Apple's 'Mother Nature' sketch was a complete dud, and didn't belong in the iPhone 15 even...

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV

Apple paused its iPhone 15 launch for an awkward five-minute comedy sketch showing a personified Mother Nature being impressed by the firm's environmental work -- and it didn't belong in the event at all.

Tim Cook in Apple's Mother Nature sketch
Tim Cook in Apple's Mother Nature sketch



It would be so interesting to find out who wrote Apple's Mother Nature skit because the odds are that it was written while the Writers' Guild of America strike has been on. Leaving aside whether that's entirely legal -- a TV show wouldn't have been able to do it but a corporate video presumably could -- there's also the issue that Writers' Guild of America members would hopefully have written it better.

Apple usually does these event videos well -- during COVID, Apple transitioned spectacularly from live events to prerecorded videos. Forget the devices being launched, the events as shows were immediately remarkable.

You expect professional, you expect style, but we've all seen enough corporate and technology videos to know they can be disastrous instead. So Apple should be applauded for so flawlessly and instantly becoming a producer of feature-length adverts.

Apple events are marketing, but this was bad marketing



That is what these events are, of course, they're advertisements for a rapt public. Apple is very good at selling and it knows that there are many ways to do it, but the firm is still always selling.

Even the opening film this time was about sales. It showed people whose lives had been saved because of Apple devices and it was excellent.

You cannot conceive of Samsung doing this, this way. Not one of the people showed gave a direct plug to Apple or the device in question, other than wearing them or using them.

That made the film be about the people and Apple knows that when you've done a video well, it lifts up everything around it.

But then there was the Mother Nature sketch. In theory, it sounds fine. Instead, it was a bomb.

Octavia Spencer as
Octavia Spencer as "Mother Nature"



Octavia Spencer plays a personified Mother Nature who comes to Apple. Everyone is scared of her, but they manage to convince her that Apple is doing remarkably well environmentally.

For five minutes, we had the same thing over and over. It might be about materials one moment and packaging the next, but it was a single gag stretched out too far.

It was stretched so thin that you could see the thinking behind it. Every single element was good by itself, and no one would cut anything.

But the result is that every single element was undermined by the repetition. And instead of Apple showing it was better than just sell-sell-sell videos, the result was that the sketch felt like padding in an event that's like drinking tech data from a fire hose.

It was unnecessary padding, too, as Apple did not have to hit a certain running time.

To be clear, if it had worked, had it been written better, it would have a stand-out section of the presentation. But it didn't, so it felt like padding in a strange place in the event, and it dragged down the whole show.

In writing, you have to kill your darlings. You have to cut scenes and paragraphs, sometimes entire sections of a piece, to make the whole better.

And that's even if you've got Tim Cook and Lisa Jackson in a room for a morning.

That said, Jackson and Cook turn out to be... adequate... at acting. Cook can't really match Octavia Spencer in their face-off at the end, but few could, and he conveyed worry well.

He did also have to mutter lines that he was "practicing" to say to Mother Nature, but a similar gag was done this week on "Only Murders in the Building." If Martin Short and Steve Martin pulled it off more naturally, they do have a lot more experience.

And better writers.

Read on AppleInsider

diman80
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 89
    Dude, who hurt you?

    You know what else has been a dud for years now? Know it all tech blogs and writers who can’t do anything better themselves so they just criticize.
    peterharttheo78825gourmet_poemsdigitalpenMBearronnllamaGraeme000Pancakeeightzero
  • Reply 2 of 89
    I respectively disagree. 

    This event had an announcement of the biggest breakthrough in clean technology that I have ever seen, especially at the scale Apple delivers.

    The skit worked for me. 
    domicinatord_2iOS_Guy80peterhartthttheo78825lwhittengourmet_poemsfotoformatMBear
  • Reply 3 of 89
    Pancake said:
    I respectively disagree. 

    This event had an announcement of the biggest breakthrough in clean technology that I have ever seen, especially at the scale Apple delivers.

    The skit worked for me. 
    Same. Sad that people can’t make the leap and instead must throw cold water on absolutely everything.

    But alas, we have to get the clickbait from somewhere don’t we?
    d_2iOS_Guy80thttheo78825gourmet_poemsMBearronnPancakellamaeightzero
  • Reply 4 of 89
    Hahaha, wow, I couldn’t disagree with you more. 

    I thought it was a very clever way to talk about important points that are normally an afterthought in these type of presentations.  Way better than dry, boring slide at the end of an introduction.  It made the topic fun, kept us engaged, and grabbed our attention at a point where most people would have stopped listening.
    iOS_Guy80peterhartthttheo78825lwhittenfotoformatMBearronnPancakellama
  • Reply 5 of 89
    Hahaha, wow, I couldn’t disagree with you more. 

    I thought it was a very clever way to talk about important points that are normally an afterthought in these type of presentations.  Way better than dry, boring slide at the end of an introduction.  It made the topic fun, kept us engaged, and grabbed our attention at a point where most people would have stopped listening.
    ❤️🍎😚👍🙌👏
    peterhartthtronnllamajohnfrombeyondlotonesDBSynchcrefugeedecoderring
  • Reply 6 of 89
    Agree with the title, and with much of the article.  It was not well written.  It could have been, but it was not.
    diman80seanjemig647williamlondonJapheydarkvaderFileMakerFellerargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 89
    A wonderful way to address how the richest company in the world is fighting to keep our planet alive for the next generation, or two. The skit made wow even more human.
    thtdomicinatorronnllamaGraeme000eightzerosidricthevikingNumNutswilliamlondon9secondkox2
  • Reply 8 of 89
    Wow, someone needs to lighten up. I was dying laughing during the whole skit. Worked for me; I’m glad you don’t. 
    thtdomicinatorronnllamaPancakeeightzerosidricthevikingjohnfrombeyonddewmewilliamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 89
    Clickbait. Completely disagree with this guy. I loved it. It was another innovative change to bring the release announcements to the next level. I actually cared about the information shared because of the video and now remember it. Not only that, it demonstrated Apple’s ability to create content and peaked my interest in AppleTV.
    MBearronnPancakeeightzerosidricthevikingNumNutskurai_kagethtjohnfrombeyondwilliamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 89
    Airlines get you to pay attention to a dry subject with funny videos about safety. They’re not Oscar-worthy, but you laugh and remember what they told you. That's all this was, and they did it very well. I came away very impressed with the important work that Apple is doing in getting to carbon neutral, and I laughed. Not big belly laughs maybe, but enough to take note and wonder what other companies are doing. 
    ronnGraeme000eightzerosidricthevikingNumNutstht9secondkox2lotonesspliff monkeyDBSync
  • Reply 11 of 89
    I totally agree with the author on this. I was listening to hear about the new products, not to get an overly long virtue signaling skit, especially since this was also talked about in conjunction with almost all the products. It's good that Apple is environmentally conscious, but this was way too much.
    diman80seanjdesignrtnet-primarybluefire1KierkegaardenJaphey9secondkox2grandact73argonaut
  • Reply 12 of 89
    Weird take, i thought the sketch was great. How else are they supposed to announce everything they achieved other than by discussing each one in the video? The sketch was a fine format for that. Lets see the author of this article write something better.
    ronnPancakeeightzerosidricthevikingNumNutsthtjohnfrombeyond9secondkox2lotonesDBSync
  • Reply 13 of 89
    I was watching the stock price go UP during the Mother Nature presentation! Critics will be critics.
    eightzerosidrictheviking9secondkox2lotonesDBSynchcrefugeeAlex1NFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 14 of 89
    NickoTT said:
    I was watching the stock price go UP during the Mother Nature presentation! Critics will be critics.
    So which part of the presentation caused the stock to end DOWN $3 for the day? 

    You must have been watching some other stock because AAPL was up slightly at the market open and from a few minutes after the open it was down the ENTIRE DAY.   When the event started, AAPL was down about $1 and went steadily down about another $3 over the following hour.  A bit after 2 the stock recovered slightly before falling again.  I stopped watching the event at 2 after the Mother Nature skit so I can confidently and correctly say that AAPL was not going up at all during that bit.
    Japhey9secondkox2NotSoMuchFileMakerFellerwatto_cobraentropys
  • Reply 15 of 89
    I get that you thought it was awkward to be in an announcement, but for some people, this is the only way to get their attention about preserving what we can and stop wasting our resources and contributing to global weather changes that so many have denied for so long and now the repercussions are here. 

    The only thing I disagree to what they said was that all of their stores run on renewable energy, when the truth is, they buy carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions the stores make. 
    I would rather make the malls they occupy install solar panels and instill new conservation practices, like limiting water usage and recycling. 
    lwhittenGraeme0009secondkox2lotonesdecoderringAlex1NFileMakerFellerargonaut
  • Reply 16 of 89
    Hmm! Somebody was feeling grumpy, when they wrote this. I fully enjoyed the segment, and, thought it was funny…
    it was a lighthearted way to talk about being climate positive. 
     In fact , both segments, were well done …I found the health intro to be very touching. 
    MBearronnGraeme000sidricthevikingjohnfrombeyond9secondkox2lotonesDBSynchcrefugee
  • Reply 17 of 89
    harrykatsarosharrykatsaros Posts: 76unconfirmed, member
    Aladick said:
    Thank you for saying this out loud, William.  Good grief that was brutal.  As I mentioned in another post "saving the planet" isn't a selling point for me when it comes to purchasing an iPhone.  And is it just me or are my white colleagues being excluded from every photo shot and from being presenter?  Blacks and Asians must represents the majority of the populace here in the states.  Apple thinks they're being clever.  Nice try.  Just more virtue signaling like what was done with "Mother Nature".
    Oh good. One of these guys (insert rolling eyes emoji here).

    I think you did more to bring down the article than everyone else combined. I assure you William will be absolutely despondent at the fact that his one supporter in the comments section was you. Good job. 
    edited September 2023 ronnGraeme000MJG33lwhitten9secondkox2lotonesspliff monkeyFileMakerFellerumbrellaumbrella
  • Reply 18 of 89
    I didn't think the Mother Nature skit was filler.  I thought the whole event was filler because the devices introduced had minor feature updates that don't match up to the marketing hyperbole at all.  Does any consumer really care how many transistors comprise the phone's CPU or what kind of foil the battery is wrapped in?  They're very good devices and so are the ones that preceded them.  

    I find Apple's pre-recorded presentations to be overproduced and not fun to watch.  The transitions have annoying music and are much too long.  The locations where the presenters speak are distracting.  The crazy boring minutiae that are hyped to the point of exhaustion . . .   The presentations used to be pretty exciting.  Granted that Apple often had only incremental updates to introduce and still hyped minor stuff but the presentations were pretty straightforward and to the point and often enough there was . .  one more thing . . . that was exciting.
    emig647SleepySheepJaphey9secondkox2decoderringFileMakerFellerJMStearnsX2
  • Reply 19 of 89
    I actually thought it was a decent little piece. You should really stick to just reporting on the technology and not the way the company decides to relay their progress in becoming more green. 

    I can’t believe any chief editor would allow this out…
    ronnGraeme000sidricthevikingjohnfrombeyondtht9secondkox2lotonesDBSynchcrefugeeeightzero
  • Reply 20 of 89
    I completely agree. The vibe was off, it felt long, there were no hooks in the writing, and Mother Nature was unlikable rather than powerful. Compare this to the outstanding EIGHT minute Find My piece done just before the writer's strike.
    williamlondon9secondkox2darkvaderargonautwatto_cobra
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