Commercial Break: Apple Insults Its Customers (Again)   Leave a comment

Broadcast: 2 October 2012
Program: NCIS: Los Angeles
Channel: CBS
Conglomerate: Viacom/CBS Corporation

Advertiser: Apple
Owned By: Apple
Pitch: The iPhone 5 is so awesome it defies the “laws of physics”. 

The measurements are imprecise, but by most accounts Apple is either the most valuable brand in the world or very close to it.  Far more precise are the basic rules of physics, several of which Apple, in this utterly bizarre commercial, has written on a chalkboard for you to briefly glimpse:

Physics Chalkboard


It’s been a long time since I flunked out of that Mexican physics school, so I can’t claim to recognize all of these, but that is Newton’s Second Law in the very upper left, and you don’t need to know squat about science to recognize Einstein’s most famous equation in the lower left.  A commenter on reddit helpfully lists them:

Newton’s Laws, The Law of Gravity, General Reletivity, The Schrodinger Equation (dimensional and differential forms), Energy Quantization Relation, Heisenburg’s Uncertainty Principle, Conservation of Energy, The Fundamental Assumption of Thermodynamics, The Maxwell Equations, The Ideal Gas Law, Special Reletivity (and gamma factor), The Mass Energy Relation, The reletivistic mass equation, and two other random forms of the schrodinger equation for some reason

So far, so good.  Apple, a company that makes products beloved by many a smart person and physics lover, is sending them a little “we get you” love note.  The problem arises with the narration. 

The chalkboard is quickly replaced by a series of porno shots of the iPhone as a friendly male voice comes on to insult everyone who has ever solved one of those equations:

There are laws to physics, right?

Well, yeah, though generally if you hear someone talking about the “laws of physics” it usually means they have no idea what they’re saying. 

So, explain this.

Here we go.  It’s all downhill on a frictionless surface from here:

How can something get bigger and smaller?

Lots of ways.  Surface area and volume don’t always go in the same direction for one, and that’s not even physics. 

There’s more of it, and less of it?

Bitch, let me introduce you to my good friend density.  Conveniently, “dense” also has a social meaning.  Apple, of all companies, should be able to hire ad people not-dumb enough to know that.

Well, I guess the laws of physics are more like general guidelines. 

No, fuckstick, they aren’t.  And just like that, the trendy simpletons in your marketing department have pissed off a shitload of potential Apple customers, several of them in that Reddit thread, others in the YouTube comments:

Really Apple? You’re bringing physics into the matter and question it? Do you not understand the concept of a three dimensional object?

Your stupid phone got THINNER but it got TALLER.

How does a 5 year old fat kid get bigger and smaller at the same time? He grows up and loses weight, that’s not physics. not even "General guide lines physics"

Here’s more:

Because Apple can break the laws of physics by changing the dimensions of a phone. Are they really this stupid?

And someone goes full Comic Book Guy:

Worst commercial ever. How dare you insult your customers with such horrible logic Apple. Horribly disappointing.

The real gag here is that long before anyone wrote those equations on that chalkboard, some copy jockey ignoramus got the brilliant idea to say that the “laws of physics” are just guidelines because the iPhone 5 is so fucking awesome that it defies the rules that govern the observable universe.  Some time after that, somebody, possibly one of those same ignorant twits, said, “Hey, we need real equations for that chalkboard or we’ll look like idiots”.  Irony abounds. 

YouTube commenter GolfLovesBrett deserves the last word here:

Bigger and smaller? Have you seem my penis?

No, but there’s probably an app for that. 

Posted October 5, 2012 by Charlie Sweatpants in Commercial Break

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