The extravagant costuming, lighting, and music are nothing like a real elementary school play. But Apple is not trying to depict reality. Apple wants to communicate how it feels to film and capture forever the highlights of children’s lives on the new iPhone 7. The spot would have given viewers a motivating sample of the “practically magic” experience of using the new phone.
Unfortunately, viewers in general and parents, in particular, have to be distracted, wondering why the children are performing this well-known, adult-themed tragedy. As most viewers know, Romeo and Juliet is a story of young lovers who elope and, ultimately, commit suicide. The audience has to feel a bit queasy seeing grade school children in those roles.
The commercial’s success depends on which is stronger, the ad’s association of the iPhone 7 with an experience every parent desires or with things every parent would rather not think about?
Surely, another play could have been chosen.