Apple Apologizes for Tone-Deaf “Crush!” iPad Pro Ad

Originally published at: Apple Apologizes for Tone-Deaf “Crush!” iPad Pro Ad - TidBITS

After significant backlash, Apple has apologized for and pulled its “Crush!” ad showing creative and cultural objects pulverized by an industrial press. Was the ad just an ill-considered effort to shock or an all-too-accurate metaphor for today’s tech industry?

Check out the Justine Bateman fix for Apple’s iPad ad. Perfect. #apple #ipad

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I hate when people credit the wrong person for an achievement. Reza Sixo Safai created and posted the reconstructed ad to X, and Bateman retweeted it.

https://twitter.com/rezawrecktion/status/1788211832936861950

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Wow. The first time I saw Apple’s new ad, I thought it was a parody. It made me think of the old “1984” ad, but for all the wrong reasons.

The concept certainly is interesting enough that any competent ad agency would have spent time working on variations of it.

Unfortunately, the released version feels like a warning about the oppressive potential of technology in the hands of giant, soulless corporations, including Apple itself.

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Thank you for that! I will post corrections where I mentioned it on Facebook and Mastadon!

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This is just about the worst commercial I ever saw, and I worked in advertising my entire career. Steve Jobs, one of the smartest, most intuitive, and most innovative advertisers the world has ever known, is probably turning in his grave over this POS.

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I watched the presentation last night as I have one on order and wanted to know any details and was astounded on the emotional level of the presentation and all the adjectives used. I know Apple has always been like this, but for some reason it stood out so much this time. Everything they introduce is ready the Change the World.

I had heard about the commercial spot, but it was still painful to watch. If they hadn’t lingered on everything being crushed, it would have been better.

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The “corrections” didn’t make the original abomination any better in the slightest degree. But at least they didn’t make it any worse.

The concept of replacing all of those is good…but the execution is lacking. It’s not bad…but it isn’t good either.

“1984” it ain’t. And it is not even anything near “Think Different” either. Crashing and crushing products that are essential for many creative artists, wannabes, and fans of artists is not good marketing strategy. It’s just plain old anti creativity.

I just read in Ad Age that Apple is canceling the TV spots they booked for this commercial. But they will have to write big checks to pay for the cancellations. They are probably stuck with paying for almost all of the print ads they already booked and sent to press. I’ll bet it’s probably a MEGA financial disaster.

I didn’t think much of the ad but I think the reactions are a bit ‘over the top’.

I’m guessing the premise was “all these things are now in the iPad” but displaying it in a destructive way was, well, destructive. If they’d left everything intact and somehow whirlpooled them into an iPad I doubt there’d be any push back.

Regardless, I imagine someone will pay the price. The agency is probably safe as someone at Apple would have given them a brief and approved the final product. I don’t think it will be a major financial disaster - they’ll just come up with replacement ads and rebook or fulfil their current bookings.

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Apple has its own ad agency within an ad agency. The Media Arts Lab is a freestanding part of TBWA, who were the brilliant creatives that unleashed 1984 and really helped “change the world:” Apple is the MAL’s only client:

https://www.mediaartslab.com/

Unfortunately at this time the people at MAL do not seem to be as effective or smart as the original TBWA team. TBWA was then a recently born agency which had just began to establish a track record. And with “1984” they really did begin to recreate the advertising world. Unfortunately they created a big disaster in 2024.

I’ll bet they come up with a better creative scheme soon.

That would have been better received…but snowflakes…ya know. The ad didn’t do anything for me either…but the outrage is way off the reservation.

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I brought the commentary about the ad over to here so it wasn’t mixed in with the conversation about the iPads themselves.

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Check out Joy of Tech’s take…

I think the key to the problem is that whoever built this ad didn’t make a differentiation between the iPad replacing these items and destroying them. All these items are functionally incorporated into the iPad Pro, but they still exist on their own and are neither obsolete nor irrelevant. The “crushing” imagery implies that they are no longer useful now that we have the iPad, and that’s simply not true.

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I totally agree with the backlash to this myopic marketing attempt. It totally demonstrates how it has transformed from its early days being a customer centric company to a profit centric company under the reign of Tim Cook. However, it is somewhat understandable, considering he is being paid more money by Apple in one day than the average California worker makes in an entire year.

I think they were so enamored (drunk) on the ability to create and render the ad that they overlooked the predictable emotional reaction.

The inspiration for the ad (Hit tip to John Gruber of Daring Fireball):

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When I saw the segment in the event video I thought it was pretty trite “we squashed all this into an iPad” but I read it that the core buyer for this probably overpowered device was creative professionals. I never considered it as an ad, it’s not smart or cool enough to be an Apple ad being just a feat of sorts. Showing off is a kind of default choice used by a lot of tech companies. The worst example being that orbiting Tesla. Ultimately they’re just kinda dumb.

I wouldn’t be angry but I supposed folks are hardwired that way these days.