By virtue of the way in which I watch TV, I rarely come across the latest in advertising until it’s well into the mainstream consciousness. So it is with no real surprise that I never saw this fantastic Apple iPad ad that aired last month.
Apple have a history of making advertising that captures the imagination of people around the world. From the Apple Macintosh ad aired during the 1984 SuperBowl which depicted an Orwellian future if Mac’s weren’t the dominant force, to the seminal ‘Think Different’ ad, narrated by Apple Founder and visionary Steve Jobs, opening with the now-famous words “Here’s to the crazy ones.” (See below)
On top of their history of advertising genius, however, is also the Apple ‘style’ — that minimalist approach to design which has filtered through to their ads, allowing for silence and sweeping vistas to paint a picture you would normally not associate with a consumer technology product.
I could probably very easily continue on expressing my love for almost-all things Apple, but there is a point to this elogy, highlighted in the early part of the Life on iPad ad which aired in October. The ad opens with two wind turbine technicians working atop a massive wind turbine amidst a field of the beautiful structures. It’s a quiet and almost-eerie picture, and one which sparks the imagination — just what are those technicians using the iPad for?
As with most things Apple, there is always more behind the scenes than what is first shown, and such is the case with this new advertising campaign. It isn’t just a 2-minute spot, but Apple have now launched an entire section of their website dedicated to understanding the stories behind each of the sections of the ad.
‘Balancing work at new heights’ is the theme of the wind turbine section, and it is referencing the Siemens wind turbine technicians “who climb to great heights, often in extreme weather conditions, to keep the turbines running as efficiently as possible.” And of course, ‘now iPad is helping the technicians work more efficiently, too.”
“Our technicians really believe in what they’re doing,” says Jennifer Dillon, Siemens manager of business improvement. “They’re on the front line, and they’re helping to change the way energy is generated.”
The story might seem somewhat over-dramatised, but the reality is there nonetheless. Wind turbine technicians used to need to drag multiple binders, service manuals, and electrical plans, amounting to over a thousand pages of paper with them as they worked, not to mention whatever other equipment they may have needed.
Now iPad puts every document in a portable device that’s easy for the technicians to access in their tight workspace. iPad also streamlines their workflow, allowing them to take photos, email questions, and troubleshoot on the spot. And it lets them track fast-moving weather and quickly adjust their work in the field.
It may all seem a little convoluted for what amounts to nothing more than a 2-minute ad you probably fast-forwarded through anyway. But it is technologies like the iPad that are playing an important — albeit small — role in the spread of clean energies like wind turbines.
It’s also really interesting.
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