Thoughts on Apple’s TV ad “Your Verse”

I’m not going to ramble on about Apple’s newest TV ad, but I would like to address some negative comments I’ve been seeing.

Some people are wondering why Apple didn’t focus more on showing people do simple things, like reading a book, or perhaps entertaining children. I think these people are missing the point of the ad.

To me “Your Verse” shows you can do anything. If you can stand on top of a giant windmill, record a movie, improve your hockey game and compose music, surely you can read a book.

“Your Verse” isn’t just about everyday people, it’s about everyday people doing incredible things with the exact same device we use to surf the Web, FaceTime with family and friends, and send emails.

With the iPad, anything is possible.



  • Techpm

    Of course.. the ad is about how iPad lets us do things that would need a whole rig of clumsy equipment in the past.

    How it can help improve ourselves, be better at what we do and explore new possibilities.

    That said, if you don’t get it perhaps there’s little hope.

  • Peter D

    …hopefully putting the “iPad is for consumption only” trope to rest once and for all.

    • Lukas

      Unless regular people actually start using their iPads for stuff other than browsing the web, playing games, and watching movies, the trope won’t go away. Because while it might be a trope, it’s also true.

      In fact, every time somebody points to a musician who uses iPads to make music, or to a painter who makes beautiful drawings on an iPad, this is underlined, because it’s painfully obvious that these people are the exception, rather than the rule.

      • Larry Davis

        Don’t most people use PCs in pretty much the same fashion though? Not a lot of people are creating code or editing movies or designing graphics. They are watching cat videos on YouTube, updating their FaceBook and Pinterest, and sending emails. In other words, the same stuff you can do on an iPad quite easily.

        Makers are almost always the exception with PCs and mobile devices.

        • Moeskido


        • Kip Beatty

          Amen. People use the iPad for 99% of what they use their PCs for these days. And the “consumption only” stuff is crap. I stopped bringing my MacBook Pro home with me from work as I can now do the vast majority of my out of office work on the iPad. Respond to emails, edit/compose Pages documents, review web pages, update company sites, etc. I am not a super creative exception either. That’s basic work, and many use their iPads daily for just such tasks.

        • Lukas

          I don’t know a lot of people who don’t at least write letters on their computers, do basic image editing, write job applications, and so on. I don’t think a lot of people use their iPads for these kinds of tasks, though.

          Almost everybody uses his or her PC for basic non-consumption tasks. In my experience, the same isn’t true for iPads.

          Even simple tasks — think doing a CV with a professionally done photograph — is a problem on an iPad. Photographers typically give you a CD with the pictures. How do you get that onto your iPad? Or think about writing a cover letter while looking up stuff about the potential employer on the Internet. On a PC, you can have to side-by-side windows. On an iPad, switching constantly is cumbersome. Finally, you want to print your job application, or export it to a PDF and attach it to an email. Both tasks are easily done on a PC, yet are difficult or even impossible on an iPad.

          • Larry Davis

            My parents use their iPad for writing letters (we call them emails nowadays). They do basic image editing, though really an average person doesn’t actually do that.

            You certainly could do a job application. I don’t know if many people do, but there is no technical limitation to it. Adding a photo is quite simple in Pages. Since 2009 I haven’t received a CD of a photo from a professional photographer. Just go to one that can do it electronically.

            It seems your only real problem is creating a CV, which I don’t think would be very challenging. It would be very simple to do in Pages, including exporting to PDF or printing an application (people do that still?).

          • Lukas

            I’m not saying that you can’t write a job application on an iPad. I’m saying that most people don’t, and that this kind of task is easier done on a PC.

            I offered the CV as an example for a typical task that almost everybody has to do, and that is problematic on an iPad, not as “my only real problem”. I could also talk about my mom, who’s a teacher, and does handouts and school event flyers on her Mac. Or about my dad, who’s a reporter, and writes newspaper articles (including image management and editing) on his Mac. Both tasks involve a lot of stuff that would be problematic on an iPad.

            The fact that you don’t know that photographers typically give you CDs, and that people still print stuff, indicates that you might be a bit out of touch with what the average person does. I guess most people who read websites like this one are. But I think it’s important to remember that you (and your kin) are not representative of the average iPad owner.

          • James Hughes

            I was kind of with you until this: “The fact that you don’t know that photographers typically give you CDs, and that people still print stuff, indicates that you might be a bit out of touch with what the average person does” Photographers certainly do not give you CD’s. Maybe the photographers you work with. But that is not common these days, not at all. FTP, or some other method such as Dropbox, but CD? No… We even mention it when someone does and often comments like “remember the SyQuest disks?” Come up. So no, it’s not common anymore. Do I use my iMac for most things? Yes. Will I in ten years? I don’t know. But as I said, I was kind of following you until you mentioned CD’s as still being common. Now I am not so sure you are really rooted in reality.

          • Larry Davis

            Agreed. My PC (Macbook Air) doesn’t have a CD drive either.

          • Our photographer has a website where you pick the photos you want from the shoot, ask for the prints and can download the files you want to use digitally. Or you can bring your own jump drive. CDs are a relic.

          • Larry Davis

            So basically trucks. People using them for specific work tasks like your mom and dad.

            Jim, the proprietor of this very site, is a reporter and can and has done updates from the iPad. He can run the whole thing from an iPad if he chooses.

            Handouts for school may be a different story. PCs aren’t going away, they are just increasingly irrelevant and only need to be used in very specific scenarios.

            “But I think it’s important to remember that you (and your kin) are not representative of the average iPad owner.”

            Then why did you bring your family and their use cases into it?

          • exactly — as Jobs said, cars and trucks. most people dont need trucks.

          • Jerry Ballard

            Nonsense. In most cases, I find the interface on the iPad superior to that of a Mac or PC for things like photo editing and music. Are there exceptions? Sure. If I do need to do extensive typing, I just grab the bluetooth keyboard. Why is it that people who can’t make something work for themselves insist on claiming it doesn’t work for anyone else either?

          • kadybat

            For the first instance, I would look for a photographer that offered an SD card instead of a CD. It is 2014, and many computers don’t even have CD slots anymore. Why should I hire a photographer who uses an outdated medium that’s incompatible with my current equipment?

            For the second instance, I have an AirPrint enabled printer allowing me to print wirelessly from my iPad and iPhone, and Pages has an “export to PDF” button built into its “share as email” prompt.

            The iPad has grown into itself and is now a very flexible machine provided you’re using the right apps and accessories.

          • 1) today, photographers more often put your images online, or on a thumb drive. guess what? ipads can go online, and import photos via an adapter.

            2) having had a 4:3 non-letterbox monitor for most of my career, i cant think that i ever put an employer’s website next to MS Word. id read the site, then get writing.

            3) it’s incredibly easy to export a Pages document to a PDF and email…on from an ipad. you dont really own one, do you?

            4) a professional photo on your resume? really?

        • Boom. If I had a nickel for every dork that told me “Macs are toys” that then went on to extol the virtues of gaming on the PC, I could fill the end of a tube sock and beat a beaver to death. In 30+ years of Apple product use, I have yet to see the end of arguments predicated on a specific highly specialised use case generalised to the whole of the population. An obvious hangover from the fact that the first regular computer users had or required specialised knowledge and used computers for arcane tasks. The idea that a “normal” would have a use for or ever be required to use a computer on a daily basis utterly escaped them, and it’s seemingly in their DNA now to disparage efforts to improve the PC experience for general consumers. When computers did become commonplace, the mundane tasks of email, word processing and spreadsheets were elevated to high art that somehow still couldn’t be accomplished on a Mac because figuring out how to get a Mac on a network was just far too difficult task for seasoned and experienced technicians that claimed to switch between command lines and GUIs on a whim. /s

          I won’t even get into the Uber dorks that thought DOS was an example of a powerful command line system.

      • Space Gorilla

        Creators are always smaller in number than the consumers. This is obvious. I hope you had some other point to make?

        • Lukas

          I doubt there are many PC users who don’t use their PCs for basic non-consumption tasks. The same is not true for iPad users.

          • Space Gorilla

            The iPad actually makes it easier to accomplish many “basic non-consumption tasks”. The creation vs consumption issue is simply a reflection of the users. The tool (iPad) isn’t the problem. You’re blaming the hammer because you don’t know how to build a table. It ain’t the tool’s fault, it’s your fault.

          • oh, you doubt it? is that all?

      • That’s exactly what most people use a PC for, too: Content consumption, with just the occasional creation.

        • Lukas

          But most iPad users don’t use their iPads for “occasional creation”. Most iPad users I know haven’t even set up their email accounts on their iPads.

          • James Hughes

            I don’t know what people you know. But even less knowledgeable people I know use email in their iPads and iPhones. If they don’t know how they seek someone out who can. It almost seems like you are going out of your way to disparage the iPad in general. Why?

          • That’s odd. I’ve never met an iPad user who doesn’t use their iPad creatively occasionally. Even my 6 y.o. son, who does almost entirely game playing, has created things.

      • Sigivald

        Larry Davis has the real point of it.

        It’s true that most people do use an iPad for content consumption – and it’s also true that;’s what they use computers that would have been astounding supercomputers ten years ago for, too.

        “The iPad is for consumption only” is a different claim than “the iPad is mostly used for consumption and is really good at it”.

        The former is a false claim about its capacities; the latter is a true claim about what people actually like to do with devices.

        (Much like, say, a Wrangler being called “for driving to Starbucks only”.

        That almost nobody that buys one actually takes it offroad, let alone seriously so, doesn’t change the capabilities of the machine.)

        • Lukas

          Saying that people claim that iPads are for consumption only is a straw man. I’ve never seen anyone claim that it is impossible to produce stuff on iPads, and if they have, it’s plainly a dumb claim that doesn’t really need to be discussed.

          This isn’t about capabilities. It’s about suitability. It’s possible to create beautiful paintings on an iPad, but a Mac with Photoshop and a Cintiq is a much more suitable device. Hence, people who use iPads for this task are pretty much a novelty, which is why people write articles about them.

          • Jerry Ballard

            Trying to figure out why you’re so religiously opposed to the idea that iPads can handle 99.9% of what most people need, and that the percentage of ‘creaton’ tasks (self-important much?) is skyrocketing. That seems to threaten some people, but I can’t figure out why.

          • Space Gorilla

            It really is what you’re used to. You’re not used to the iPad, that’s all. My daughter illustrates on her iPad using Brushes and SketchBook Pro. Watch her for half an hour and you wouldn’t say something like “a Mac with Photoshop and a Cintiq is a much more suitable device”.

            Maybe for you that’s a more suitable method, one that you are used to and comfortable with, but there’s a whole generation growing up with touch, and they’re quite comfortable with their iPads.

          • so writing email (business & personal) is a novelty? sharing photos, another novelty?

      • Lukas’ logic is an utter fail. by his fuzzy logic computer monitors are for “consumption only”, because most people just read some articles and turn it off, and only a few people produce goods or services using their monitor (and PC) as a tool.

        utter nonsense.

      • ive created numerous VIDEOS on my ipad and iphone. actual video editing! and the results were amazing, moving my family to tears.

        thats the definition of creation.

    • It can’t. Tropes exist because we are all lazy to some extent, and either do not care or do not have time to examine our own assumptions or biases. It’s much easier to buy into a preconceived notion than ensure all our conclusions and attitudes are based on research.

  • Stu Mark

    Apple marketing isn’t about selling products. They don’t have to, the products sell themselves. Instead, it’s about selling Apple itself. It’s about selling the lifestyle of an Apple user. It’s about selling the feeling of the thing, not the thing itself. And to that end, the marketing folks at Apple are still doing a bang-up job.

  • Lukas

    I think Apple’s ads are in danger of starting to look like parodies of themselves. There’s only so much pathos you can put into an ad for a multinational corporation until it switches from awesome to completely ridiculous. I’m not quite sure on which side of this line “Your Verse” falls, and American tolerance for this kind of stuff might be higher than most other peoples’, but for me at least, this comes very close to going over the line.

    • Jerry Ballard

      No, self parody is the Windows 8 ad mocking Jony Ive’s voiceovers. That from a company who’s product is a miserable failure. Apple’s ads are damned classy.

  • colorspace444

    Certainly nice to see The Best Damn Band In The Land (TBDBITL) featured in this spot.

  • CJ

    Wha? I saw that yesterday and thought it was one of the best ads I’d ever seen in my life. And I did that for a living. Inspiring and gorgeous. Hard to believe somebody could watch that and come away with some of these comments. PS they should have added a shot of pilots boarding a commercial flight with an iPad instead of the 60lb pack of Jeppesen charts…

    • Jerry Ballard

      Always think about the ulterior motives of trolls. Its about their agenda, not Apple’s.

  • This is all quite true, and very well said. I regret, however, that Apple never really explains how or why, or with which tools these people perform the amazing, wonderful, and grandiose tasks they are seen to perform. The accompanying « stories » website is a step in the right direction, but I feel the ad itself ought to provide more cues and better context to be fully effective. Unless an ad contains its own proof of authenticity, there shall always remain a nagging feeling that what we see is essentially staged or over-stated…

    • Space Gorilla

      Yeah, but then people pick up an iPad and do these things. The “proof of authenticity” is in the product itself. This has been true of Apple products for a long, long time.

    • Moeskido

      The ad is a teaser for people who might see something intriguing that they might be interested in trying. Documentation is available elsewhere.

  • choc

    We are all “The Crazy Ones” now. You can contribute a verse.

  • Moeskido

    Anyone criticizing this ad for what it supposedly lacks probably has an attention span measured in negative numbers. Apple’s already addressed those other points.

  • Ralph Kruse

    I, for one, welcome our new iPad overlords

  • Sigivald

    Yeah, I think everyone’s figured out that kids can play games, or you can read a book, using an iPad.

    You can do that on a Kindle Fire, for that matter – it’s not awesome, it’s the new normal.

  • Jerry Ballard

    Its clearly aimed at the ‘its just a consumption device’ meme.