Apple Says “Sorry” After New iPad Ad Faces Harsh Criticism

Even one of the world’s most iconic marketing companies can’t help but occasionally slip up in its advertising efforts.

Apple has apologized after its new iPad ad was heavily panned by viewers. The ad depicted all manner of musical instruments and human figures being crushed by a mechanical press which aimed to convey the idea that Apple had released its thinnest iPad to date. But viewers found the ad dystopiane because of the imagery of the destruction of creative instruments and their replacement with a bland screen.

Apple has now apologized for the ad, saying it “missed the mark”.“Creativity is in our DNA at Apple, and it’s incredibly important to us to design products that empower creatives all over the world,” Tor Myhren, Apple’s vice president of marketing said. “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,” he added.

The ad had featured a giant hydraulic press pressing down on items such as a trumpet, a piano, an arcade machine as melancholic music plays in the background. The items get squished immediately, but the press continues on, this time destroying monitors and cans of paint. At this point, the press begins destroying human-like figures, including busts, angry birds characters, and some yellow emojis. An emoji tries to escape, but isn’t able to make it in time, and its eyeballs pop out as its squished by the hydraulic press. When the press finally done, paint oozes out of its sides, and all is silent. The press then rises again, only to reveal that the debris from all that had been crushed has been turned into an iPad. “The most powerful iPad ever is also the thinnest,” the narrator says, as the ad ends with the Apple logo.

The ad drew sharp reactions on social media. “I’m not sure ‘wanton destruction of all the good and beautiful things is this world’ was really the vibe you were trying for,” wrote a user on X. “I can’t relate to this video at all. It lacks any respect for creative equipment and mocks the creators,” said another. “You destroyed all the creative tools and effort of humans. Worst. Commercial. Ever,” wrote another user.

Tim Cook’s post on X sharing the ad was ratioed, and most comments heavily panned the ad. “”iPad crushes the soul of humanity,” a user said, “This is the most ghoulish, tone-deaf ad I’ve ever seen in my life. Fire all of your marketers. This is utterly catastrophic for your brand,” wrote another. Someone even created a fresh ad that simply reversed Apple’s original ad, which showed all manner of instruments emerging from the hydraulic press, and most agreed that that ad was better than the one that Apple had posted.

Apple, to its credit, has now apologized for the ad, but hasn’t yet taken it down. The ad, at least based on the reaction online, seems to have been a disaster — Apple had tried to convey that its new iPad was its thinnest ever, and used an evocative image of a hydraulic press to drive home the idea. But people seemed deeply uncomfortable with the idea of a mechanical press destroying instruments of creativity and human-like figures, and Apple had to apologize after the outrage. Which just goes to show that while people appreciate new technology, they still cherish and hold dear the items it’s replacing at an ever-accelerating pace.