Samuel L. Jackson, Zooey Deschanel promote Apple’s iPhone 4S

April 18, 2012

Updated, April 18: AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel has confirmed that AT&T will have ads in this campaign.

Original post: Apple has never been big on adding star power to its ad campaigns, but a new series of spots has put its iPhone 4S in conversations with actor Samuel L. Jackson and “New Girl” star Zooey Deschanel.

The spots are a departure for Apple, which tends to concentrate on how its products serve the everyday customer. And, quite frankly, Apple has never needed star power to sell its products. Sure, the “Get A Mac” campaign featured Justin Long and John Hodgman, but they were hardly the focus of the ads. Past commercials featuring Siri, the virtual assistant on the iPhone 4S, showed the program helping a jogger answer e-mails on-the-go, a busy mom calculate the right amount of ingredients for a recipe and a blind woman schedule her next appointment. Others tended to focus on the gadgets themselves or the content available to Apple products.

In the new spots, Siri is still helping with everyday problems — they just happen to be the everyday problems of famous people. Jackson is planning a date night that features mushroom risotto and gazpacho, while Deschanel is working out the best way to spend a rainy day at home.

Jackson’s ad is a co-branded pitch for Verizon’s version of the iPhone, while Deschanel is promoting the 4S on Sprint’s network. Apple and AT&T did not immediately respond when asked if a third spot for the AT&T phone is on its way.

Related stories:

Apple hit with Siri suit over what the program can really do

Siri co-founder: Steve Jobs didn’t care for the name Siri

Siri inspires a Tumblr or two, answers more goofy questions

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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