A new Apple ad featuring two of America’s biggest entertainers dropping stereotypically geeky “gamer” lingo is the electronics giant’s first major attempt at attracting gamers to their mobile devices.
The thirty-second commercial, designed to tout the new iPhone’s processing capabilities for mobile gaming, finds Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon remarking that the iPhone’s A8 chip “brings gaming to the next level — I mean, if you’re into that kind of thing.” Friend and collaborator Justin Timberlake joins in on the fun, launching into a hard-fought session of new Super Evil Megacorp multiplayer offering Vainglory that sees Fallon demanding the Suit & Tie singer “stop playing like a noob”.
For Super Evil Megacorp’s part, they’ve made no bones about their desire to keep the mobile gaming revolution going; Vainglory, a self-described “unapologetically core” title, has its sights set on “core” gamers committed to console and PC offerings.
It would be easy to dismiss this an ill-advised attempt by a business to connect with younger audiences, were it not for Apple’s long and storied history of tongue-in-cheek and subversive advertising. This is, after all, the company that brought you 1984, Think Different, the Burn Baby Burn campaign, and Ellen Feiss’ Switch ad, just to name a few examples.
Regardless, it seems as if many have taken the ad to heart and reacted accordingly, as the spot has been upvoted by 95 percent of Redditors on sub-Reddit /r/fellowkids, a message board for poking fun at corporate attempts to connect with younger consumers. One Redditor, in his own words, “cringed [him]self into a black hole that destroyed the Earth.” The reaction on YouTube is markedly better, however.
Apple stands at a serious crossroads in the mobile market, as their long-held supremacy for tablets and smartphones is facing its greatest challenge to date from Android-aligned manufacturers led by Google. If Vainglory can replicate even a portion of chief inspiration League of Legends’ record-busting revenues, Apple will have plenty to be thankful for this holiday season.