Robin Williams' stirring monologue from the Dead Poets Society pulled at the heartstrings sufficiently to ensure that Apple's 'Your Verse' TVC for the iPad Air was awarded Colmar Brunton's Ad Impact award for January.
The 90-second spot, which was released in mid January, features a cross-cultural and cross-activity glimpse at the varied range of applications that the technological tool can be used for.
"Our emotional strings are truly pulled with the clever use spine chilling verse to capture imaginings of achievements and have resonated well with the audience and created a very engaging ad for Apple," says a release from the judging team at Colmar Brunton.
The strong emotional pull of the spot when combined with its culturally inclusive approach meant it scored impressively in each of the categories considered by the judges.
"The emotional cues and thought-provoking aspects of the ad have worked well to create high impact, giving Your Verse the qualities needed to deliver the goods for Apple iPad Air. As expected with an ad that is as inspirational as this, it has a good persuasion and impact scores," said the judges.
Interestingly, Adweek's Tim Nudd said that Apple's use of the excerpt could be seen as brand voice uncertainty as a result of faltering and seemingly losing its way with the 'Our Signature' campaign, which was criticised for questionable copywriting.
"Using the Dead Poets source material is a curious choice. You might think going with third-party copy ... betrays a continuing lack of confidence in the brand's own voice, or at least the current expression of that voice. And maybe it does. But still, it's an inspired passage that fits wonderfully with the Apple brand," said Nudd in his article on the spot.
Although the the judges at Colmar Brunton agreed that speech perfectly complemented the imagery, their final decision was made difficult by the fact that that Clemenger BBDO's celebrated 'Mistakes' spot was also released in January.
"The ['Mistakes'] ad has definitely cut through for viewers, achieving strong levels of persuasion – key aspects when trying to encourage behaviour change," they said of the spot.