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Apple's new iPad ad leaves its creative audience feeling…flat| GuyWhoKnowsThings


The trumpet is the first thing to crush. The industrial compressor then flattens a row of paint cans, bends a piano, and levels what appears to be a marble bust. In a final act of destruction, he punches out the eyes of a yellow ball-shaped emoji.

When the compressor turns up, it reveals Apple's latest product: the updated iPad Pro.

Apple CEO Tim Cook released the ad, called “Crush,” on Tuesday after the company held an event to announce new tablets. “Meet the new iPad Pro: the thinnest product we've ever made,” Cook wrote, adding, “Imagine all the things it will be made for.”

For decades, Apple has been the toast of the creative class. It has won over designers, musicians and film editors with promises that its products would help them “think differently.”

But some creators took a different message from the one-minute iPad ad. Instead of seeing a device that could help them create, as Cook suggested, they saw a metaphor for how big tech companies have profited from their work by crushing or co-opting the artistic tools that humanity has used for centuries.

The image was especially disconcerting at a time when artists fear that generative artificial intelligence, which can write poetry and create films, could take their jobs.

“It's unusual in its cruelty,” said Justin Ouellette, a software designer in Portland, Oregon, who works in animation and is a longtime user of Apple products. “Many people see this as a betrayal of their commitment to human creative expression and a tone deaf to the pressures those artists feel right now.”

Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

It was the latest in a series of recent promotional blunders from a company that is widely considered a marketing giant. Is marketing of the Apple Vision Pro, released in January, struggled to help that device become a hit with many customers. Last year, Apple was criticized for making an awkward sketch that threw Octavia Spencer as Mother Earthchairing a corporate meeting on the company's effort to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Apple has been considered an advertising visionary since the 1980s. It is “1984 Super Bowl Commercial to introduce the Macintosh computer is one of the most famous commercials ever made. The ad, developed by the Chiat/Day agency, showed an actor throwing a sledgehammer through a screen projecting the face of a “Big Brother” figure intended to be a metaphor for IBM.

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 after a 12-year absence, he tried to recapture his marketing magic. Together, he and Lee Clow, the advertising creative behind the “1984” ad, developed the “Think different” Campaign. It paved the way for the famous “Get a Mac” ads, which feature a mac and pcand the original iPhone adwhich showed people in classic movies and TV shows picking up a phone and saying, “Hello.”

Apple's marketing presented its products as easy to use. It pitched PCs and Android phones as devices for business executives working on spreadsheets, while Macs and iPhones were tools for film editors, photographers and writers.

But Apple's advertising has been uneven over the past dozen years. He withdrew a 2012 campaign who showed his Apple Store “geniuses” on airplanes. A subsequent ad, “Designed by Apple in California,” was dismissed by critics as “bored.”

In the wake of those setbacks, Cook passed advertising oversight from Phil Schiller, the company's former marketing chief, to Tor Myhren, former president and chief creative officer of Grey, the ad agency that created baby E-Trade.

Under the leadership of Myhren, who joined in 2016, Apple has developed some of its ads with its own creative team and others in collaboration with an external agency, Media Arts Lab. It has been recognized at the Cannes Lions awards, the leading event for the advertising industry, for an AirPods ad called “Bounce,” which showed a man jumping off the sidewalk while listening to music. Last year, Apple was named Creative Brand of the Year for its “RIP Lion” ad, in which a man sent a message to his iPhone saying that a lizard in his care had died, then deleted it when the lizard suddenly fell off. of his back.

Myhren and Media Arts Lab did not respond to requests for comment on who was behind the “Crush” ad.

Michael J. Miraflor, chief brand officer at Hannah Grey, a venture capital firm, said in X that Apple's ad had effectively offended and turned off its core customer base, accomplishing the opposite of what it had done with its commercial. “1984”.

“It's not even boring or banal,” Miraflor said. wrote. “Does it make me feel bad? Discouraged?”


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