In its first media event of the year, Apple launched a new 9.7 inch iPad with Apple Pencil support at an affordable price, targeted at students. The company has priced the device at USD 299 for students and teachers while everyone else would have to shell out USD 329 for the device. And with new iPads come new ads – following the launch, the Cupertino tech giant has also released an ad for the new iPad called, “Homework”. The aim: to make you believe that homework can actually come without blues.

Lengthy, but definitely not boring

“Homework” is a two-minute-twenty-one second ad which starts with a teacher asking his students to settle down. He then picks five kids, Ivy, Michael, Ryan, Sally and Thomas, and calls them Group Three. The teacher then drops a book on the floor and tells these students that their homework is to explore gravity.

Right after this, the school bell rings. As the students start to leave, the teacher reminds them that the project is due on Friday and asks them not to forget their “homework.”

One of the kids then scribbles “Gravity” on her iPad with the Apple Pencil, and flips the cover to close it. Two other students then go to a grocery store and buy a watermelon and an egg. All the five kids then go to a small bridge, from where two of them throw the egg and the watermelon down while the other three set the iPad on the ground with the camera on to record the phenomenon.

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After one of the kids licks bits of scattered watermelon off the iPad, the group then reviews the video and ticks off the egg and watermelon box.

The students then ride to another location on their bicycles, where they draw on a picture on the iPad using the Apple Pencil and then recreate the same drawing in real life and record a video of it using the iPad. And then again use the device to review the video.

Continuing its experiments, the group throws a bike down the hill, a mattress from the balcony and record it all on the device. One of the kids uses augmented reality to see how the Moon revolves around the Earth right in her bedroom. The group then hangs different objects, and even group meme bears upside down in one of the students’ garage, right when her dad drives in suddenly in his car.

One of the kids then swings around in a tire swing while the others try to hit him with a basketball. Another kid draws a diagram of the Earth and the Moon on her iPad. The group then takes a leaf blower and blows it in each other’s faces. They use a shopping a cart, the tire swing, a trampoline, with water balloons on it and the record it all with the iPad.

They then edit the whole video and the project on the iPad itself. When they go back to school, the teacher calls for Group Three. All the five students go in front of the class, and as the lights dim, the iPad’s screen gets connected with the projector, and all of them look at the iPad with their projects cover page on the screen behind them. The ad ends with Apple’s logo.

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The ad has “Homework! Oh, Homework,” a poem by Jack Prelutsky in the background throughout with a lot of ambient sounds and a bit of background music.

Homework never looked this cool

We have all hated homework. In school and college days, there were always some project or some assignments that were due. But it seems like the group of kids in this ad did not have any problem with it, at all.

In the past, we have appreciated Apple’s ads for being short, simple and straightforward. Most of these ads were to the point and highlighted the USP of the product. This one, however, is nothing like those ads. It is lengthy, builds a narrative and brings the product in, now and then.

That said, all of this does not really make “Homework” a bad ad.

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One of the best things about this ad is the fact that even though it is a gadget ad, Apple has done a great job in making sure that the product blends in and does not rule the life of the audience. And because the audience is relatively younger here, we love how the company has kept the ad beyond the four walls of a room which is generally how people see a gadget when it enters in the life of students or teenagers.

The ad is not heavy on the head, and all the things that the students are doing in the ad actually would make you want to sit and see the ad and not press the “Skip the ad” icon. We love how easily and subtly the ad shows how the iPad can fill in all the gaps in a student’s life. It highlights how the device is extremely portable and is nothing less than a computing powerhouse.

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The features of the iPad are highlighted well. The ad pretty much explains how you can use the camera on the iPad, how the multi-screen feature can be used, how videos can be edited, documents can be created, and how even augmented reality can work on it. Not just that, we also appreciate how the ad highlights the functionality of the Apple Pencil and while many (including us) may disagree that an Apple Pencil is a must-have with the iPad, we think, Apple has not left a single stone unturned to make sure people understand the functionality of its stylus as well. And although the ad is lengthy, Apple has a shorter version of it, and we think, the company can cut it even shorter. The beauty of the ad is such that it would still make perfect sense.

Apple has also been very specific about what it puts as the background music in an ad, and it is mostly songs by various artists, but this time the company has picked the perfect poem for the ad. The poem “Homework! Oh, Homework” poem by Jack Prelutsky actually goes very well with ad. The poem which is pretty anti-homework sits unusually well with the ad in which students are actually enjoying it. All thanks to the iPad.

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Makes us wish we had an iPad in school

Apple’s new iPad ad is lengthy and is definitely not to the point, but we think that is exactly what makes it beautiful. The narrative and the storyline of the ad actually makes you follow the ad and the fact that the company has balanced the information with entertainment here, also is another positive in the Cupertino tech giant’s ad bag. Yes, we know things do not ever get this exciting while doing homework but the fact that it makes us believe that it CAN happen is what really hits the home run for us.

And we do not know if it was actually intentional, but the ad highlights a number of features that actually are missing from the iPad’s biggest rival in the education market, the Chromebook – video recording and editing, high-quality stylus support, AR and so on. And of course, all of it so simple to use that even a group of kids can do it, without any adult supervision (yes, we noticed that!).

We did not enjoy doing homework during our school time. But after watching the ad, we think we might know one of the reasons why it was never fun.
Perhaps, perhaps, it was because we never had an iPad.

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