Analyzing the backlash against Apple’s “Crush!” ad for the 2024 iPad Pro

Apple’s recent advertisement for the new iPad Pro, titled “Crush!,” has stirred controversy and led to an unexpected apology from the tech giant. The ad depicted a hydraulic press crushing various creative tools, including musical instruments, books, and sculptures, only to reveal the new iPad Pro at the end. However, instead of being well-received, the ad faced backlash from viewers, including celebrities and creatives, who felt it was insensitive and even damaging to the creative process.

Apple Crush

The “Crush!” ad was intended to showcase the capabilities of the new iPad Pro, emphasizing its slim design and advanced features. However, the execution of the ad missed the mark entirely. By depicting the destruction of creative tools, Apple inadvertently sent the message that technology is replacing human creativity rather than enhancing it. This tone-deaf approach led to widespread criticism and disappointment, especially from Apple’s core audience of creatives.

In response to the backlash, Apple issued a rare and unequivocal apology. Tor Myhren, Apple’s VP of marketing communications, stated, “We missed the mark with this video, and we’re sorry.” The apology was swift and strong, reflecting Apple’s acknowledgment of the mistake and its commitment to celebrating and empowering creativity.

The “Crush!” ad not only failed to resonate with viewers but also damaged Apple’s reputation as a brand that celebrates creativity and innovation. By portraying the destruction of creative tools, the ad inadvertently reinforced fears about the impact of technology on human creativity, particularly in light of growing concerns about artificial intelligence (AI) replacing human workers.

The backlash against the “Crush!” ad serves as a valuable lesson for Apple and other tech companies. It emphasizes the importance of understanding and respecting the values and sensibilities of their audience, especially when promoting products intended to support creativity and innovation. Moving forward, Apple must take steps to rebuild trust with its audience and ensure that its marketing efforts reflect its commitment to empowering creativity rather than stifling it.

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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