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Apple’s “Crush” ad is getting roasted, and I get it, even if it didn’t bother me

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read
Apple’s “Crush” ad is getting roasted, and I get it, even if it didn’t bother me

Kenneth Shepard writing for Kotaku: Apple’s New iPad Ad Sparks Loud, Immediate Backlash

The intent is obvious. Apple wants to communicate that all these creative tools and works are available within the tiny tablet. But the visual of countless instruments, statues, and other pieces of art being destroyed to make this point doesn’t sit well with me, or most people, for that matter. Scroll through the responses to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s post with the ad and you’ll see a lot of folks genuinely upset that all this destruction happened in service of promoting an iPad.

I didn’t think much of the ad when I saw it live in Apple’s iPad event earlier this week. It was pretty obvious to me that Apple intended the ad to show how much functionality is packed into the iPad and how much creativity it can unlock for people. It was also using the hydraulic press genre that is very popular online.

But I can totally see why people in 2024 would see this as another way big tech thinks they can replace everything with their wares. “You used to use these beautiful instruments and arcade cabinets and wonderful creations, but fuck all that, buy our expensive tablet and destroy everything else.”

Again, I don’t think there’s any way Apple meant this to be the message, but in a world where generative A.I. is giving people serious anxiety about replacing human creativity with heartless tech, the vibes are off. To illustrate this, I re-edited the ad to show how changing the product being advertised changes how you might see an ad depicting the destruction of human creation.