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Why Apple’s New iPad Pro Ad Has Sparked Backlash and an Apology

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Apple’s new iPad Pro ad begins with the ticking of a mechanical metronome, which is a device used to help musicians keep track of timing. Then it cuts to a record player, and then finally to the image of a giant hydraulic press, where the metronome, the record player, several musical instruments, an arcade video Game, and other items sit, waiting to be crushed. 

The 1972 song “All I Ever Need Is You” by Sonny & Cher begins to play, and the metal slab of the hydraulic press descends onto the precious items. We watch a trumPet get crushed, followed by paint cans, a clay sculpture of a person’s head, an angry bird doll, an old fashioned television, cameras, a guitar, books, and plush emoji toys. Finally, after the press has crushed all the items, the metal slab lifts up again, and an iPad is revealed to be underneath. “The most powerful iPad ever is also the thinnest,” says a disembodied female voice. An Apple logo appears on screen, and in exactly one minute, the ad is over. 

The ad was shared on X (formerly Twitter) by Apple CEO Tim Cook, alongside the caption: “Meet the new iPad Pro: the thinnest product we’ve ever created, the most advanced display we’ve ever produced, with the incredible power of the M4 chip. Just imagine all the things it’ll be used to create.”

Despite the high production quality and unique concept, many social media users took issue with the ad. “I felt sad when I saw creative tools such as musical instruments and cameras being destroyed,” remarked one X user.

Meanwhile, English actor Hugh Grant referred to the ad as “the destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

Another commenter suggested that the ad would have worked much better if it was played in reverse, and objects were shown as expanding out of the iPad instead of being crushed by it.

Apple’s VP of marketing communications Tor Myhren apologized for the ad in a statement to AdAge on Thursday. “Creativity is in our DNA at Apple, and it’s incredibly important to us to design products that empower creatives all over the world,” he 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.”

Per the AdAge report, Apple no longer plans to run the commercial on TV.

Apple referred TIME to the statement it provided to AdAge, but did not offer further comment.

Apple may well have been trying to seize on the trend of hydraulic press videos, which have become popular in recent years. These short form videos often show everyday objects getting destroyed or crushed and have amassed millions of views on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

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