Apple Apologizes for Ad That Crushed Creativity

Screenshot: Apple

Apple apologized on Thursday for a new iPad Pro commercial that featured several creative objects—including a piano, video cameras, and cans of paint—being destroyed by an industrial crusher, telling Ad Age that it “missed the mark.” The ad was met with fierce backlash from people who thought Apple’s ad was at odds with what Steve Jobs, and the company at large, claimed to stand for.

“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, the company’s VP of marketing communications in a statement to 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, which was named “Crush,” received millions of views on Apple’s YouTube channel and CEO Tim Cook’s X account. Crush never made it to TV, and plans for a TV run have reportedly been scrapped, the company said.

As you can see, Apple is literally destroying creative objects in the ad, and leaving behind an iPad Pro. The ad quickly became a rallying cry around the feeling that Big Tech has monopolized our analog lives. Seeing that message come straight from Apple was pretty shocking.

Old-school Apple commercials, such as the infamous “1984″ Super Bowl spot, painted the company as a liberator from tech giants like IBM. Other infamous ad campaigns, such as “Think Different,” encouraged users to lean into their creativity. Steve Jobs was ostensibly a champion of design and artists.

The public apology comes as many wonder whether Apple is facing a lack of creativity within the company. The Cupertino-based company has struggled to make new products that excite people like they used to. The Vision Pro was met with lackluster sales just months after launch, and Apple’s iPhone and iPad divisions similarly struggled to sell in its latest earnings report.

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