That rare, treasured moment in marketing: When business advertising evokes the sublime.

Sublime (n.) – Of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe. [from Latin sublimis, uplifted.]

Among the mindless and vulgar attempts at humor from contemporary advertising, Apple found poetic north. Staying true to its founder’s ethos and visionary branding, I know that Steve Jobs is somewhere smiling at their new campaign for the iPad Air, with its new “verse anthem” ad.

Can Business Advertising Be Considered Art?

Yes, it can. I viewed Apple’s TV ad yesterday and found myself compelled to watch it on YouTube multiple times. Their new ad is a brilliant marriage of poetry and dramatic video, culminating in what most advertisers and even artists hope for with their art: transcending time and space. Apple created an “Oasis moment” for our minds and imagination. For 90 seconds, you are invited to a brief escape from what is to what could be. The derivation of Sublime means uplifted. Mission accomplished.

I have included the Walt Whitman poem from which this beautiful business advertising achievement was derived from.


O ME! O life! of the questions of these recurring,

Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,

Of myself forever reproaching myself (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)

Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,

Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,

Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,

The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?


That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

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