Apple pulls TV ad that crushes art, culture and creativity in a hydraulic press

Apple ipad TV ad crush
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Days after it was launched, a TV advert for a new iPad has been withdrawn by Apple following an online backlash. “We missed the mark,” the tech giant says. “Sorry.”

Apple evidently hit a nerve when it launched a new TV advert, in which symbols of art, culture and creativity – musical instruments, books, tins of paint, even an arcade cabinet – were crushed in a hydraulic press like Linda Hamilton killing a T-101 endoskeleton.

Mere days after its launch sparked an online backlash, Apple has apologised for the advert, intended to promote a new form of iPad. Tor Myhren, Apple’s VP of marketing, admitted in a statement that the advert “missed the mark” and said that it won’t air on television.

“Creativity is in our DNA at Apple, and it’s incredibly important to us to design products that empower creatives all over the world,” Myhren said in a statement to TheWrap. “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.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the advert with a flourish on the 7th May, with his post on Twitter/X/Whatever accompanied by the line, “Just imagine all the things it’ll be used to create.”

Rather than imagining all the things people could use the iPad Pro to create, users instead responded with a string of angry replies and quote-tweets.

“The destruction of the human experience,” wrote actor Hugh Grant in one oft-shared tweet. “Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

Given the anxiety surrounding technology at present – with fears that artists of all kinds could find their work diminished by generative AI – the advert and its timing seemed particularly lacking in self-awareness. Certainly, the ad feeds into the particularly 21st century sense that writing, filmmaking and other forms of art are all just ‘content’ – a kind of mulch that can be pumped into our eyeballs via whatever device a tech company sold us most recently.

“Crushing symbols of human creativity and cultural achievements to appeal to pro creators, nice,” wrote Sterling Crispin on Twitter. “Maybe for the next Apple Watch Pro you should crush sports equipment, show a robot running faster than a man, then turn to the camera and say, ‘God is dead and we have killed him.'”

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