We really ought to appreciate how overt the religious themes in the ad are. Humans sacrifice and perform good works in order to placate an angry deity. Modern neo-paganism has rarely been as well-represented in such a short video. I half-expected one of the employees to slaughter a ram on top of an altar of MacBook Pros. But the divinization of nature, the condemnation of religious hypocrisy, the works of supererogation, the appeasement of the goddess—all of these underscore that beneath many of our public policy debates are fundamental religious differences about the nature of God, sin, humanity, and atonement.
It’s mid-September, which means another annual Apple Event has come and gone, complete with the new iPhone 15 and Vision Pro, a new spatial computing device. But what grabbed the attention of many last week was Apple’s five-minute Mother Nature ad.
In the ad, a group of Apple employees nervously await the arrival of a peevish and snappy Mother Nature, who is dropping by for the annual corporate responsibility review. Mother Nature expects the same old empty song and dance, in which corporations make grandiose promises about reducing their environmental impact only to offer superficial efforts while kicking the can down the road.
However, over the course of the ad, sharp-tongued Mother Nature slowly softens as she realizes that Apple is in fact “doing the work” and making real progress to reduce their impact on the planet (even though, as Apple CEO Tim Cook says at the end, “there’s still a lot more work to do”). The ad closes with the sun emerging from behind a cloud and a dead plant coming back to life as Mother Nature approves their progress and the employees sigh in relief.
While some Christians might want to condemn the ad, I, for one, would like to express my (limited) appreciation for it, and invite my fellow Christians to do the same. Why, you ask? Let me count the ways.