Today in Apple history: Martin Scorsese helps Apple promote Siri


July 23: Today in Apple history: Martin Scorsese helps Apple promote Siri July 23, 2012: Looking for the perfect spokesman for its new Siri virtual assistant, Apple turns to the filmmaker behind some of Hollywood’s most violent gangster movies.

That’s what happens when a new television ad debuts showing legendary film director Martin Scorsese using Siri. The latest of Apple’s celebrity-studded Siri ads, this turns out to be among the best.

A star-studded lineup of Siri fans

Previous celebrity-filled ads for Siri featured the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and John Malkovich. There was also an infamous one in which Zooey Deschanel looks out of her window at pouring rain, and then asks Siri whether it’s raining.

In the Scorsese ad, the filmmaker uses Siri to check his calendar for the day. He engages in a bit of banter, moves his schedule around, looks up a friend named Rick, and gets real-time traffic reports.

“I like you, Siri,” Scorsese says at the end of the ad. “You’re going places.”

The ad was directed by Bryan Buckley, who went on to helm the brilliant Siri ad starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. (Apple coincidentally released that spot on July 23 several years later.)

While good, the Scorsese ad overinflated Siri’s abilities. Many users noted this type of stretch during Siri’s first year, when the applications Apple described did not jibe with reality. Critics singled out real-time traffic updates as something Siri definitely could not do, although rumors predicted the feature would arrive in the next iteration of iOS.

Apple goes Hollywood

Over the years, Apple has enjoyed relationships with some of the top filmmakers in Hollywood. In the 1990s, director Spike Lee appeared in an Apple commercial. Behind the camera, Apple has also employed the likes of Spike Jonze, David Fincher and Errol Morris.

Today, the iPhone is increasingly being used by filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh as a camera.

Siri, on the other hand, still lags behind rivals like Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. The fluid conversation Scorsese has with his phone in this ad still isn’t possible, given Siri’s current state.

Do you remember the first wave of Siri commercials for the iPhone 4s? Were you impressed by Siri when you first used it? Let us know in the comments below.

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