It’s As If Apple Has Hired Don Draper
by MG Siegler on Jul 10, 2010

The other day I was talking to an old friend. Not only is this friend outside the tech sphere, he’s just about as opposite of tech savvy as a person can be. He’s basically a luddite. In fact, I was surprised he was even IMing with me, he’s so seldom online. But I was more surprised by what he asked me. “What do you think of the new iPhone?

It’s one thing to know what an iPhone is, but the fact that he was aware that there was a new iPhone caught me a bit off guard. As did the fact that he was talking to me about it. I directed him to my review. But he took one glance at the 3,500+ words and immediately came back at me. “I just want to know if it’s any good.” I told him I thought it was the best out there. He thanked me and said goodbye. But before I let him go, I asked him why on Earth he wanted to know. I mean, again, this is a guy who undoubtedly uses one of these types of phones. He said that he travels a lot now and wants a better way to connect with his girlfriend on the road. I asked him, “why the iPhone?” His answer? The commercial.

Watching Apple’s iPhone 4 FaceTime commercial again, it reminds me of something: Mad Men. The television show is starting its fourth season in a couple of weeks, but the commercial takes me back to the end of season one — an episode called “The Wheel.” I’ve actually talked about this episode before because it contains a scene that is perhaps the best in the entire series. In it, ad man Don Draper gives a presentation to Kodak showing why Sterling Cooper should be handling the account for their new picture projector.

The pitch (which you can see here, but sadly I can’t embed) starts out with two execs from Kodak acknowledging that creating an ad around this “wheel” is hard because “wheels aren’t really seen as exciting technology, even though they are the original.” Draper fires back, “Technology is a glittering lure. But there’s the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash. If they have a sentimental bond with the product.

In the iPhone 4 FaceTime commercial, that’s exactly what Apple is playing up. As we’re all well aware, video chat, even on phones, is nothing new. Sure, Apple has simplified it, but they’re not really showcasing that here. Instead they’re going right for the heart strings. They’re doing something rather incredible. They’re conveying how you’ll feel if you use the product, by making you feel alongside those in the commercial. They’re creating this sentimental bond.

Draper continues, talking about an old copyrighter he used to work with, Teddy. “He also talked about a deeper bond with the product. Nostalgia. It’s delicate. But potent.” Draper fires up the projector. “Teddy told me that in Greek, Nostalgia literally means ‘the pain from an old wound.’ It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.”

Again, that’s this FaceTime commercial. It’s not old pictures, but it’s more powerful. It’s loved ones that you haven’t seen in a while, that you’re apart from, right there in front of you, live. ”It takes us to a place where we ache to go again,” as Draper puts it. ”It lets us travel the way a child travels. Round and around and back home again. To a place where we know we’re loved.

And Apple goes a step further. Rather than just playing up the family bond which they do with the baby crawling on the bed, the mother with the baby, and the grandparents with the graduating grandchild, Apple shows a pregnant wife getting an ultrasound and her husband in the military, presumably overseas, watching. When the wife hits the button to flip the camera and show the unborn baby on the monitor, they cut to a shot of the husband and his face drops as if he’s about to cry. It’s extremely powerful stuff.

Then Apple kicks it up another notch. They show a girlfriend waving to a boyfriend through FaceTime just as any other couple might. Only then they reveal that the boyfriend is deaf. But thanks to the video functionality, the two can sign with one another. The commercial wraps with them each looking at the phone in awe after they sign their goodbyes, as if they’ve just done something unbelievable. Something extremely important to them. And they have. It’s delicate. But potent.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Apple hired Hollywood director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) to direct this commercial. Levels of sentiment that people often feel while watching movies rarely, if ever, travel over to advertising. But they have in this FaceTime commercial, just as they have in Draper’s Kodak presentation. It’s as if the Apple commercial borrowed a page out of the playbook that Draper was talking about in that episode.

Apple, of course, has a history of great advertising campaigns. From the ’1984′ Super Bowl commercial (directed by another Hollywood guy, Ridley Scott), to the Think Different campaign, to the Get a Mac spots, each was effective at conveying different things about the brand. But this latest commercial is the first (to my knowledge) that really aims to connect with people on a deep emotional level. And it’s going to help Apple sell a massive amount of iPhone 4s.To people like my friend.


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  • That commercial is a disgrace to everything that is decent in this world. It makes me want to punch their agency in the face.

    • as i said, it elicits emotions in people

      • all commercials elicit emotions in people. either joy, boredom, anger, etc. all emotions. So once again, mg states the obvious.

        BTW deaf people can text each other, thats what deaf people do, its a lot easier than sign language through video chat, trying to form each letter of each word with your hand. but once again, the apple tard fanboys dont know any better

        • I've had video chat on my phone for a couple years now and although I rarely use it I have seen (a couple times) a deaf person using it to sign with their friends. It's quite an amazing thing to see and definitely a technology which could help change a lot of peoples lives.

          MG great article!

        • Your comments show your ignorance. Deaf people sign in words and very rarely have to spell anything out completely in sign. Facial expression and body language are incredibly important to express emphasis and meaning. Why would you comment about something that you clearly have no understanding of? Does it make you feel good to see your ignorant words of hate posted for everyone to see on the internet?

          • deaf people have an easier time texting than using sign language. go tear up watching lame actors on a commercial, moron.

          • You're wrong. Some deaf people aren't comfortable writing or using English and American Sign Language is their native language. They express their emotion much better using signs than easily misunderstood words on a screen. There is no need to be offensive about it.

          • Do you really think deaf people tediously spell out sentences by signing letters with their hands? You're the moron here, buddy.

          • he's not a moron, he just thinks dancing on YMCA is what people call "body language"…
            well, ok he's a moron.

          • i agree with you, but maybe some deaf people prefere to use text because of poor video technology (freezes or even too low framerate must be a real pain).
            this shouldn't be a problem with facetime.

            anyway, that "mmmmm" hater doesn't even know what body language is, but points a good example of how Apple, by improving something already existing, can transform it into someting really useful and give a new usage to a technology.

    • I would love to know why that is. Man, I hate it when people are able to see their babies. I hate it when they can talk to/see their loved ones. Why can't they be miserable. HARUMPH.

    • I feel your pain. It's almost offensive to see such blatant, manipulative tugging on peoples' heart strings. They threw in every sentimental cliche in the book: mother and baby, grandparents, graduation, war hero, pregnancy and young love. The only thing they left out was the puppies. Where are the damn puppies?

      The sad thing is, as MG explains, people actually fall for this crap and break out the credit card. That's why they do it. Go figure.

    • The commercial is not a disgrace, it is, a powerful reminder of why we use technology. Nothing is factually incorrect. Instead of focusing on the Mega Bytes, or Pixel Densities, it answers the simple question. Why would you use it.

      This is very similar to the Nintendo Wii commercials, where the focus was turned to the players, away from the game, and back to emotion that game play (after all games were meant to be social rather than a unitary experience).

      It tugs on heart strings, in an unashamed manner. The goal being to remind us why we communicate. At least it shows some innovative and creative marketing, as opposed to the droll and lifeless stuff that we usually see.

    • I'm a hardcore, unlocked-direct-from-google-nexus-one-using, Android fan, but I can't help but love the advertisements for FaceTime. I imagine it has less of an impact on people who are not married, but for me, the situations in the commercial are incredibly potent representations of technology augmenting human life.

      Oh, and don't feed the troll.

  • I don’t live in US and I’m not an Apple fan. However, I am in Marketing & Advertising and I love Mad Men.

    Pulling the emotional gun is good for brand recall. I have seen commercials that made me cry. Nevertheless, video calls using the emotional angle is predictable. So it does nothing for me.

    Don Draper would have come up with a better idea, for sure!

  • Exploiting people's feelings. What an original concept. Who knew?

  • The most important thing about this FaceTime technology that I didn't see on any blog yet is that Apple pushed out a huge VoIP solution, AT&T didn't ban it, and people are loving it.

    Forget the commercial, forget the video chat, it's SIP built into the phone's firmware! Where else have you seen this?

    • Are your referring to Fring (not Apple) –

      Android has had this for a while, good that the iPhone 4 can catch up.

      • No, I'm referring to FaceTime, that hangs up the expensive voice-only call and opens a free VoIP connection. No third party software needed. Although this works only with WiFi, it's a step no other manufacturer took until now. And this article proves how popular this will be.

        Read this and you will understand:

        • Yes Facetime is great & probably the most seemless video calling on any platform but stuck on requiring WiFi.

          Video conferencing has been on phones for a while outside the US & the Evo Android phone had it before the iPhone 4 & works (albeit clumsily w Fring or Qik) over 4G & 3G as well WiFi.

          There is a solution to getting Facetime to work over 3G/4G & thats to tether the iPhone to an Android device with hotspot.

          • You didn't get my point. I'm not saying Apple innovated on this, the 3G technology brought video calls a long time ago. I'm not saying FaceTime is great. I'm not saying that iPhone 4 is the best phone.

            I'm talking about the technology behind FaceTime and how Apple is the only one to implement a VoIP technology on a popular phone with the blessing of the carrier.

          • You would have the point if you said Facetime was the best video calling interface (blows away current Android options).

            You could also plausibly argue the iPhone is the best phone, depending on the user & needs.

            But you lose the point if you are saying AT&T blessed the technology as I would say AT&T has no leverage & Apple had to do it to get around the carrier (hence lack of 3G video conferencing).

          • If AT&T didn't approve this, it wouldn't be available at all on the phone. Apple decided to not use on the 3G network for the same reason the iPhone 3G didn't get multitasking. Both would work, but would have a lot of problems. They want the best possible experience, so they cut things that doesn't provide the required quality.

            Again you're not thinking about the VoIP and open source behind FaceTime, that skips the voice service just like Fring, Skype, Nimbuzz, but on the iPhone 4 you don't have to find, download and install a third party App, and most importantly, you don't need any account, it works out of the box.

          • And… you still miss his point entirely. It's the first native, free VoIP built directly into a default smartphone dialer. AT&T's blessing is beside the point (though, yes, interesting).

            Once Apple sells a few million Facetime enabled devices (iPods and iPads included), the implication will be that people will be that Apple devices will be poised to be a leading videochat social network, with all of the viral effects that entails.

          • Eric,

            To that point I concede Facetime is the most seemless & intuitive video conferencing interface w VoIP.

            But thats exclusive to only Apple products & not inclusive to multiple devices as well operating systems.

            That exclusivity vs inclusiveness is a big reason why its the PC Mac Redux as developers & now general consumer's mindshare is moving over to Android.

          • Apple is going to open source this so other phones could implement it, so it will not be exclusive to the iPhone 4 for long.

          • Wesley,

            This is what I thought you were referencing as your main point but didn't want to jump on you for it, its open standard NOT open source, BIG DIFFERENCE.

            Apple won't open source that just like it hasn't its antennae signal misrepresentation whoopsie it "just" discovered after 3 years, so that doesn't instill confidence of QA (current iPhone Vista issues) or if intentional then what else are they hiding (can only opt out of PERSONAL iTunes data if on iOS 4 & its not openly aware a la Facebook)

            I was going to let it go as you had all valid points until you brought back up the open source confusion :)

          • you are a moron.

          • I agree with the guest guy. You are a moron. You don't even try to listen. Does this make you feel smart?

          • Complete non-sequitors which reveal your true intentions.

          • You don't get it. Who was first means squat. In fact, those people's bodies often cushion those who follow. People like you keep harping on irrelevant trivia. Apple didn't invent the mobile music player either, but they dominate. So? With consumer products, it has everything to do with the ENTIRE SOLUTION. The specific points that you are harping on mean nothing when the rubber hits the road and a tech neophyte person has to actually pick up a device and use it.

          • I don't argue that point as stated earlier in the thread

          • Actually, and I'm sure people will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Google has Google Voice bundled with it's Nexus phone. Now if you are saying voice and video bundled with, then yes, but just voip, I don't believe so.

            I do think this is a good way for Apple to do the run around on the carriers, especially when the carriers are letting them down in certain markets. It also abstracts the carrier more and more, which is a bonus for apple

          • Damn, I forgot about Google. But from what I understood the service acts as a proxy, tunneling your call trough another call, not VoIP. I should be wrong then.

            Since GV isn't available on my country, I didn't read much about its technologies.

            And this "carrier abstraction" model is not only good for Apple, but for the consumers too, making calls cheaper and improving voice quality with more efficient codecs.

          • Chanson de Roland - July 11th, 2010 at 9:54 pm UTC

            Or you can just use Fring for the iPhone, which will make calls over 3G and WiFi.

        • "Although this works only with WiFi, it's a step no other manufacturer took until now."

          Are you kidding? VoIP may be new to North American, but it's been used in Asia for the last ten years. This is nothing new, this is Apple doing what they always do and calling old technology revolutionary.

    • Onno ter Wisscha - July 10th, 2010 at 11:31 pm UTC

      There was a VoIP client on all high-end Nokia's since 2006…
      Just didn't integrate with your phonebook so effectively killed the whole concept.
      And yes, I agree: calling over your data connection is the big thing here.
      Google might pull the same trick with enabling Google Talk to really Talk…

    • ofcourse you didn't see it on any blog yet. FaceTime is via wifi, so AT&T can't ban it.

  • Apple's products are truly "magical". I don't mean this from an usability perspective, and certainly not from a technical standpoint, rather I think that much like the Harry Potter books there is something "magical" in an Apple product that makes people want it.

    So many other companies are creating fantastic devices (Audionengine A5 speakers for example) yet you never hear a whisper from them. Google is mentioned a lot in the workplace but ONLY when referencing search. No matter how popular Windows is, it is seen merely as a "hassle", something that everyone is forced to use.

    The only tech product that people find fashionable to discuss are Apple products. I was at a bar with some friends and I pulled out my HTC Magic to text and someone on the table said "oh no not another iPhone". So, every touch screen phone has become synonymous with the iPhone (much like how the iPod has become synonymous with mp3 players).

    As MG points out the advertising is one huge factor in this "magical" facade, however I am confident there is something else. Perhaps Jobs is sprinkling pixie dust over his products, but just like Rowling captivated a generation, so to is Jobs turning the Luddites into customers.

    • Well said dude. Well said. My only nitpick: I don't think "iPhone" is synonymous with touch screen phone. When I take out my Palm Pre+, people don't think it's an iPhone. People do recognize an iPhone. The difference between the iPhone and iPod thing, by the way, is that the iPod dominated the market- they had (and still have) around 70% market share. The iPhone isn't the only game in town in the smartphone space though. But people know the iPhone- everyone does. Most people aren't gonna say "Ohh, is that a Nexus One?" if someone is using one, but you can bet people say that about iPhones. They're even willing to put up with AT&T to get one! It's almost hard to comprehend.

    • One big difference is that Audioengine speakers are only quantitatively better than what we had before. I can buy 20-year-old speakers on eBay or Craigslist for under $100 that sound as good or better than those $350 Audioengine speakers. You just need an amp (also <<$100), and some more space for them in your living room. Audioengine may have made good speakers *smaller*, but it's not like we didn't have good speakers before. (Their stated #1 reason to buy their brand? "Works with all your music" — as if this was a novel feature for a speaker to have!) The "magic" is a qualitative change from what we had before. Video chat on a smartphone has it.

      Also, I don't think Apple products are the only tech products people find "fashionable to discuss". In fact, of late I've not heard people discussing Apple products, while I've heard several conversations about electric guitars, automobiles, motorcycles, and handguns (and I'm not normally one to hang out with crowds interested in these things!).

      I think the common thread is that smartphones are (a) generally useful in conjunction with other activities like these, and (b) new, or at least improving very quickly right now. If someone else made a product that would be useful in conjunction with a broad spectrum of activities like this, and it was new, then it would be talked about as much. A5's won't help your Glock at all. Google search and Windows might help you with your guitar skills or your motorcycle maintenance, but not in any new way that I can tell.

  • Oh the irony. The commercial is not viewable on an ipad.

      • Well sure, it is an Apple commercial that they are more than happy to post about. Of course, if this was an article about any other company… iPad/Phone/Touch is SOL.

        • I find it funny that people who don't own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch don't realize that just cause something is flash on their desktop doesn't mean it isn't viewable on apples mobile products. Youtube, Vimeo, and most other video hosting services, not mention any html5 video works on an iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

          Sorry no irony here, it all just works. And thats what apple always is best known for.

  • From a reality & geek’s perspective –

    1. The graduation scene with Mom & Daughter video conferencing with grandparents – I have enough problems explaining to my mom how to use a basic cell phone. The scenario of grandparents video conferencing may be likely, but I would be surprised if most grandparents’ Wi-Fi is setup by their adult children. (About 20% of adults over 65 use wireless Internet – ). Maybe this ad will encourage more grandparents to get iPhones … but I doubt that most 65+ and older have a smartphone.

    2. Expectant Mother having a sonogram and presumably stationed overseas soldier – no hospital is going to allow the expectant mother to have a Wi-Fi connection during that procedure – may interfere with the equipment let alone most hospitals do not have guest Wi-Fi in any examination room. Cell phone usage in most hospitals are generally not allowed. As for the soldier, a friend of mine served a year in Iraq and the internet connection he had was not that fast – definitely not fast enough the support Skype reliably for video conferencing.

    But overall, a good ad to demonstrate the future possibility. Apple wants to convince the public that they invented video phone calls even though they didn't. But Apple might make it more mainstream.

    • I don't know if you have kids, but my wife's sonograms were done in a doctors office, not a hospital. My wife's OB office has wifi, and it would totally possible to do this.

    • Many new hospitals now have free wifi for its visitors. Many ultrasounds are done in the clinic, not in hospital exam rooms.

    • Skype is pretty popular with families with soldiers overseas. I know a lady that chats with her husband who's stationed in Afghanistan several times a week. The speed/quality varies, but it is done.

    • My grandmother never liked even dialing her cell-phones… until she got an iphone.

      I can't tell you how many elderly people I've seen navigating an iphone better than their baby boomer kids.

      I'm not a fanboy, but this tells me that apple has truly accomplished something here.

    • I work at a hospital. Free wi-fi with no login for everyone. Cell phones are allowed in most of the hospital. This would work fine.

  • But. But.
    The Droid has a larger screen.
    The Droid has a faster processor.
    The Droid has better reception.
    The Droid is bigger.
    The Droid has removable memory.

    Oh, you get my point. The Droid has better FEATURES so it must be better.

    I have never seen Mad Men. That Don Draper scene with the Kodak Carousel is awesome. Some of us are old enough to remember what a great advance the carousel was.

    • "I DONT CARE I DONT CARE I DONT CARE" – I want the Facetime WiFis LOL

      • Why do you come off as a baby here?

        • Sanjay,

          Its in reference to the "I DONT CARE BEAR" iPhone consumer response in the viral Evo iPhone video –

          • It's our regular fannydroid bot back to tell us why the iPhone is bad!

            "Hi Michael!"

            Only in Hummer loving America where obesity is rampant would someone be stupid enough to claim a phone with a bigger screen BUT lower resolution is better than the iPhone's, which just happens to be built for a resolution that allows the typical 1024×768 web site (quasi-standardised to 950×550-650 to allow for browser and OS UI overhead) to be viewed without zooming.

            And only here would someone be stupid enough to claim that any slight speed advantage that may exist in the Droid's processor (or not) would actually make Android run smoother than the iPhone's iOS. Funny how fannydroid Michael in another post concedes that the iPhone has a better overall UI experience. Most can't argue with this. Sorry if the Droid's processor doesn't help it any. Perhaps a 2GHz chip would make Android usable?

            Buy as much removable memory as true storage in the iPhone (you know like a real PC), and you'll end up paying more. Not to forget that write and read time to the memory card is slower. But it doesn't matter anyway, as app storage on memory card… hmm… a sad state that is. Most iPhone users have a lot of media on their iPhone but we also have it synch'd in the cloud, we are stupid like fandroids to think removable media will save it it the phone gets lost.

            A bigger phone! Do I hear an obese Hummer driver claiming a phone that barely fits into your pocket (unless you have oversize pockets) is a winning thing? Sadly, yes. Go home.

            But-but-but… stuttered the clumsy droid…

      • I want the one with the Gee-Bees

    • Chanson de Roland - July 11th, 2010 at 3:51 am UTC

      The Droid X may have the bigger screen, but most reviewer are in accord in the view that the iPhone 4 has the best screen.

      The Droid X doesn't have a faster processor. Processor speed depends on a number of factors, with frequency being only one of the important factors. Since the iPhone 4's processor is a custom piece of silicon made by Apple for its products, is hard to compare its performance. However, reviews have found the iPhone 4 to blazingly fast and not in any wanting in its performance.

      Droid X does not have better reception or, at least, its reception is untested. The Droid X will be released on 15 July 2010. Today is 10 July 2010. It is hard to discuss the reception of a product that hasn't debuted.

      The Droid X is bigger. Well, it is too big for some. Whether you want a phone that barely fits in your pocket and bulges when crammed in your pocket, as opposed to what Apple thinks is the iPhone 4's just right size, is a matter of personal taste.

      Droid X's memory is removable, but it more than makes up for that by offering memory that is significantly more expensive than the iPhone 4's memory, that is, to buy memory cards to equal the iPhone 4's 32 gigs of memory, you will pay much more.

      You get my point. The Droid X's features and your presentation of them are either incorrect, misleading, or both.

      • The reception has been tested. Obviously, it depends on how well the network is in the test area. Generally, the Droid X gets better reception than the iPhone 4. It’s better than the iPhone in some ways and worse in others. I’m typing this on a Droid X btw.

      • The CPU in the iPad/iPhone is just a rebranded Samsung, although not as good as the CPU in the the Samsung Galaxy S. It's also most likely downclocked to 800-900MHz in the iPhone to preserve battery which is why the iPhone is outperformed by the iPad even though it has twice the memory.

    • Larger screen but lower resolution != awesome feature.

      Fat Size != awesome feature.

      Are you sure you are fandroid?
      Seem to stupid to even qualify to be a droid.


    I believe that Simon Sinek comments on this subject in a very perceptive and interesting manner.

  • Not until they find out that it's wifi only.

  • M.G., I'm all for letting you have Apple as your favorite brand. Who else has earned it as well as they have?Until now I would have said screw all the commenters who ride you for being a fanboy. But along article about an advertising fundamental taken for granted by any junior marketing manager is going too far. Especially when the idea has been covered in the popular television show you cite. Please don't let your column remain a misty-eyed chronicle of your romantic awakening to Apple.

  • What I don't understand is why none of Apples competitors (mainly HTC) don't pump as much in to marketing their products. Apart from one T-mobile advert for the Hero ages ago I've seen very few adverts for HTC products in England. I've had a Hero for 6 months and still very few people know what it is. When Nintendo released the Wii here part of what made it popular seemed to be that they like Apple marketed it well and showed the intended users how it could benefit them and even with a less advanced console they are doing really well.

    • They want to sell to ordinary people, not the idiots that want to be pushed and manipulated (and watch the commercials, do you, by the way?)

    • HTC doesn't market that much in north america. Fly around asia and you'll see HTC ads all over the place (you can see one in bangkok's airport). And HTC mall booths and HTC stores!

    • Just another example of fragmentation in the Android market. Too many phones, too often. Apple does one iPhone a year and they do it right.

  • So, clueless n00b suckered by half-truths in advertising. Where have we seen that before? Oh yeah, everywhere. How innovative, Apple.

  • I think FaceTime is really a novelty feature for now. The thing that bugs me about the ad is that it gives the impression you can use FaceTime anywhere. Most consumers probably aren't aware that it will only work on wifi and won't find out until they attempt a video call. By that time you've already bought the phone and that's what Apple (and Don Draper) care about. I think Apple have been walking a very fine line with their advertising recently. Some of it could be see as false advertising. Remember the iPad ad that claimed you can view "ALL of the world's websites".

    • I remember Apple had to change their advertising in Europe for the iPhone since the iPhone didn't support Flash.

    • Chanson de Roland - July 11th, 2010 at 3:58 am UTC

      No smartphone does video chat well, except for the iPhone 4, and the iPhone 4 does video chat very well on WiFi. However, if you want to do video chat to other devices and over 3G, there is Fring for the iPhone.

      • I didn't say anything about the performance of video chat on the iPhone and I have no doubt that FaceTime works really well on wifi. The ad in question specifically showcases FaceTime. Impressed that you have personally tested every phone on the market with video chat and determined there is "no smartphone" that does video chat well "except for the iPhone 4". I guess those of us without an iPhone 4 will just have to resort to making calls the old-fashioned way… I heard the iPhone 4 doesn't do that very well?

        • Chanson de Roland - July 11th, 2010 at 10:59 pm UTC

          No, I haven't tested every phone on the market, but I have read the leading reviews of all the Android phone, particularly the HTC EVO on Sprint's network. And the EVO's native apps for video chat are getting universally horrible reviews. Sprint's 4G network is also taking a pasting from the reviewers. It took David Pouge, a man who has written books on computer OSs, and friend with engineering chops two days to get the native video chat on the EVO to work, and then, it worked poorly. See

          But at least EVO 4G makes up for its horrible video chat performance by being unavailable nearly everywhere.

          As for calls on the iPhone, get some correct information from these sources:

          As Anandtech points out, yes there is signal attenuation when you cover the gap in the iPhone 4's exterior antenna, but there is signal attenuation for all cell phones when you cover the spot where there antennas are located with your hand. Notwithstanding that common problem, the iPhone 4 provides at least good reception.

          • This article was about Apple's advertising and so was my comment. I don't think I can bare to read another article about the iPhone4 antenna. If your fine with it then good for you. I can't comment on the video chat performance of the EVO or any other phone because I've never tried it. If it really is that bad then let's hope it improves soon. Hopefully Skype video chat on Android will be good but like I said above I still think it is a novelty feature on ALL phones for now.

    • The difference between Facetime and Fring is that you initiate Facetime from a normal phone call, and you can see whether the peeson can accept a Facetime call.

      Plus, you don’t need to leave an app running in the background, it’s built into the OS.

      Plus, it doesn’t look or sound like ass.

  • Why bother with advertising Apple? Just hire Techcrunch and MGSiegler, you get folsky, people stories for a fraction of the cost.

    Hope you told your mate how to hold the phone properly.

  • "The other day I was talking to an old friend…".
    Wait. What?
    You have friends?

  • Holy f**k

  • IM log or shenanigans.

    My luddite friends have been asking me tons of questions, too. 80% of them are over 30, have money, and are interested in the Droid. Not the iPhone. I have 6 Android devices, an iPhone 3GS and an iPod Touch.

    I told them all to get the iPhone because it’s right for them. They’re tech-imbeciles. What was the common response? Paraphrase: “Why would I want a toy?” Or “Don’t hipsters/club kids/art students only buy Apple?”

    I don’t mind my 3GS, I’ll buy an iPhone 4 soon enough because I like playing with everything, but most people I know who aren’t hipsters, club kids, art students or techies don’t want Apple. I’m not an Android fanboy, but I do listen to *my* public’s opinions.

  • Siegler you get boring.
    Boring boring.
    That is the only I dislike.

    • is that supposed to be a haiku?

      • take arrington and eric, book a flight with 3 sets of parachute and discuss this weekly Saturday column while "jumping down" and passing apple products: ipad to make meaningful notes, iPhone, face time to get some additional opinions from the techcrunch headquarter + whatever else comes to mind while seeing the bay from the air.

        and then lets us know if it makes sense to use Saturdays for low-summer Apple articles like yours.

        p.s. arrington has to jump himself, no robot.

  • I was in the audience when the iPhone 4 commercial debuted at WWDC, and the Draper carousel scene was exactly what I thought of.

  • Did they hire you? You write the same boring, non-informative puff piece about them every two days.

  • Was that story told backward from the same couple?

  • MG, you have written a VERY NICE ARTICLE HERE!

    Nice tie in with the Ad-Men episode, I think that is very true. Must have been an influence on one of the directors. It is too much to be just coincidence.

    One of your best my friend.

  • Arrington, please fire this guy.

  • Excellent post MG, From Mad Men to the commercial to your analysis, everything. A very well written post. And I agree with you 100%.

  • The best advertising and marketing sells the experience, not the product. Look at Redbull, their entire website is about excitement and energy, not about a drink.

  • So schmaltzy garbage being used to sell stuff to morons. Nothing new or amazing there. You seemed to enjoy it a little too much though. Describing all those "powerful" images and taking it up a notch – you sound like a schoolboy after watching porn for the first time.

  • MG, you have a cult following of Apple haters. Seriously, these guys must be clicking refresh every few seconds on techcrunch waiting for your next post so they can tell you how much nobody is interested.

    • Good. Traffic is traffic, whether its' a "+1 what he said" or trolling or paid astroturfing by Microsoft and Google shills. The bigger Apple gets, the more blogs we'll be reading about them. And the more traffic for TechCrunch.

      • I don't agree that any traffic is good traffic. Lately my main response to reading the comments has been intense frustration and disgust – it puts me off reading them. If the quality of the discourse descends into blind hate it will start to turn off the readers.

        I think we're witnessing the beginning of *gadget extremism*… the apple fundamentalists are starting to be drowned out by the anti-apple fundamentalists. At least the apple fundamentalists are enthusiastic about good products… the haters are the same as haters anywhere.

  • It's a good commercial by a good director. I really think it hits home with the war and people being def being about to have live conversation with someone. Also the the whole concept of people traveling being about to have video chat with there kids. I like that technology can help fill the void in peoples lives. Go Apple!

  • Wow, you managed to turn a bullshit anecdote into a 3000 word "article".

    • did you read it three times or something?

    • Wow, you tatsuke managed to give bullshit a human form.

      • Ah, Twitter avatar. Thanks for that, makes it easy to identify the tools.

        The commercials are, admittedly, good. It's the tone of the article that implies that Apple did something here that hasn't been done over and over by advertisers for many years. Mad Men is based off an ad agency in the SIXTIES for crying out loud. But typically, MG describes something Apple has done as cutting edge. The only reason is that, I assume, his knowledge of advertising is limited enough (or his research poor enough) that he sees this as something brilliant.

        But that's not a good enough story; first he has to tells us some tale about his friend who HATES TECHNOLOGY but LOVES the iPHONE. Yes, the iPhone does that! It is THAT good.

        So, essentially, the whole basis of the article (that is, Apple's amazing advertising campaign for the iPhone 4) comes from some story about a guy he knows who had his opinion reversed because of a commercial, which may or may not be made up. Seriously, take out the anecdote and it's just a guy expressing his opinion about a commercial that isn't exactly game-changing. If we're comparing stories here, outside of this article, I haven't heard a single person say a single thing about these commercials…ever.

        And you eat it up, while thinking people who look at this tripe critically are stupid. Funny.

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