Apple Apologizes for iPad “Crush” Commercial

When Apple releases a new iPad, the company tends to spend big on a slick commercial that shows off the device’s new features. Product launches like these can garner lots of attention from both consumers and tech media, which hopefully then turns into sales for Apple. This time around, though, the tech giant’s latest iPad ad started trending on social media for all the wrong reasons. The spot centers on a trash compactor-like machine that crushes an array of creative tools: “musical instruments, a record player, a TV, a video game arcade machine, a sculpture and a painting, a chess board, computers, books, sketches and cans of paint.” Once these items are crushed and combined, out comes the 2024 iPad Pro. 

The ad first appeared in a post on Apple CEO Tim Cook’s profile on X, the website formerly known as Twitter. Lively conversation about the commercial began almost immediately, but it didn’t focus on the new developments happening around the iPad. Instead, users were mortified that the company would simulate the destruction of beloved objects that define creativity. “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley,” said actor Hugh Grant in a post on X. Apple’s promotional video even upset experts in the field, with one marketing professor saying that the ad “turned my stomach. Then, it made me incredibly angry. Then, I was just sad.” Many users compared the ad with the ongoing rise of AI, which has faced criticism from creators who feel that the technology profits off their labor. 

Needless to say, Apple did not plan to create such a firestorm of controversy with just one ad. The growing backlash caused the company to quickly apologize. “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 Apple marketing vice president Tor Myhren in a statement. “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 tech giant pulled the commercial from television but kept it up on X, where the controversy around the post could continue to generate conversation around the company. 


  1. Why did Apple apologize to consumers for its “crush” commercial? 
  2. What do you think are the potential benefits and drawbacks from Apple’s controversial but viral ad? Do you agree with the old saying that “any publicity is good publicity?”

Source: Mike Snider, “Apple Says, ‘we’re Sorry’ for ‘Crush’ iPad Pro Ad That Seems to Demolish Creativity, USA Today, May 10, 2024.