Apple Scraps TV Plans For ‘Crush’ Advert After Criticism

Apple has scrapped plans to commercially air an advertisement for its new iPad Pro that received criticism from viewers for its depiction of a range of devices, including a record turntable, musical instruments, multi-colored paints and a video game cabinet, being crushed beneath a hydraulic press.

“Meet the new iPad Pro: the thinnest product we’ve ever created, the most advanced display we’ve ever produced, with the incredible power of the M4 chip,” wrote Apple chief executive Tim Cook in presenting the ad on X, formerly Twitter. “Just imagine all the things it’ll be used to create.”

The ad was intended to emphasise the range of capabilities enabled by the M4 chip and the thinness of the device, but many viewers reacted viscerally to the imagery of seeing items violently destroyed to create the iPad.

“Take everything awesome and reduce it to soulless overpriced digital boredom. Seems on brand to me,” wrote one user on Reddit.

‘Boring tablet appliance’

“I was thinking 95 percent of that stuff being crushed has about 1000 percent more mojo than yet another boring tablet appliance…, especially the musical instruments and video game cabinet,” wrote another.

“It’s like the enemies of everything ‘Think Different’ stood for staged a hostile takeover of Apple and turned it into its culture’s own worst enemy and this is their announcement,” another user opined.

A number of viewers compared the ad unfavourably to Apple’s “1984” ad in which the company introduced its Mac line of computers, contrasting their creativity to the monotony of the IBM-compatibles of the day.

The ad remains on YouTube and X, but Apple said it no longer plans to release it for broadcast.

“Creativity is in our DNA at Apple, and it’s incredibly important to us to design products that empower creatives all over the world,” said Apple vice president of marketing communications, Tor Myhren. “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.”

Apple iPad Air (2024). Image credit Apple.

‘Read-the-room moment’

Some viewers noted that concerns about technology taking over people’s lives and AI replacing jobs appeared to contribute to the ad’s unexpectedly negative reception.

“It’s a read-the-room moment when people aren’t thrilled with tech companies right now because of AI, data privacy, monopolies, labor practices, etc.,” wrote a user on social media.

Apple is planning a range of new AI-powered product releases this year that it hopes will boost sagging sales.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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