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How Apple's iPad Pro 'Crush' ad got it all very very wrong

How not to do it...
2 minute read
How not to do it...

Cupertino crushed! Apple's launch advert for the new iPad Pro was a rare misstep from a company that invented the modern, high-concept cinematic ad with Ridley Scott's '1984' commercial.

Apple has long been thought to be the Big Tech company that understands its creative users. It's a cool brand and one that people want to be associated with. It makes cool ads. It's a bit edgy at times but, y'know, that's Silicon Valley for you. And when it is edgy it is edgy in a way that a trillion dollar company wants to be; with a safety net and a nod and wink that assures everything is safe, sure, and shareholders don't need to worry themselves about anything that might impact on the sacred task of generating profits.

Thus, the social media outpouring of vituperation regarding its new iPad Pro 'Crush' ad can be firstly seen as schadenfreude on a truly global scale. The actor Hugh Grant wrote on X (nee Twitter) that the advert represented “the destruction of the human experience, courtesy of Silicon Valley," and summed up the feelings of an awful lot of people in the process.

Hugh Grant an everyman? Oh, brave new world...

Put simply, Apple completely failed to read the room. As a giant hydraulic press inches down to crush books, music instruments, computer games cabinets, clay models, toys and more, before being raised to reveal a shining new iPad Pro in all their places, Tim Cook chirpily tweeted, "Just imagine all the things it’ll be used to create.”

"Just look at all the jobs it'll replace," thought everybody watching.


So intense has the pushback been that Apple was forced to issue an apology. Yes. Apple. An apology. 

"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 Tor Myhren, Apple’s vice-president of marketing communications, in a statement sent to the trade publication Ad Age. “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.”

The ad is still available on YouTube and all over social, but the company has pulled plans to show it on TV. As more than one person has pointed out, the company that made its name and cemented its marketing reputation with the 1984 ad that launched the Macintosh, seems to have turned into Big Brother itself.

What's perhaps worse though is that it's not even original. Here's the 30-second advert unearthed by 9to5Google for the then new LG KC910 Renoir 8MP camera-phone that launched in 2008.


Cloth eared and derivative? Tsk...

There are many glorious responses to all this out there. But here are two of our favourites.


And finally, a glorious takedown that utterly nails it. Apple, give this man a job...


Tags: Technology Apple