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Network World - Apple has turned to a couple of celebrities -- singer/actress Zooey Deschanel and actor/children's book narrator Samuel L. Jackson -- to demo its iPhone 4S Siri voice recognition technology in a couple of new video advertisements.
Depending on which versions of the ads you see, carrier logos (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon) show up on the end of them.
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The yes-we-know-you're-quirky Deschanel turns to Siri to figure out if it's raining while she looks through a window, then uses her iPhone to locate a nearby place that delivers tomato soup so that she doesn't need to put on "real shoes."
Jackson, the "Pulp Fiction" star and more recently narrator of an NSFW-titled "children's" book, uses Siri to find a place to buy organic mushrooms and convert measurements as he preps dinner for "date night," then gives Siri the night off.
You'll be heartened to know a "Pulp Fiction"-themed NSFW parody of the Jackson ad has already surfaced.
Apple has used at least semi-famous actors in some of its non-smartphone ads, including for the "Get a Mac" ad series that ran for four years until 2010, and featured Justin Long and "The Daily Show's" John Hodgman. Apple even somewhat discovered a celebrity in 1983, when Kevin Costner acted in an ad for the Apple Lisa. The pitch separates those who use computers from those who use Apples. This was still a few years before Costner broke out in such movies as "Bull Durham" and "The Untouchables" (in fact, in 1983, his scenes from "The Big Chill" were axed).
Plenty of celebrities have been used to hawk cellphones over the years, with Katy Perry singing to help kick off the Windows Phone in 2010, for example, and there's even a site to document celebrity BlackBerry sightings.
Read more about wireless & mobile in Network World's Wireless & Mobile section.