How The New Yorker Promotes Their iPhone, iPad Apps

  • Published in Film + Web

In the world of direct-to-web “explainer” videos, where frequently mobile apps and digital properties are summed up in a minute or two, leave it to The New Yorker to go out in the deep end with creative — and bizarre — promotions.

The reportage and commentary magazine, which started in 1925 and is known for its one-panel cartoons, commissioned Lena Dunham to write and direct the iPhone promo, reports AllThingsD. She also co-stars with Jon Hamm and Alex Karpovsky. Dunham is up for three Emmys this year in acting, directing and writing for “Girls,” now beginning production of season two on HBO.

[UPDATE: Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTiCulvL-lA no longer available.]

“We SO get it! (We don’t get it.),” tweets New York Magazine. “[I]n terms of execution, tone and technique, I don’t know what the hell to make of this video,” proclaims MediaPost. “There’s a joke here somewhere, and it either whooshed over my head Lockheed-spy-plane style or pulled an end run on me while I was enjoying YouTube clips of Van Halen and people falling down.” And ADWEEK digs into the meta, “She makes the quote-marks gesture with her fingers, a move so ironically unhip-hip, it makes me want to relocate to Park Slope and stop shaving.” The Los Angeles Times notes how Durham, a New Yorker, recently had an essay published about her college boyfriend.

And, in case you missed it, this wasn’t the rag’s first take on abstract promotions.

[UPDATE: Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKr-E7J-6pQ no longer available.]

In 2010, Jason Schwartzman demonstrated their iPad app, which Roman Coppola directed.

In a world of quirky creativity with this stuff, which one do you prefer?


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Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
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