When we think of Mother’s Day advertisements, there are usually a few templates that come to mind. There are the ones that show you heartwarming scenes between mothers and their children, and then there are the tearjerkers that remind ungrateful sons and daughters about spending time and showing affection to their mothers.
Not to say that they’re good or bad of course, just that this is the usual course.
Which is why it is a little confusing that Maxis’ contribution to this year’s Mother’s Day advertisement pool looks at…
Or more specifically, the type of future that was usually depicted on TV and movies before the dystopian hellscape á la Hunger Games kicks in.
Most of the story focuses on a girl named Lyn, navigating her daily life with the help of an ‘intuitive’ future AI almost JARVIS-ian in its intelligence. It prepares her breakfast, navigates her drive home, calculates her workout calorie burns, reminds her of appointments and birthdays, and even mocks a nice little anniversary video that is very Facebook-like in thought, but iPhone gallery-like in its execution.
The problem? For all of its good intentions, it just isn’t quite intelligent enough, and the ending shows it. You can see for yourself below:
Maxis’ Track Record
This ad marks Maxis’ most creative departure from the usual seasonal ads we see on TV (or more realistically these days, before the YouTube video you actually intended to see plays).
However, this isn’t far-off from what Maxis has been doing. We’ve written before about a couple of ads that Maxis has produced over the years, and they even won the first Malaysian YouTube Ad Awards with the famous The Last Kitemaker ad.
From precocious children, tear-streaked reunions to even the fulfillment of a small dream, one theme that is shared throughout these ads is technology. While the starring roles in these storylines always feature the people, all forms of tech usually comes in to move the plot along.
In a twist even for their own advertisement branding, this new ad by Maxis tries to show us that no matter how far technology goes (spoiler alert) no form of intelligence will compare to a mother’s intuition.
The Subtlety That Gives It A More Powerful Touch (Spoiler Alert, Seriously)
By the end, as per usual, the message is spelled out for us, and even accentuated by text that drives the point home. But the imagery presented to us throughout this advertisement showcases what I feel is true restraint from the filmmaking team.
It was never said outright to us that Lyn has broken up with the enigmatic Adam, but the advertisement gives us a lot of hints to it, especially showcased through the expressions on Lyn’s face. The aesthetic is minimalistic, and even a touch drab and colourless, expressing subtly the emptiness Lyn feels.
And for an ad that focuses on the intuitive power that mothers have, the mother features surprisingly little. And that’s a good thing.
That being said, some might argue that she could probably have turned off all of those Adam notifications if it really bothered her, or the future is a cruel, cruel place.
The true message also resonates. No matter how high technology flies, the human touch is still important in making these technologies work. Skype and FaceTime are nothing without the human on the other side of the screen, and social media only works thanks to the people on it. And, as the ad shows, sometimes it takes physical touch to make your day right.