Apple’s “Crush” Ad Sparks Controversy Among Creative Professionals

Vineet Maheshwari

Apple’s latest advertisement for the new iPad Pro, titled “Crush”, has ignited a firestorm of criticism from creative professionals who argue that the ad promotes the supremacy of machines and AI over human creativity.

The 30-second commercial, which aired on May 8th, 2024, depicts a large machine crushing various objects such as old TVs, musical instruments, and books, magically transforming them into the sleek new iPad Pro. The ad is set to the tune of Sonny and Cher’s “All I Ever Need Is You“.

Apple CEO Tim Cook shared the ad on his X account, touting the iPad Pro as “the thinnest product we’ve ever created, the most advanced display we’ve ever produced, with the incredible power of the M4 chip”. However, the ad’s timing and message have struck a nerve with many in the creative community who are already grappling with the growing influence of AI in their industries.

Backlash on Social Media

The “Crush” ad has been met with a wave of criticism from users on X (previously, Twitter).

Apple’s History of Iconic Advertising

The backlash against the “Crush” ad is particularly notable given Apple’s long history of iconic and well-received advertising campaigns. From the groundbreaking “1984” Super Bowl commercial to the “Think Different” campaign celebrating individuality, Apple’s ads have often resonated deeply with audiences and shaped perceptions of the brand.

Apple’s commercials are known for their unique creativity, unparalleled language, and high-quality production values. The company’s ads have not only promoted products but also cultivated an emotional connection with consumers, positioning Apple as a brand in tune with its customers’ aspirations and lifestyles.

The New iPad Pro and Creative Professionals

Despite the controversy surrounding the “Crush” ad, the new iPad Pro with M4 chip does offer significant advancements for creative professionals. Apple highlights new versions of Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro that will help users work faster and more efficiently, as well as the new Pencil Pro with sensors designed to benefit illustrators and artists.

However, the ad’s message and timing have overshadowed these features, tapping into the growing unease among creatives about the role of AI and machines in their industries.

Apple’s Response and Future Implications

As of May 9th, 2024, Apple has not publicly commented on the backlash to the “Crush” ad. It remains to be seen how the company will address the concerns raised by creative professionals and whether this controversy will impact future advertising strategies.

The incident highlights the delicate balance tech companies must strike when promoting their products in an era of rapid technological advancement and growing anxiety about the role of AI in creative fields. As Apple and other tech giants continue to push the boundaries of what is possible with their devices, they will need to remain sensitive to the concerns and aspirations of the creative communities that have long been among their most loyal customers.

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Vineet Maheshwari is a passionate blogger and relationship oriented digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience in SEO, PPC management, web analytics, domain investing, affiliate marketing and digital strategy. He has helped high tech brands connect with customers in an engaging manner, thereby ensuring that high quality leads are generated over time.
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