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Dead Poets Society-inspired iPad Air advertisement rolls out


On Sunday, Apple rolled out a new 90-second ad for the iPad Air. Per usual, the video positions the iPad as being much more potent than a simple tablet to be used for checking email and browsing the web. On the contrary, the new commercial highlights many ways in which the iPad is being used to facilitate creative work. Apple has also created a microsite highlighting the stories and people from the ad.

Interestingly, and rather fittingly, the video narration comes courtesy of Robin Williams and is lifted entirely from a powerful scene in the film Dead Poets Society.

The narration reads:

We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering - these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love - these are what we stay alive for.

To quote from Whitman,

"O me, O life of the questions of these recurring. Of the endless trains of the faithless. Of cities filled with the foolish. 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."

"That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse."

What will your verse be?

Apple, I think, has really been killing it commercial-wise in recent months. This new ad is an absolute homerun. You can watch the ad embedded here.

A lot of different use cases for the iPad Air are highlighted in the ad; Mike Rose noticed that the Niagara Falls Iguazu Falls segments star both the Padcaster iPad video rig and its inventor (and friend-of-TUAW) Josh Apter, president of the Manhattan Edit Workshop.

Another interesting item I noted in the commercial was the depiction of the Ohio State marching band using an iPad to assist with its halftime choreography. If you haven't seen highlights of OSU's marching band from the most recent college football season, you're in for a treat.

Here they are doing a tribute to Michael Jackson, with, as it turns out, some behind the scenes assistance from Apple's iPad.

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