Apple’s New Ad Showing Machines Crushing Human Creativity Is a Bit on the Nose


A new iPad ad shows a hydraulic press crushing beloved creative objects — and, perhaps, our dreams.

In a video posted to X-formerly-Twitter, Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted that the latest iPad Pro is not only its most powerful offering, but is also "the thinnest product we've ever created."

In the ad, Sonny & Cher's "All I Need Is You" blares in the background as the industrial press crushes, one by one, an "Angry Birds" desk ornament, a guitar, a piano, several paint cans, a metronome, a television, and some books.

It's a heavy-handed attempt at saying that the super-thin new iPad is skinnier than all that stuff put together, and perhaps that it "crushes" its competition. But if the comments are any indication, it struck a very discordant chord.

"Crushing the symbols of human creativity to produce a homogenized branded slab is pretty much where the tech industry is at in 2024," author Hari Kunzru quipped.

"It is a heartbreaking, uncomfortable, and egotistic advertisement," tech executive Hiroki Akiyama tweeted. "When I see this...I'm ashamed to buy Apple products."

Riddle Me This

Comics illustrator Yuval Kordov, meanwhile, had an even more cutting allegory.

"Forty years ago, Apple released the 1984 commercial as a bold statement against a dystopian future," the creator of the "Dark Legacies" comic tweeted in response, referencing the famous Ridley Scott Super Bowl ad.

As that 40-year-old ad shows, listless automatons shuffle through industrial tunnels, watching televisions featuring a close-up of a man's face in what is a clear symbol of brainwashing. Throughout it all, a svelte young woman runs through the maze-like tunnels with a giant hammer, and at the end, she throws it while stormtroopers close in on her, smashing the screens and freeing the prisoners from their opiate haze.

It might not be an exact analog, but it is a little close for comfort.

"Now you are that dystopian future," Kordov wrote. "Congratulations."

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