What's wrong with iPad Pro’s new ad and why did Apple have to apologize for it?

May 10, 2024  13:54

As part of the advertising campaign for the new iPad Air and iPad Pro tablets, introduced on May 7, Apple released a new iPad Pro commercial called Crush. People, however, did not really like the video, and under pressure from criticism, Apple had to apologize and refuse to show it on television.

What's wrong with Apple’s new ad and why did it outrage people?

In the minute-long video, we are shown how a huge press crushes various musical instruments, a TV, paint cans, toys, art objects and other things, “transforming” all these things into an iPad Pro.

The original purpose of the video appeared to be to highlight the powerful capabilities of the thinnest iPad Pro, but some interpreted it as a metaphor for the suppression of human creativity by technological power. Many users, bloggers, content creators and journalists began to criticize the company for destroying art.

For example, Lulu Cheng Meservey, former chief commercial officer of Activision Blizzard, wrote on her social media page X that Apple would be wise from a strategic point of view to create advertising that takes into account the target audience and the fears many people have about what technology may deprive them of their jobs. In her view, the company needed to show advertising that was bright, hopeful and uplifting, celebrating human creativity and flourishing and centering people rather than a giant machine.

Instead they created a vision of dystopia. The crushing of instruments is viscerally hard to watch and evokes the destruction of art during the Cultural Revolution. One of Apple’s greatest ads was “1984,” in which color emerged from bleakness and the human spirit vanquished a dictatorial screen. This latest ad reverses all of that and hands victory back to the screen," she wrote.

Japanese Apple users were also extremely disappointed by the ad, as their culture tends to treat outdated devices and art with special care.

Some users even began to say that this video should be watched by scrolling it in reverse order - then it will become much better and will carry a different meaning.

Commenting on the situation with the video and the refusal to show it on television, Tor Myhren, Apple's vice president of marketing, said:

"Creativity is in our DNA at Apple, and it’s incredibly important to us to design products that empower creatives all over the world. Our goal is to always celebrate the myriad of ways users express themselves and bring their ideas to life through iPad. We missed the mark with this video, and we’re sorry."

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