, though analyst Gene Munster might prefer to think that it's Apple's much-rumored Siri-equipped television.

On the flip side, the commercial has come in for some criticism for showing how smartphone-focused people can be, and how that can act as a barrier between us. Others have praised it for its holiday feel-good cheer. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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