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Apple airs two new Siri commercials with John Malkovich

updated 02:37 am EDT, Thu May 24, 2012

New ad reveals the meaning of life

Apple has released two new televisions commercials featuring the iPhone 4S, its Siri voice capability and a celebrity in need of company. Like the first two ads in the series, a famous actor (in this case thespian and director John Malkovich) is inside a white house alone, making conversation with Siri. Unlike the previous commercials, Malkovich never leaves his chair, and gets two distinct ads -- one of which reveals the meaning of life.

Monty Python fans will be pleased to hear Siri's short summary of rules that constitute the meaning of life, which is taken in its entirety from the ending of the 1983 Python film of the same name. In the ad, Malkovich is seen relaxing in a luxurious high-backed wing chair listening to a performance of Puccini when he languidly calls upon Siri and says simply "life."

Siri's reply is as follows: "try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations." Malkovich, looking astonished, says to himself "that's pretty spectacular advice, actually." He then tells Siri, "thank you. I enjoyed this chat immensely. You were very eloquent" to which it replies "that's nice of you to say."

In the second ad, Malkovich is again listening to the same piece of music, and calls up Siri with single-word commands, including "weather?", "evening?", "linguica" and finally "joke?" He receives contextual replies to all of them, including a weather forecast, no plans for the evening, and a list of nearby restaurants that mention linguica in their reviews. For the joke, Siri says "Two iPhones walk into a bar. I forget the rest."

Malkovich tells Siri "that's funny" and receives a reply of "was it something I said?" He replies simply "yes, it was." Both commercials can be seen on Apple's website, YouTube and are embedded below.

Apple has prominently featured Siri in most, but not all, of its iPhone 4S commercials. In the earliest ones, Siri was just one feature of several that distinguished the iPhone 4S from its competitors, including the improved camera and and iCloud integration. During the holidays, a spot of Santa Claus using Siri extensively to help him with his work was frequently screened.

Since then, the ads have mostly focused on Siri as the major selling point of the iPhone 4S. A series of ads showing unidentified people using Siri to plan road trips, learn to play guitar and find out if school was closed for snow were made before the latest sequence of ads, which show celebrities conversing with Siri. Prior to Malkovich, ads by Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel were featured.

by MacNN Staff



  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Siri, what's the meaning of life?

    "a movie."
    "it' nothing Nietzsche couldn't tell ya".
    "Life: a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings. I guess that includes me."

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Needs Siri success for TV?

    Apple pushing a feature (still tagged as a beta) so heavily with high-profile celebrities makes me think Apple urgently needs more people using Siri. Which makes me think they are depending on people to be more familiar/comfortable with Siri and voice-control than they currently are, for an upcoming product.

    Apple seems to like shifting the paradigm of auser-interface, at which point they leverage their strength and popularity with that interface to drive the dominance of a new product. But none of that can happen if the interface doesn't reach a certain critical mass, such that people consider it cool and Apple gets enough user data for refining it far beyond a beta.

  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Judging from the lawsuit-happy idiots out there, Apple may need to think twice about taking Siri out of beta.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I have a question for Siri!

    Which month will the Mac Pro die,
    June, July, or August?

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