Apple's out-of-touch iPad Pro 'Crush!' angers creatives — here's what people are saying

apple's crush! ad
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple hosted its 'Let Loose' event on May 7, and before introducing the iPad Pro, SVP of Hardware Engineering John Ternus said, "We're not only going to push the limits of what you can do on iPad, we're going to crush them." Right after this statement, Sonny & Cher's "All I Ever Need Is You" plays and an industrial press violently crushes a slew of creative tools.

After the event, Apple posted the 'Crush!' ad to its YouTube channel, and Tim Cook enthusiastically shared it on X. Now, this destructive ad is understandably garnering major public backlash, ironically from the creative-minded people Apple marketed its iPad Pro to during the event.

It's unclear whether Apple was trying to convey a message of "Wow, look how thin the new iPad is" or "Look at all these creative tools that you don't need anymore because of the iPad Pro." Regardless of the intended primary message, the ad felt extremely tone-deaf, and watching musical instruments, books, an arcade machine, and other items be demolished for an ad was just... painful.

Celebrities and others on social media are criticizing Apple's destructive ad

Because Apple keeps comments turned off on most of its YouTube videos, there aren't any spicy takes to dive into there. But on the rest of the internet? Apple's getting torn apart.

Almost all of the replies to Tim Cook's tweet (which surprisingly hasn't been taken down yet) are negative. And with his ironic statement, "Just imagine all the things it'll be used to create" to describe the new iPad Pro, this isn't a shock. 

X user Michael Vokabre (@Vokabre) is "a creator, a traditional artist, a macintosh user of many years" and deems the ad's destruction "extremely distasteful." Many people in the comment thread share the same thoughts, with user @usaotoday saying the ad "lacks any respect for creative equipment and mocks the creators."

Quite a few celebrities are also insulted by Apple's ad. Actor Hugh Grant retweeted Tim Cook's post and said, "The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley." Actress Justine Bateman also retweeted it, with a simple question of "Truly, what is wrong with you?"

When new products were announced on r/Apple after the 'Let Loose' event, Redditor @Penitent_Exile said that the "promo was painful to watch" and how you'd "expect a video of something created not destroyed from a company that stresses how creators are important."

That last quote perfectly sums up why most people are angered and confused by the ad. Even during the 'Let Loose' event, Apple was promoting the iPad's tools for creative professionals, so who thought it would be a good idea to destroy creative tools (and symbolically, creativity) as a way to get people to buy the new iPad?

And here's the big kicker: Apple's most recent ad is almost a reversal of the company's own 1984 Super Bowl commercial by Ridley Scott. X user James Clark (@mr_james_c) sums up this comparison perfectly, calling the new 'Crush!' ad a "visual and metaphorical bookend to the 1984 ad."

Clark writes, "1984: [Monochrome], conformist, industrial world exploded by colourful, vibrant human," followed by "2024: Colourful, vibrant humanity is crushed by monochrome, conformist industrial press." 

Apple hasn't publicly addressed the backlash yet, but what is there to say? It's possible that some of the items destroyed in the ad were old items that were going to be trashed anyway, and other items might not have been real (two monitors in the ad look like they're made of cardboard), but the looming messages of creative destruction and wastefulness are still there.

The new iPad Pro is an impressive tablet, and the first to be equipped with Apple's powerful M4 chip, but its great features are being overshadowed by how it was introduced to the world.