It was cute, but also stupid, of Apple to get Martin Scorsese to test out the iPhone 4S Siri Assistant service in this latest ad from TBWA Media Works. Cute because Scorsese’s take-no-prisoners verbal style and sten-gun delivery would test any voice recognition system to destruction. Stupid, because the ad is frankly not plausible. As anyone who has actually tried to use Siri as anything other than a gimmick must be aware. All the ad does is highlight the shortcomings of the service.
Indeed, to a UK audience (which admittedly this ad does not target), the 4S promise sounds downright dishonest. Whoever tries getting Siri to work Maps will probably be fobbed off with a web search.
Our criticism is relatively mute compared to HuffPo’s on the subject. The US news aggregator reckons Apple has had to progressively dumb down the way it presents Siri:
This (ad) takes place in a single location, with a single person asking the questions. That’s consistent with the previous four Siri ads, which took place in Samuel L. Jackson’s kitchen, Zooey Deschanel’s house and John Malkovich’s study (twice). The relative stillness of the camera and the setting do, in fact, reduce the sense that Siri is an everything-for-everyone software feature. Whereas before Siri was doing a dozen different things for a dozen different people, now she can do half as much for one person.
All in all, it’s not so surprising that sales of the once popular iPhone 4S have stalled. We too suggest waiting for the 5 launch this autumn. Maybe claims made on behalf of Siri won’t seem so far-fetched when it is housed in a new phone empowered by a new operating system.