Tech Giant, Apple, recently faced severe criticism over its latest ad campaign for the iPad Pro, titled ‘Crush‘. The campaign, which aimed to showcase the device’s capabilities, sparked controversy for its destruction of symbols of creativity. Netizens criticised the campaign largely, which pushed the Vice President of Marketing Communications, Tor Myhren, to apologise to the public. 

The ‘Crush’ Ad Campaign

The ‘Crush’ ad campaign, was rolled during Apple’s ‘Let Loose’ event, featuring the iPad Pro as the thinnest product yet, with a focus on its professional-level abilities. Set to the song “All I Ever Need Is You” by Sonny & Cher, the ad highlighted various items, including musical instruments and a camera, being crushed by a hydraulic press machine, culminating in the reveal of the new iPad Pro. Despite the intention to highlight the device’s power and versatility, the ad faced criticism for its unsettling destruction.

Product Launch

Alongside the controversial ad campaign, Apple introduced the latest iPad Pro during the event, boasting a larger screen and thinner design. The 11-inch variant, measuring just 5.1mm thick, and the 13-inch version, at 5.3mm, aimed to set new standards in sleekness. Additionally, a new iPad Air with upgrades such as the M2 chip and increased storage capacity was also revealed.

Apple unveils iPad Pro through Crush Ad, faces backlash

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Netizens Reaction

The Crush ad campaign received off-putting reactions from netizens and celebrities alike. Most netizens found the ad campaign insensitive and divergent from Apple’s traditional brand image. Large criticism was aimed around the destruction of symbols of creativity, with actor Hugh Grant referring to it as ‘the destruction of the human experience courtesy of Silicon Valley‘. Users expressed disappointment and discomfort at seeing creative tools being destroyed, highlighting the disconnect between the ad’s message and its impact.

Apple’s Apology

In response to the backlash, Apple issued an apology through its vice president of marketing communications, Tor Myhren. Acknowledging that the ad “missed the mark.” Myhren reaffirmed Apple’s commitment to empowering creativity and expressed regret for any offence caused. The swift apology reflects Apple’s willingness to listen to feedback and adapt its marketing strategy accordingly.

The controversy surrounding Apple’s Crush ad campaign is the biggest example showing the importance of aligning marketing efforts with brand values and audience expectations. While the campaign aimed to showcase innovation, its execution sparked unintended consequences. Moving forward, Apple’s response underscores the need for sensitivity and accountability in advertising, to always win the confidence of the customers, beyond purchases and sales.