Disabled Former Cyclist Shows Off Apple’s New Voice Control in Uplifting NBA Finals Ad

The campaign plugs the expanded accessibility options unveiled at last week's WWDC

In the ad, accessibility advocate Ian Mackay uses Apple Voice Control to meet up with a friend. - Credit by Apple
Headshot of Patrick Kulp

Apple brought its newly expanded voice command options before a mass audience tonight in a 60-second ad that aired during Game 5 of the NBA finals.

The straightforward spot features quadriplegic former cyclist and accessibility advocate Ian Mackay, who takes viewers through the process of sharing an image and a location pin with a friend by way of the new Voice Control feature. The Cupertino tech giant announced the tools, which it plans to release across multiple Apple devices this fall, along with the video at its Worldwide Developers Conference last week.

Apple has a long history of building ad campaigns around its accessibility offerings, and this isn’t the first time Mackay has appeared in one. The company also profiled his inspirational return to long-distance outdoor trips in a power wheelchair after a cycling accident left him paralyzed from the neck down as part of a series of ads released to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day in 2017.

Other features announced at Apple’s service-heavy WWDC included a host of user privacy options and a rebuilt Maps app. Apple similarly plugged privacy controls of the same kind in a light-hearted ad released last month.



@patrickkulp patrick.kulp@adweek.com Patrick Kulp is an emerging tech reporter at Adweek.