Apple apologizes for soul-crushing iPad ad: ‘We missed the mark’

Apple is walking back and apologizing after a new ad campaign for the iPad Pro went viral for all the wrong reasons. 

The ad, which was debuted by Apple CEO Tim Cook on X (formerly Twitter) earlier this week, showcased countless items and tools associated with human creativity being destroyed by a hydraulic press. In the ad, cans of paint, musical instruments, cameras, arcade cabinets, metronomes, and books, among many other items, were all destroyed by the enormous hydraulic press, which eventually lifts to reveal the iPad Pro, which Apple is advertising as the thinnest and most powerful iPad ever. 

Cook’s initial posting of the ad has since been ratioed with comments and quote-tweets to the high heavens. The campaign has received widespread negative backlash across the internet, with one user labeling it as a “‘wanton destruction of all the good and beautiful things in this world,” and another claiming the ad “convinced them they need less technology in their life.” 

With such an intense and wide-reaching negative response to the ad, Apple’s vice president of marketing communications, Tor Myhren, made a statement to Ad Age, a legacy marketing and technology publication, apologizing for the content of the ad and saying it did not make the intended impact the marketing team had hoped 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,” Myhren told 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.”

While one could definitely see what Apple was going for with the ad—the convenience of creativity completely confined to one device—the negative perception of crushing human ambition and the countless developments we’ve already made as a society could be viewed as a bad look for the corporation. This ad is especially damning in an age where Big Tech is losing good standing with the general public following surging and worrying developments in subfields such as AI, data-sharing, and social media dependence. 

In addition to apologizing for the advertisement, Apple has decided to not air it on television. 

The iPad Pro will launch on May 15, and it’s likely (if not a given) that the corporation’s marketing department will look to get a new ad in place in support of the product. 

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