Apple: Sorry About That Ad Where We Crushed All Creativity

Company offers apology for iPad Pro commercial showing the crushing of creative items from past
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2024 7:30 PM CDT
Updated May 10, 2024 8:31 AM CDT
Backlash Meets Apple Ad Showing Creative Destruction
Apple iPads are displayed in a Costco in Sheridan, Colo., in March.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
UPDATE May 10, 2024 8:31 AM CDT

Apple's newest ad, showing the destruction of all things creative to create an iPad Pro, "struck a nerve online," with one critic noting, per the AP: "This ... commercial says, 'No, we're going to take all the creativity in the world and use a hydraulic press to push it down into one device that everyone uses.'" Now, Apple is offering a rare mea culpa amid the backlash. "Our goal is to always celebrate the myriad of ways users express themselves and bring their ideas to life through iPad," Tor Myhren, VP of marketing communications at Apple, tells Ad Age, via CNBC. "We missed the mark with this video, and we're sorry." Ad Age notes that plans for the ad to also run on TV have now been similarly squashed.

May 8, 2024 7:30 PM CDT

A new Apple commercial has upset those who don't see creativity as a zero-sum game. The ad features an industrial press crushing a series of objects that create and reflect art to bits—including books, musical instruments, paint cans, statues, a record player, a camera, an old TV, and a classic arcade game machine, CNBC reports—that then give way to the company's latest iPad. The destruction is accompanied by the upbeat "All I Ever Need Is You" by Sonny & Cher. In a post on X with the video, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote on Tuesday, "Just imagine all the things it'll be used to create."

Online backlash followed from people, including Hollywood creators, who don't share Apple's excitement. One tech person's post on X said the ad is "crushing symbols of human creativity and cultural achievements to appeal to pro creators." Actor Hugh Grant wrote, per Variety: "The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley." Asif Kapadia, a producer, director, and writer, posted a backhanded compliment: "It is the most honest metaphor for what tech companies do to the arts, to artists, musicians, creators, writers, filmmakers: squeeze them, use them, not pay well, take everything then say it's all created by them."

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The new model went on sale Tuesday. Apple, which touted the thinness of the iPad Pro as another selling point, didn't respond to requests for comment about the ad. Politicians jumped in, as well, with Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy asking in his post: "Does it weird you out that the technology elite have this level of hubris and this much disdain for the the history of human creation?" Filmmaker Reza Sixo Safai tried to undo the damage, posting a version of the commercial with the video running in reverse with the comment, "Hey @Apple, I fixed it for you." (More Apple stories.)

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