Apple apologizes for controversial ad depicting object destruction

Apple issued an apology following a wave of criticism over an advertisement featuring the destruction of various objects, including musical instruments and books, by a hydraulic press. The company acknowledged that the ad failed to align with its intention of empowering and celebrating creativity. Apple’s VP of marketing communications, Tor Myhren, expressed regret, stating that the video did not reflect their goal of highlighting the diverse ways users express themselves through iPad. The CEO, Tim Cook, faced backlash for a social media post urging people to envision the device’s creative potential.

The advert aimed to showcase the capabilities of Apple’s latest iPad, emphasizing its thin design and versatility for activities like watching TV, listening to music, and gaming. However, the use of a decade-old theme of crushing musical instruments drew widespread condemnation. Critics argued that the ad symbolized technology stifling creativity rather than fostering it, with actor Hugh Grant condemning it as “the destruction of the human experience.” Justine Bateman and songwriter Crispin Hunt echoed these sentiments, denouncing the ad’s portrayal of tech’s impact on the arts.

Criticism was heightened by comparisons to Apple’s iconic 1984 commercial, which depicted defiance against a dystopian regime. Many viewed the new ad as antithetical to Apple’s earlier message, symbolizing the company’s transformation into the oppressive force it once rebelled against. Japanese viewers, in particular, found the destruction disrespectful, citing cultural beliefs regarding the spiritual significance of tools. Overall, the ad’s reception underscored concerns about technology’s encroachment on creativity and cultural values.