Apple has a treacly new Christmas ad for the iPhone. And cloying as some might find it, it's actually pretty effective, too.

The 90-second spot features a jaded teen who's apparently too absorbed in his phone to enjoy the wonderful, life-affirming experience of Christmastime with family.

Eventually it's revealed that — spoiler alert — he's been filming everyone the whole time, and dazzles his relatives with a montage of creepshots: Family members share secret kisses, throw snowballs, lick spoonfuls of batter, and spend a whole 'lotta precious quality time with one another.

It's all set to a down-tempo version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Grandma cries. Hugs are shared. Apple goes on to sell another gazillion iPhones. It's a Christmas miracle.

Yes, this is another new entry in the rising trend of super sad tech commercials, in which the technology fades into the background so the very emotional human element can take center stage. It's clever — fake images trigger real feelings, not unlike Love Actually or It's a Wonderful Life. (Where exactly you fall on that spectrum is up to you.)

Google started it, Apple ran with it, and now, here we are, in a salty winter puddle of tears.

(Via AllThingsD)