Apple says it ‘missed the mark’ with ‘tone-deaf’ iPad ad after global outrage

Apple says it ‘missed the mark’ with ‘tone-deaf’ iPad ad after global outrage

Apple has issued an apology after a new advertisement of its thinnest-ever iPad Pro model, showing the destruction of musical instruments by an industrial crusher, sparked global outrage.

Apple said it “missed the mark” with the advertisement titled “Crush” released on Wednesday on its YouTube channel.

The one-minute and eight-second ad showed a range of creative tools such as a camera, a guitar, a piano, and paint being destroyed by an industrial crusher amid high-pitched whirring.

It also shows a television screen and several camera lenses along with paint boxes being crushed. The crusher lifts in the end to reveal the new iPad, symbolising its thinness.

The new updates mark the biggest upgrade to the iPad line-up in several years, as Apple looks to reignite interest in its long-running tablet computer range.

“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,” Ad Age magazine said, citing the iPhone maker’s apology.

The company’s spokesperson has not issued any comment directly addressing the apology.

The ad has been dubbed as insensitive for destroying the biggest celebrated forms of the “human experience”. Social media users condemned the unwelcome departure from Apple’s historic positioning of its brand as nonconformist, human friendly, and an antidote to a dystopian and colourless world.

Several popular celebrities called out the ad as “tone-deaf”.

American cartoonist James Kochalka said: “I’m definitely the target audience for the new iPad Pro but this ad is tone-deaf and insulting to artists of every kind. We think of our tools with reverence and respect, and enjoy a healthy dialogue with them. Our tools are like trusted companions on the journey of art.”

Actor Hugh Grant also condemned the ad, saying it showed “the destruction of the human experience courtesy of Silicon Valley”.

Filmmaker and actor Justine Bateman, who has served as an adviser to SAG-AFTRA on AI issues, replied to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s tweet saying: “Truly, what is wrong with you?”

“If you thought THIS IPad ad was weird, you should have seen the first cut where they lined up all your favourite characters and shot them,” actor, writer and producer Luke Barnett wrote.

The new iPad Pro will include a high-quality OLED display for the first time, as well as Apple’s new, own-made, top-of-the-range M4 chip, which the company says means the new devices are 50 per cent faster than the previous generation and ten-times faster than the original iPad Pro model.

Apple senior vice president of hardware engineering, John Ternus, said the new Pro “pioneers our most advanced technologies, and pushes the limits of what an iPad can be”, adding that the new device was the “iPad we’ve always dreamed of making”.

It will go on sale next week alongside a new version of the iPad Air, which will be sold in its traditional 11-inch size, as well as in a new 13-inch model.

Additional reporting from agencies