If you thought only starr-y, flashy, unrealistic and hyped up celebrity ads were mainly a Bollywood-fuelled Indian phenomenon, well, you need to think again. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, one of the biggest names in Hollywood, recently featured in a movie/ad (we are still making up our minds on what to call it) with a rather geeky co-star. A co-star who is equally famous and popular in her own right, not in Hollywood but in “Tech-wood.” The action-cum-comedy star has featured in a video featuring Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri. The video which is actually being referred to as a “feature film” takes us through the life goals of the star (and no, we are not talking about Siri) and how Siri is just the perfect partner that supports him as he follows a schedule that makes making the world in six days seem a breeze. After all, the “hardest working man in the business” needs a virtual assistant that works equally hard (and Siri does need some screen time given the attention being given to the HomePod). But does the ad help us know any more than we already know about Apple’s virtual assistant?
Lots of Rock and some Siri
The 3 minute 46 second feature movie/ad titled “The Rock x Siri Dominate the day” is rock solid from the beginning. The ad features a day in the life of Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. He is rehearsing his script and trimming his bonsai trees when a news presenter on television claims that “The Rock” may not be able to do anything beyond what he is already doing as he is just too busy. Johnson takes this as a challenge and asks Siri to read out his life goals to him. And decides to act on them right away, much to the horror of what seems to be his agent.
These life goals involve various tasks like flying a plane to Rome; restoring art in Rome while hanging from the ceiling; presenting his own fashion line featuring the elements of the earth, wind, fire, water and of course, the rock; cooking food with a renowned chef; going to space, taking a selfie and FaceTiming from there; and then landing back on the earth and delivering the line he was practicing in the morning bang in the middle of a filming session.
Like a boss.
But wait.. where does Siri fit into this? Well, Apple’s virtual assistant helps The Rock in reading out his life goals, finding a ride, telling him the temperature of Rome, reading out his emails, showing photos, texting the chef, giving information playing his playlist, taking selfies in outer space and finally creating another life goals list named “life goals sequel.” Basically, Siri tags along with the rock right through the entire crazy day. The ad ends with both the stars professing their love for each other.
Hey Siri, where are you?
When we first saw the ad, all we could feel was, “wow this one is pretty kickass” (mind you, we are The Rock fans here) as the production values were excellent, the dialogue sharp, and the action non-stop. But once the adrenaline rush and giggles had faded, and we saw the ad on repeat, something hit us.
We were looking at Dwayne Johnson the whole time. Poor Siri became a little invisible in there.
The thing about celebrity ads is that it is very difficult to strike a balance between the celebrity and the product they are endorsing – they can turn out to be either horribly useless for the company as celebs can totally overshadow the product or they can go the other way, making the product the hero of the ad, but failing to cash in on the celebrity presence. And the problem with involving a personality as dominating as Dwayne Johnson in an ad is that the chances of the former instantly double.
Unfortunately, that is what has happened. We have majorly loved most Apple ads. The ones with celebs did not push the product away from the spotlight. Most ads by the company have been short, simple and direct, and the ones that were not were appreciated for the creativity and different line of thought.
This one follows the not so regular path – it is not short, it is not simple and minimalistic, and it certainly is not direct. And this time we do not think it worked out for our tech hero, Siri. The ad, unfortunately, heroes “The Rock” more than it highlights Siri.
Although Siri was pretty much always there in the ad, it looked more like a sidekick than the actual table turner. The ad shows how one who pushes his limit, can use the help of Siri to make his day easier. But while Siri was omnipresent, it was not in the spotlight. We did not get to see any special tricks from the virtual assistant. While The Rock was certainly pushing his boundaries, Siri seemed content to stay within them. We saw the same old usage and the same old functions that we have seen in the past. Nothing really ‘rocked’ us.
We love the “The Rock x Siri Dominate the day” ad in terms of pure entertainment. But the ad is totally dominated by The Rock, and that is where we think things went a little out of hand. Instead of being like Batman and Robin, The Rock and Siri ended up being more like Batman and Alfred – handy but not superhero-like. The ad does highlight Siri and how the virtual assistant works but the celebrity in the ad totally takes away the spotlight from the product. The feature movie/ad, in our opinion, does not really work in Apple’s or Siri’s favor as we did not see the brand or the product in the spotlight. And while Dwayne “Rock-ed” the ad, we thought for Siri it definitely was a rocky journey. Not the most Siri-ous ad we have seen from Apple. It was fun, but speaking for ourselves: bring back the minimalism, fellas. Two’s a crowd when one of them is The Rock.