Apple apologizes for iPad Pro ad showing hydraulic press destroying guitars, piano

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Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to journalists after his meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 17, 2024. 

Willy Kurniawan | Reuters

Apple took on Thursday the unusual step of apologizing for a short advertising video promoting the company’s new iPad Pro tablet after the ad was roundly criticized on social media.

“Our goal is to always celebrate the myriad of ways users express themselves and bring their ideas to life through iPad,” Apple marketing VP Tor Myhren told Ad Age, an advertising trade publication. “We missed the mark with this video, and we’re sorry.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook posted the spot on X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday. Apple also posted it to YouTube. It showed a variety of creative tools, including a guitar, piano, and metronome being pressed by a hydraulic crusher — like recent viral TikTok videos — until all the objects were compressed into the company’s new tablet.

Apple has also decided not to run the ad on TV, Ad Age said.

The spot provoked derision, including extensive media coverage, as viewers said it made Apple look out of touch, and many posted that the destruction of the creative tools offended them.

Some Apple critics claimed that the negative reaction to the ad, instead of spreading Apple’s marketing message for free, was a sign the company was running out of goodwill among customers. Apple is a major advertiser and has historically been closely linked with TBWAMedia Arts Lab, its longtime ad agency, although it also does some advertising development internally.

It isn’t the first Apple iPad ad in recent years to annoy some customers. In 2018, some people said they were annoyed by an iPad Pro spot in which a child asks, “What’s a computer?”

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