There’s something fishy about this new iPhone ad set in the Mission

Our pal Eli Horowitz, co-author of the renowned ping pong tome Everything You Know Is Pong, spotted something curious on the back cover of his New Yorker the other day:

Hello Allan.  I have a (non-pong-related) tip for you — almost entirely irrelevant, but it’s Mission-centric and has been on my mind. Have you seen this new iPhone ad set in the Mission?  It’s on the back cover of the New Yorker and Rolling Stone and probably elsewhere.  It says “I could use a latte” and then has a photo of the phone, which shows four listings: Ritual, .1 miles; La Taza, .3 miles, Starbucks (at Mariposa), .4 miles, Grand Coffee, .7 miles.”  So first of all, ha ha, that’s mildly interesting.  But then I was wondering where this phone-holder was standing, and I guessed 21st and Valencia — which might work for Ritual and La Taza, but .7 miles to Grand?  And then I realized there’s NO spot that fits all the data, and so Apple must have messed with the distances — maybe in order to include Starbucks on the list?!  Isn’t that interesting?!?!  No, not really, but still.  Citizen journalism!

It’s interesting! Maybe it’s like how I take every opportunity to mention ping pong, Apple takes every opportunity to mention Starbucks?

(Disclosure: I was not paid to plug Eli’s book, but seriously, Eli, if you have any more of those kickass Everything You Know Is Pong-branded paddles left, the one I won is getting pretty worn and having a backup would really set my mind at ease. Also, April is Starbucks’ Global Month of Service! Join them in making a difference in your community this month!)

40 Responses to “There’s something fishy about this new iPhone ad set in the Mission”

  1. stella says:

    Not to mention I’m pretty sure that that blurry background shot was not taken in the Mission. Those buildings are like 5+ stories tall. Last time I checked teh Mission was pretty low to the ground. #justsayin’

  2. manymachines says:

    We noticed this too! Fishy indeed.

    (Btw, Eli’s coauthor Rog Bennett also co-hosts the Men in Blazers podcast, which I follow fanatically.)

  3. noticed this last week but forgot to post about it!

  4. Was in Petaluma the other day with my boyfriend and needed a hotel. We used the around you app–I think..I’m not an iphone user. It listed the Sheraton at $145 a night and the $70 per night was 10 miles away! I was like hell no, asked a person and sure enough there was a Best Western 1.5 miles away for $70.

  5. think_for_me says:


  6. Fact Checker says:


  7. D. Jon Moutarde says:

    Anything with an iPhone is fishy.

  8. ali says:

    I was stuck on the idea that anyone can get full 3G service in the Mission.

  9. Industry Professional says:

    You guys are bein sort of silly. Nobody would ever take a photograph of a screen and use it in an advertisement — lighting situations that are condusive to photographs are awful for illuminating a cell phone screen, not to mention that photographing something that is flashing twenty-four to thirty times a second results in awful images. The image on the phone is very obviously composited in after the image was taken, just like every single other screen you’ve ever seen in a print ad.

    “GOSH” — kurt “napoleon dynamite” cobain (1923-1941)

    • neck of eackles says:

      Yes, we are bein sort of silly, but the issue is not that it’s not an actual photo of an actual screen — the issue is that they clearly had the actual, correct info and then changed it for some reason. Which is fine, but What Is That Reason? Maybe this is actually an early hint of Apple’s master plan to buy the entire Mission and somehow move Mariposa west and 22nd south.

    • tell me about it says:

      more like idiot professional, zing!

  10. mike says:

    Only tards use iPhones.

  11. sfnola says:

    Just be happy Ritual is listed #1.

  12. travis says:

    nerd out!
    all of the coffee shops near ritual in order of distance.
    red indicates the selections in the siri ad, blue indicates coffee shops that are closer than the mariposa starbucks, presuming you’re currently .1 miles from ritual. (note i only mapped coffee shops, not cafes, of which there are at least 20 that serve coffee that are closer)

  13. Mad Men says:

    I work in advertising. It is a bitch to cold call specific establishments to acquire permission to use their name, address, or other likeness to be included in a national ad. Especially a select few that could only be found in a certain area. You have to ask for the manager who could sign off on this and if they’re corporate, they’re even harder to track down. I can only assume Apple legal was able to get permissions from a small population of cafes. And they just roughly made up the distances… it couldn’t be over 1 mile away or else it wouldn’t represent the iPhone/Siri as well.

    • why says:

      Bill Hicks had something to say about Marketing and Advertising… You should youtube that and follow his advice…

  14. Lauren says:

    It also looks like the guy is doing this while standing in the middle of an intersection. Watch out!

  15. waste of time says:

    Or in a national ad they need at least one shop everyone will recognize.

    My map confirms this is made up. Nerd. Go outside and get off your computer.

    • GenevaTower says:

      This guy calls em like he sees em.

      Lindsey sucks, what the hell is her problem?

      Report some more bike thief photos, those are the best. I don’t like bikes that much but I like thieves a lot less.