Apple ad was one of Robin Williams’ final productions

As the world mourns the death of Robin Williams and remembers his greatest moments, one of his final commercial productions shouldn’t be overlooked. Williams provided the voiceover for Apple’s “Your Verse” series of iPad Air commercials, which debuted in January. The ads feature Williams reciting his stirring monologue on the meaning of life from the 1989 film, “Dead Poets Society.” Apple has a long history of making memorable commercials. This one was no different, and is all the more poignant for being one of Williams’ final projects.

There’s no word yet on whether Apple will continue with the ad campaign in the wake of Williams’ death.

Update: The ad with Robin Williams’ voiceover has not been on the air for several months, according to Apple, though the “Your Verse” series of commercials with other voiceovers is still airing.


At top: 2005 file photo of Robin Williams. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)


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  • John R

    They should re-run that ad to pay tribute to him.

    • Jeff

      Depends on the wishes of the family but I agree. I think it would be a nice gesture but at the same time you need to respect the families decision.

    • John

      I think that’d be tacky, and would look exploitive.

    • Zach

      I say run the ad, with the family’s permission, but do not push product during the ad. Rather, pay homage and respects to one of the best comedians the world has ever seen.

      That would be what I, as a Robin Williams fan and admirer, would like to see.

  • mask0425x

    Simply beautiful…
    RIP, RW

  • casey07

    Profound. RIP, RW

  • larkinvonalt

    Hardly. He’s finished a weekly series for CBS in May and was in post – production on five films. (Absolutely Anything, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Merry Friggin’ Christmas, the Angriest Man in Brooklyn and Boulevard.) That would hardly make a project that wrapped in January “one of his final productions.” That kind of error, so easily checked. makes this post look nothing but exploitive and opportunistic. And wrong. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • William Smith

      It did say “one of his final”. No shame due.

      • larkinvonalt

        He had five finished feature-length films and a comedy series on CBS. Perhaps it was one of the last fifty things he did? Even so, pretty crass on the part of “siliconbeat.”

        • Jeffery P. Ess

          This was completed 8 months ago. It was one of his last projects. Why are you splitting hairs?

          • ellafino

            Haters gonna hate

          • RussellL

            It really wasn’t ‘his’ project.
            It wasn’t like Robin had to go to a recording studio and collaborate with Apple on it. Apple used an audio clip from the movie.
            And Robin probably didn’t get get a dime for it since the studio owns the copyright to the movie and can do whatever they want with it.

          • Jeffery P. Ess

            Seriously. Russel… Apple would never not include the artist. If you knew anything about copyright, you would know that studio rights are limited and the a big star like Robin Williams and his agent would have rights to how this would be used in the future. I own a branding agency and have dealt with copyright issues for more than 20 years.

          • RussellL

            So other than collaborating on the price, what other work did Apple do with Robin?
            Don’t get me wrong, I think Robin was a great comedian, but I also think Apple is trying to capitalize on his fame.

          • Jeffery P. Ess

            Apple has always tried to align their advertising communications with what’s trending, not what’s trendy. There’s a difference. In many ways they have forged their own path. Ridley Scott directed their “1984 commercial”. They used many different images of famous people in their “Think Different” Campaign. All companies choose a path and align themselves with all sorts of Talent. This has been going on for decades. No other company is different from Apple. It just comes back to “taste”. Apple has great trend setting taste.

    • John R

      You seem spiteful and hateful. Exactly opposite of Robin Williams.

      • larkinvonalt

        I’m neither spiteful nor hateful. I just believe in integrity.

        • John

          It’s a sad day when people call you hateful because you criticise other people’s dishonesty.

  • demodave

    25 years ago, and you call it one of his last productions? I love Apple’s products and values, and I’m trerribly sad about Robin Williams’ death, but that by no means qualifies Dead Poets’ Society as one of Williams’ last productions. Just as I am sure Apple negotiated with Williams’ on the use of his voice-over in the ad, they should negotiate with his family on timing of use of his work after his death.

    • John

      Yes. Its just clickbait.

    • RussellL

      I highly doubt Robin got anything from Apple. The movie studio owns the copyright to the movie and can do whatever they want with it.

  • Isaac Byers

    I don’t mean to diminish the poignancy of the message in the ad or the dialogue – it IS a powerful piece – nor do I wish to diminish the sadness of Robin Williams’ passing. But, I have doubts that he actually had much active (or any) participation in producing this ad, like the story suggests.

    It’s very likely that the team which put the ad together (of which I doubt Williams was part of) simply lifted the original audio from the film and spliced it into the ad timeline in Final Cut Pro. Of course, Williams likely got a nice royalty check from it, but I really doubt he re-recited the monologue, or had created sway in the ad.

    Still, a powerful message, and I’m sad to know he’s gone.

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