New Apple Ad Touts the iPad as a Creative Powerhouse, Inspires Artists Everywhere

Say what you will about Apple — and there are many people who have a lot of not-so-nice things to say — but the company knows how to put together an ad. From the funny Mac vs. PC commercials of old to this year’s Christmas advertisement that brought many to tears, Steve Jobs vision of standing at the intersection of liberal arts and technology is often brought to life by these ads.

Apple’s newest commercial gives the iPad the same treatment — showing the gadget being used for everything from photography to filmmaking while a monologue about poetry from the movie Dead Poets Society inspires you into a creative frenzy.

Okay, fine, frenzy might be a strong word, but this ad does double duty as far as we’re concerned. On the one hand, Apple clearly believes that the iPad is a device that photographers and filmmakers can, should and (in fact) do make incredible use of.


Much as the photo community might make fun of people taking photos with their iPads, watching filmmaker Josh Apter put it to use with a professional microphone and lenses attached doesn’t seem quite so laughable.

But even if you’re an Android or Windows OS user, the video isn’t a complete waste. Ignore the iPads and listen to Robin Williams’ character from Dead Poet’s Society inspire the artist in you by quoting the words of Walt Whitman.

Why do we take photographs or create brilliant pieces of cinematography? “What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here — that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

(via TechCrunch)

  • fart person

    If only it came with a responsive stylus. Im sick of having to draw on my samsung note3 when i have an ipad

  • Guest

    Great ad, but I’m still not interested in the product.

  • pgb0517

    “Say what you will about Apple — and there are many people who have a lot of not-so-nice things to say” … And there are many who have lots of nice things to say, and many who are neither fans nor detractors but say some good and some bad. And how is this statement relevant to the article?

  • CTS

    How is this an “article”.

  • edwaste

    Was not inspired. Felt embarrassed to be a photographer from the pretentiousness of this ad.

  • vinterchaos

    iPad on a tripod? Now I’ve seen it all… everytime I’m out in the city and I see people holding up an iPad to take photos I wanna just wack it out of their hands, use your phone ffs.

  • Viewer

    This was beautifully done. Not sure I’m sold to upgrade my iPad just yet, but this was much more entertaining than Flo from progressive or another fast food ad.

  • Scott

    The best camera is the camera you have. If you have just an iPad, use it. Shoot with it. If you’re focusing too much on the gear, you’ve failed as a photographer.

  • Scott

    What about people that used to shoot 4×5 or Large format on tripods? What if you saw someone with a large-format setup that was in fact an iPad under there? Would you ever even know?

    Why are you judging someone based on the camera they’re using? Maybe the iPad has some app that they didn’t buy on their phone. Maybe they don’t have an iPhone, they have some other phone with an inferior camera.

    Why are you so focused on what other people are doing, and instead not just living your life?

    To put it in the words of the internets… Y U MAD BRO?

  • battlepriest

    YAY! Let’s all spend more time looking at glowing rectangles! Being a human in the 21st century will be AWESOMESAUCE. /sarcasm

  • techgeek22

    I have difficulty with people shooting with iPads or other large tablets… especially when there are few spots available to take pictures… these large devices obstruct the view of everyone behind them. Those just watching and those trying to capture a moment. I always try to check behind me before or shortly after I take a shot and may need to take more. perhaps vinterchaos felt the same.

  • edwaste

    I am so tired of that “best camera” bromide. If you want to be a photographer, cowboy up and carry a camera dammit…not a phone. If a camera is too heavy for you, consider some time in a gym.

  • Scott

    Aw, muffin. U mad?

    It’s not which camera you have on you, it’s all in how you use it. Most phones these days outclass point & shoots from 5 years ago. I’m pretty sure people were still photographers back then.

    Cut the elitist camera crap, Mr. Waste.

    P.S. many of those iPads were capturing video, not stills ;-) (further depreciating the value of your rant)


    “If you want to be a photographer, cowboy up and carry a camera dammit…not a phone” Why does it bother you so much that someone shoots with a phone? End result is what matters not the tool…

  • Roy Jones

    What’s up with the people in this thread being so damned snobby about their photo gear? Everyone should just do their damnedest with whatever they have. I own two high-end DSLRs and a ton of accessories but I’m not above grabbing a shot with my iPad if that’s what I have at hand and I’d never sneer at someone else for doing the same, especially if they’ve got an eye and can capture a good image.

  • dudung10

    “these large devices obstruct the view of everyone behind them”

    are you from effing Lilliput??

  • edwaste

    Scott, SEQLAR,
    Consider your words when a mechanic works on your car. Does he have the right tools to fix it, or is the tools he has with him good enough? I guess the end result is all that matters.

  • Constance Terry

    Your comment just made me laugh. I’m still chuckling. Thanks! ;)

  • Dan Dexter

    When I go into an interview, what matters is my portfolio, not my gear. If someone can make great work with a phone and your stuck making decent work with your camera I’ll blow your ass out of the water. It’s by far the end product that matters. These artists aren’t being followed by an entourage of people documenting what they are using, they are using technology so they can travel LIGHT and capture the world. They having come out with diy microscopes for iPhones that allow microscopic video to be taken, BY A PHONE! Now you pony up that price tag for some high end video equipment while I take apart my laser pointer to get my magnification optic and make art. Art IS about the final product. Marcel Duchamp made a huge statement by using found objects and making them art. He took a urinal and turned it upside down and called it art. You can’t unjustify this because the rest of the world agreed with him. The statement is clear, it is about the final product, or what else would we be, gear haulers and not artists?

  • john

    Thank you.

  • edwaste

    If you think you can make art with a phone go ahead, knock yourself out.
    For me, If I am at the mercy of the limitations of my equipment, or if I cannot control every aspect of the equipment i am using, than I am not making the art I want to. I am simply compromising. I will only get a shadow of the image I want to achieve. To be an artist you have to be in control of the entire process. Using a phone or some other gadget, that has distinct limitations or some built in image processing is relinquishing some my control, which I will not accept.

  • Tim

    “Most phones these days outclass point & shoots from 5 years ago. I’m pretty sure people were still photographers back then”

    What, photographers with a point and shoot? I don’t think so. 5 years ago most professional photographers will have been using medium format. Point and shoots are for snapshots and so are iPads. Real photography has thought and concept behind it. Apple can big it up all they want but at the end of the day it will always be an iPad – jack of all trades and master of none.

  • Renato Murakami

    That’s because the ad isn’t talking about the product, but rather “mankind accomplishments” and “marvels of nature”. There’s then a second layer of misdirection by using iPads to capture such visuals (which is not the accomplishment or marvel in itself) or be used as tools to help perfecting such things (which can arguably be replaced by better or equivalent tools, the third misdirection).
    Not to be a troll or anything, I myself own an iPad 2 and made plenty of use of it.
    But that’s masterful advertising right there: when you have nothing really outstanding to say about the product, you project some sort of ideal or sense of wonder that costumers might have, and associate it with your product, even if the link is pretty weak, even if there are far better tools for it, even if it sometimes has nothing to do with what you are watching at all.
    See beer ads with beaches and tons of gorgeous women (at least in Brazil, which is now replaced by “party with friends” and overall happiness due to them being accused of objectifying women), deodorant and anti-perspirants with ugly guys “getting” beautiful women, see freedom and sanitary napkins or tampons and so on.
    This of course isn’t exclusive to Apple… Microsoft did it with “I am a PC” retort campaign too.
    Make no mistake though, I think the video is absolutely gorgeous. And it probably would’ve been even better, without the iPad.

  • Dan Dexter

    oh so many rich people out there that can just buy all the equipment they need…

  • Mr Hogwallop

    No the proper comeback is “does the surgeon have the right tools…” Photographers should always equate themselves with brain surgeons…or fighter pilots…lighten up Francis.

  • James

    All complaints aside, I don’t think anybody can deny that Apple puts out the best tech ads in the business. I don’t use Apple products, but enjoy watching a nice piece of work like this.

  • gm658

    I don’t think it’s fair to give Apple the credit for their ads. There’s a whole agency of Creatives behind them: Copywriters, Art Directors, Designers. Not to mention the film crew that took their vision and created something tangible.

  • matpratta

    Pretty much have to agree with you… Last weekend I have presenced a very nice scene while away from home and regreted having only my phone to shoot with…
    Yeah, like, I took the photo of the moment, but I’m sure it would have looked much better if I had taken it with my DSLR…

  • matpratta

    Yeah, iPads do have cameras… Pretty much every single piece of tech has one today. But are they 4×5 or large format cameras? NO.

    Sure you can put it on a tripod, but I will look really, really weird. And as a bonus: people will surely LOVE if you are in a show and put that piece of tech on the air to take a photo… Or even beter, a video! Since you will block the view from everyone behind you with it’s large screen…

    C’mon, we all know iPad’s are great and really useful for some things, like reading books, watching movies, studying, taking photo of your kids on the park, etc… But why they heck would some true professional spend so much, if with the same amount he/she can buy a real and decent camera?

  • lala

    apple=thieves steve jobs=liar thief

  • captainkimo

    The question I want to know is… was this video shot with the ipad?

  • edwaste

    Some Ad people got a nice trip around the world putting this ad together. I wonder what the budget was like. Of course that expense just trickles down to the consumer.

  • lindsayanng


  • Erik Baran

    You think there’s just one of those over sized tablets “capturing the moment”? Get to the back or off to the side.

    And for those camera snobs so think creating art is all about the gear you have; think again. Nothing worse than some pretentious jerk thinking they’re the only ones who KNOW how to create. Philistine.

  • Erik Baran

    Exactly. It’s what ends up in the frame that counts.

  • Erik Baran

    You’re comparing a photographer to a mechanic? lol Love the irony in you calling something pretentious.

  • Erik Baran

    It doesn’t matter how much you control the process, if you don’t have an eye or your vision sucks, so will your work. You do your work your way and let everybody else do their work their way. That’s the nice part about art; there’s no right or wrong way to create it.


    Terrible analogy but since you went there I can argue that you don’t need much to change a tire. All you need is a wrench. Does it matter if the wrench was made out of titanium by the most experience metal worker in the word and it cost $4000 or if it was made in a Chinese sweatshop and cost $10 if the job was completed and the tire is changed? Will the more expensive one last longer? Does it have a nicer design, maybe but the cheap one still was able to complete the job. Photography in itself can be complicated and also simple. For the simple one expensive equipment is unnecessary. Can simple photography be beautiful and be considered art? Yes… So stop bitching about people taking photographs with iphones, ipads, point and shoot cameras or plain wooden boxes.


    So what? Some people in the art/marketing industry got a job and got paid. Why are you hating?

  • edwaste

    I’m sorry, did I miss the Kool-aid Wagon?
    No, I’m not hating. Why should I, that is a great gig. Just glad I din’t have to pay even a small part of that.


    “Of course that expense just trickles down to the consumer.” – Most companies have advertising expenses, do you even know how businesses work? How old are you 10?


    World is full of haters… It’s very unfortunate…


    “Point and shoots are for snapshots and so are iPads. Real photography has thought and concept behind it. ” – false… I don’t think I have to explain that. Just because one is using a point and shoot it doesn’t mean that the is no thought and concept behind the photograph taken by that p&s camera…

  • vinterchaos

    a 4 x 5 and an iPad are two totally different things.. lol I think I can tell the difference… and I observe things while I’m out and about, as most people who take pictures do.

    Why are you so focused on my comments? Why are you “Y U MAD BRO””‘ing me .. are you mad bro?

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Most people with phones, carry around those phones like it’s an additional body part. Most folks that I know, do not carry around all their photographic gear, ALL the time.

  • jdog

    The ad just felt like a jumbled mess to me. Thought it was all going to be about the photographer based on this article.

  • Allan

    Definitely a problem at weddings.

  • Allan

    I thought the ad was going to be filmed using an IPad. Would be better without the sound.

  • dudung10

    the next time you see someone use their ipad to take pictures, whip out your sigma 200-500mm 2.8. that should take care of em.

  • Mr Hogwallop

    So would you work on such a waste of the consumer’s money?