Big business and comedy rarely see eye to eye. The moment a multinational with an annual turnover larger than the gross domestic product of some developing nation thinks it can get hipper by playing the comedy card, it invariably backfires.
Microsoft has already shown itself to be less down with the kids than a senior Cabinet minister, first by backing, then pulling out of a Windows 7 sponsored episode of a Family Guy spin-off.
Now it's Apple's turn. It started off fairly well for the tech giant, as it enlisted the help of comedy duo Mitchell and Webb for a series of pretty well received Mac vs Pc ads in which PC users were roundly humiliated.
But it seems that when it comes to the iPhone, Cupertino definitely can't take what it has doled out, as American TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres found to her cost this week.
DeGeneres ran a spoof iPhone ad on her show, in which she is unable to use the device's touchscreen interface. "My fingers are so much thicker than I remembered," she complains, before asking a friend to help her use the handset.
Cue a serious sense-of-humour failure in the Apple boardroom.
"I thought it was funny. A bunch of people thought it was funny. You know who didn't think it was funny? The people at Apple," said DeGeneres. "They thought I made it look like it was hard to use."
You would think that with recent quarterly sales figures for the device topping 8 million, the firm can afford to absorb a little light hearted ribbing.
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