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Apple's New Shot on iPhone Ad 'Earth' Includes Narration by Carl Sagan From His Book 'Pale Blue Dot'

Apple tonight shared a new ad in its line of "Shot on iPhone" commercials, this one focused on iPhone users who have taken impressive photos and videos of vistas around the planet.

Well-known astronomer Carl Sagan narrates the spot, reading out a few quotes from his book "Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space." The theme of the commercial focuses on reminding viewers about the importance and responsibility of taking care of "our only home."

"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is no where else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the only home we've ever known."
Apple's ads have lately been focused on providing tutorials for features of the iPhone 7, as well as a few commercials specifically highlighting Portrait Mode. On Earth Day the company shared a few videos with similar pro-environmental messages as the Carl Sagan-narrated ad posted today, centering on topics like solar farms and zero waste.



Top Rated Comments

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30 months ago
Really well made ad. Feels like Apple took a stab at the Trump administration for deciding to leave the Paris Agreement at the same time.
Rating: 12 Votes
30 months ago
I'm the "James O." with the ice jam video in this commercial. :)

The ad agency contacted me last March inquiring about that shot of mine. They wanted to make sure I indeed shot it on an iPhone.

Rating: 9 Votes
30 months ago
i like it a lot!
Rating: 8 Votes
30 months ago
Awesome ad.
Very appropriate for these crazy times.
Good for Apple.
Rating: 8 Votes
30 months ago
Sagan would not have approved.

In fact, he actually sued Apple for suggesting that he had endorsed their product:

http://www.networkworld.com/article/2160066/wireless/yes--carl-sagan-once-sued-apple-for-libel.html
Rating: 6 Votes
30 months ago
So well done..

Great job Apple.
Rating: 6 Votes
30 months ago

The disclaimer clearly says,

"Additional equipment and software used."

Doesn't that destroy the ad? I mean that means you cannot do this right out of the box!
Very nice, but clearly false advertising. I mean, like what other equipment? How much money?

Is there Hollywood CGI involved? LOL


Equipment likely means lighting equipment or tripods / stabilisation rigs around the phone. Software likely means video editing software for colour grading and general editing.

That doesn't mean you cannot get shots like this on the phone just that those individuals who submitted their footage to Apple did not submit it straight from their iPhones and instead edited the footage on a computer first and/or used auxiliary equipment to get better shots (like lighting scenes with external light sources).

It's still remarkable that this footage came from a phone sensor, all the accessories in the world cannot change that.
Rating: 5 Votes
30 months ago
Beautifully crafted and very moving.
Rating: 5 Votes
30 months ago
RIP Sagan.
Rating: 5 Votes
30 months ago

Love Carl Sagan, and this excerpt always puts me in some kind of weird, existential mood.

I'm not sure how I feel about Apple using it, though. Presumably they got permission from the publisher (of the audio book?). Wonder if they needed permission from Sagan's estate? It's kind of in poor taste in the same way the Think Different ads were in the 90s. Great ads, but sorry Apple, you're not on the same level as Einstein.

I agree about Sagan but disagree with you about these advertisements. There's no arrogance here. You don't have to believe you're equivalent to a great thinker to admire his thought and promote that you try to emulate his philosophy. The people who wrote the 1984 ad didn't think they were equivalent to George Orwell, just evoking him to illustrate a point about individuality.
Rating: 5 Votes

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