In case you’ve been under a proverbial rock, the new Apple Ads are quite something. The images and ideas that they convey are captivating. A big part of their success is the theme song, certain to become iconic, I would bet. Find myself fighting the urge to pick up one of these watches. Okay, it’s not that hard to resist.

Easily lost is Apple’s subtle signal to a multicultural society. If you actually see it, it’s bold: not just some ambiguous interracial hanging out, these are real couples, by all appearances appearing to engage on a serious level.  In two Ads (“Us” and “Rise”), I caught three such images.

 

 

What might seem a little disappointing was the lengths that Apple went through to make the images easy to miss — well, let’s be more frank, virtually hidden: they were quick, not well lit or blurred. I had to pull out my computer, and freeze frame the spots to confirm what seemed to flicker by me on the screen.

This does seem a shame in a way. But we all know that the bottom line is that a company wants even those uncomfortable or offended by the images to buy watches too. But for me, this makes all those other advertisers who stood up brazenly for the concept of the multicultural society we must become to survive even more impressive. We all know about the infamous Cherrios Ad that received such a racist backlash, and all they depicted was a mixed married couple who did not even appear in the same room. God bless them, Cheerios double-down in the face of the maelstrom.

There is another perspective, though. Maybe Apple’s comment was that such interactions are normal now, so they do not have to be highlighted. Avoiding a drum roll signals their fundamental acceptance. This is naive, of course. The people putting the clips together had to be very aware of what they were doing because it was a counter-choice: not the normal or expected one but something that they had to go out of their way to do..

In any event, the Apple Ads are only the most recent of an unacknowledged trend among our more progressive retailers for a while. Here is the first time I noticed it back at the end of 2013. From our friends at BR

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And here are some more . . .