Apple's 'Crush!' iPad ad draws fire

There's lots of hate for Apple's new video.

You can imagine how it happened.

Several months ago, Apple’s advertising honchos gather to brainstorm the upcoming iPad Pro launch in early May. The burning question: What are we gonna do for the big promo spot?

Someone mentions a popular meme showing how the iPhone has replaced all the products in an old Radio Shack newspaper flyer. Seconds later, someone else notes the popularity of hydraulic press crush videos — and a lightbulb goes off!

What if we show a big pile of creative products — musical instruments, paint cans, an artist’s mannequin — being crushed by a hydraulic press, which opens up to reveal an impossibly thin and flat iPad Pro?

The video will show how the iPad can replace dozens of other products, and the hydraulic press will jokingly emphasize the iPad’s flat, super-thin profile! My god, it’s genius! Everyone high-fives and the ad goes into production.

However, almost as soon as the resulting “Crush!” ad streamed during Tuesday’s iPad event, the backlash began.

Instead of celebrating the spot, lots of Apple fans instead see it as an allegory of our current times: A big corporation crushes human creativity and replaces it with an expensive piece of electronics. What is this? An ad for ChatGPT?

Not since the famous 1984 Super Bowl ad has an Apple ad caused such an uproar, as some of the company’s biggest fans criticize the “Crush!” spot as tone-deaf.

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One more thing ...

Software is the user experience. As the iPod and iTunes prove, it has become the driving technology not just of computers but of consumer electronics.

— Steve Jobs, 2005.

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