Helena Lyng Blak
2 weeks ago

Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Ad

Apple backtracks after controversial ad sparks outrage among creatives.
4masik / DepositPhotos
4masik / DepositPhotos

On Thursday, May 9, 2024, Apple apologized discreetly in an exclusive statement to AdAge, after facing backlash for the ad introducing the tech giant’s newest iPad model. 

The ad, released on Tuesday, May 7, depicted a massive hydraulic press slowly crushing various objects associated with creativity and art, including various instruments, cans of paint, statues, books, and gaming devices, ultimately revealing they had all been ‘pressed’ into the new, slim iPad Pro.

The video seemed to reference the hydraulic press videos popular on social media, wherein various objects get squashed for “oddly satisfying” or curiosity reasons. 

Despite the company's assumed attempt to appeal to contemporary online culture, the ad has been received as more tone-deaf than anything else.

Almost immediately, Apple’s ad was met with vehement criticism online, with many arguing it perfectly—albeit accidentally—illustrated the dangers and damage of unregulated tech and AI innovation on the arts and their creators.

“Apple really says the quiet part out loud in this new ad,” said one user on X.

Another called the ad “an astonishing and terrifying cultural artifact.”

In a particularly headline-inducing moment, British actor Hugh Grant joined in on the criticism, saying, “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

Although the ad is still available online, Apple has scrapped its plans for a TV run. 

“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, VP of marketing communications in the company’s statement. 

“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.” 

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