ipad air & the perfect analogy

Today the iPad Air is launched in the UK - it's thinner, it's lighter, it's faster… . It's also no longer revolutionary, everyone's making tablets in one form or another.

So how do you create a commercial to grab our attention and to make us put it at the top of our Christmas list?

Use the perfect analogy; compare it to one of the oldest instruments of creativity in all fields of life, the pencil.

It's brilliant and yet so simple. Add a familiar and yet timeless soundtrack from British composer Ryan Teague and top it off by getting Bryan Cranston, one of the coolest actors around thanks to 'Breaking Bad', to narrate it. Now all we are thinking about is when we can nip down to our nearest Apple store just to look at it.

Analogies are amazingly effective when it comes to presenting and clarifying ideas. If you can make a comparison to something we easily understand, we will get it. They're also incredibly effective when it comes to data.

In 2008 IBM introduced their then superfast supercomputer called Roadrunner. It ran at one petaflop per second. For any of you who don't know, that's one thousand trillion calculations per second. Realising that this number would be pretty meaningless to most of us, IBM issued a press release to help us picture what those numbers meant:

How fast is a petaflop? Lots of laptops. That’s roughly equivalent to the combined computing power of 100,000 of today’s fastest laptop computers. You would need a stack of laptops 1.5 miles high to equal Roadrunner’s performance...

If it were possible for cars to improve their gas mileage over the past decade at the same rate that supercomputers have improved their cost and efficiency, we'd be getting 200,000 miles to the gallon today.

So the next time you’re creating a slide show on your brand new iPad and you’ve got big numbers or a complex issue to explain, consider using an analogy.

Image credit: Flickr

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