Keeping up with their past couple of TV commercials, Apple has released two new iPhone 4 ads featuring affable celebrities (this time John Malkovich) demonstrating idealized uses of the not so perfect Siri application. The first two, one with Samuel L Jackson, the other with Zooey Deschanel each respectively reflect a slice of these celebrities lives through their interactions with Siri, highlighting the application’s features. The ads were both lighthearted and the agenda of course was to tout ways Siri could be used as your own mobile personal assistant. Whether Date Night or a Rainy Day, Siri is there to make life a breeze; be it finding local restaurants, organic markets, clearing your calendar, setting reminders, searching the web or simply playing music.
The first of the new ads, “Life” continues to showcase Siri’s finer features though with a bit of rumination and perhaps a dystopic nod for you science fiction fans out there. Playing off of John Malkovich as John Malkovich, we are shown John comfortably seated while opera music sets the mood. He then prompts Siri with the “question of life” to which Siri responds, “Try and be nice to people. Avoid eating fat. Read a good book every now and then. Get some walking in. And try to live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.” John reacts with a genuinely humbled response but shortly his voice drifts off to a robotic drone as he thanks Siri for the discussion, indicating that perhaps the line between Siri and user is blurred. Is Siri Siri? or is John Siri? And why is John so eccentric to begin with?
The latter of the new ads “Joke” follows a similar mold as the first two and demonstrate Siri performing simple chores; checking the weather and finding where John can get some Linguica. However, Siri is then prompted by John to tell a joke, a rather poor one but it continues to raise the question of Siri’s purported uses. Just what is Siri and how it could, should, and will be used is still a hot topic in the Apple community. Could Siri entertain and inform? Or is it just a time saving novelty? What do you think?