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Apple apologizing for its iPad Pro ad is absurd and embarrassing

Published May 10th, 2024 10:37AM EDT
Image: Apple

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As someone who has been following Apple for decades, I’m used to watching the company get unreasonably critiqued for flimsy reasons. It’s nothing new, and I’ve seen it happen time and time again over the years. But the backlash stemming from a recent iPad Pro commercial is like nothing I’ve ever seen. If anything, it confirms that a good number of tech pundits and observers would have made great background characters in the classic Mike Judge film Idiocracy.

And to make matters worse, if not downright nonsensical, Apple ended up apologizing. For a commercial.

Below is a recap of what transpired over the past few days.

Apple released new iPads and an iPad Pro commercial

Apple earlier this week released a slew of new iPad models, including revamped iPad Air models and a brand-new iPad Pro with an M4 processor. In conjunction with these new products, Apple also released a new iPad Pro commercial that, for reasons that defy logic, garnered a tremendous amount of online hate, pushback, criticism, and downright vitriol.

The commercial can be viewed below:

Apple boasts that its new M4-powered iPad Pro is the thinnest product it’s ever created. And, in turn, the iPad Pro commercial itself shows all sorts of recreational, creative, and musical equipment being crushed by a hydraulic press. Some of the destroyed items included guitars, cameras, arcade games, DJ equipment, and a lot more. After the hydraulic press finishes the job, it opens back up to reveal an iPad Pro, with the items having been subsumed by Apple’s new device.

What some people said about the iPad Pro commercial

The obvious takeaway from the commercial is that the iPad Pro is an advanced creative device that ships in a remarkably slender form factor. Whether you want to create music, read books, play games, edit photos, write stories, or create illustrations, the iPad Pro has got you covered.

The ad simply illustrates that the iPad Pro is so powerful that you can squeeze any creative tool into it.

But some folks online have taken a bizarre stance. Some folks argue that the message of the ad is that Apple is trying to crush creatives for profit.

Here’s but one example:

I can’t imagine anyone who actually engages in a creative endeavor – whether it be music, video, photography, or anything else – concluding that the commercial symbolizes Apple actively trying to destroy creatives. 

Even more dumbfounding, is that Apple, in response to this moronic backlash, apologized! For a simple commercial. If you don’t like the commercial, that’s fine. But for some people to take a moral stance and passionately argue that the commercial is offensive and scary – as some have done – is downright laughable.

But even then, they are entitled to their opinion.

What I can’t understand, though, is Apple issuing an apology for the ad.

In a statement to Ad Age, Apple said:

Creativity is in our DNA at Apple, and it’s incredibly important to us to design products that empower creatives all over the world. 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 also said it will not run the ad on TV as initially planned. Now, to be fair, it’s not like I think it’s the greatest commercial in the world. But to apologize for an ad because of a vocal minority of critics online is embarrassing and, in my opinion, decidedly un-Apple.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.