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posted by hubie on Tuesday May 14, @04:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the dystopia-is-now! dept.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2024/05/a-crushing-backlash-to-apples-new-ipad-ad/

An advert by Apple for its new iPad tablet showing musical instruments, artistic tools, and games being crushed by a giant hydraulic press has been attacked for cultural insensitivity in an online backlash.

The one-minute video was launched by Apple chief executive Tim Cook to support its new range of iPads, the first time that the US tech giant has overhauled the range for two years as it seeks to reverse faltering sales.
[...]
The campaign has been hit by a wave of outrage, with responses on social media reacting to Cook's X post accusing Apple of crushing [Crush! | iPad Pro | Apple] "beautiful creative tools" and the "symbols of human creativity and cultural achievements."
[...]
"Apple's new iPad spot is essentially them turning into the thing they said they were out to destroy in the 1984 ad," said Slevin. 1984 Apple's Macintosh Commercial
[...]
Nataly Kelly, chief marketing officer at Zappi, said: "Is the Apple iPad ad a work of genius or the sign of the dystopian times? It really depends on how old you are. The shock value is the power of this advert, which is controversial by design, so the fact that people are talking about it at all is a win."


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by KritonK on Tuesday May 14, @04:55AM (4 children)

    by KritonK (465) on Tuesday May 14, @04:55AM (#1356890)

    All they needed to have done was to show these creative tools being sucked into the new iPad, to show that all of them are now contained in one handy device, which was probably the intention of that ad. (Whether they are, or not, is irrelevant; this is advertising.)

    Of course, that would have required some elaborate computer animation, and we don't have computers powerful enough to do that. Oh, wait... we do; Apple even makes some of them!

    • (Score: 2) by SomeGuy on Tuesday May 14, @10:43PM

      by SomeGuy (5632) on Tuesday May 14, @10:43PM (#1356969)

      (obligatory)

      "What's a computer?"

    • (Score: 2) by owl on Wednesday May 15, @02:09AM

      by owl (15206) on Wednesday May 15, @02:09AM (#1356984)

      All they needed to have done was to show these creative tools being sucked into the new iPad

      And, that ad would have gotten the entire point across so much better too. I wonder why they didn't do this as the ad. It would have conveyed the intent much better, and wouldn't have pissed off the ArtStudent binary thinker types who can't separate CGI from reality.

      Of course, as another comment below says, maybe they were trying to outrage the ArtStudent types to get the outrage engine going for free extra publicity. And if so, then the ad agency succeeded beyond all expectations.

    • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Wednesday May 15, @08:48AM (1 child)

      by darkfeline (1030) on Wednesday May 15, @08:48AM (#1357012) Homepage

      Because they also wanted to emphasize the flatness/thinness of the device.

      --
      Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
      • (Score: 2) by KritonK on Thursday May 16, @07:40AM

        by KritonK (465) on Thursday May 16, @07:40AM (#1357171)

        In that case, they should have compressed the iPad itself!

        As it was, I found that the comment about the thinness of the iPad, following all that mayhem, was a complete non-sequitur, especially the bit about the new iPad being the most powerful ever, unless its power is the destructive power of the press.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by anubi on Tuesday May 14, @05:22AM (6 children)

    by anubi (2828) on Tuesday May 14, @05:22AM (#1356893) Journal

    It was like watching someone getting into a zoo and slaughtering all the animals.

    Or pouring an aquarium on the floor and watching the fish die.

    Each of those instruments had a soul. The soul of it's maker. The soul of the artist that played it. The soul of the people who loved it's music. Gone. Deliberately destroyed. I felt hate.

    I will be embarrassed to have anything with an Apple logo on it.

    --
    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by RamiK on Tuesday May 14, @06:33AM (1 child)

      by RamiK (1813) on Tuesday May 14, @06:33AM (#1356902)

      Each of those instruments had a soul. The soul of it's maker. The soul of the artist that played it. The soul of the people who loved it's music.

      A soul. Trapped. Screaming to be freed from the endless torment of 4 year-olds bashing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on its keys and painting cabin houses and disproportionate stick figures.

      --
      compiling...
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by anubi on Tuesday May 14, @06:57AM

        by anubi (2828) on Tuesday May 14, @06:57AM (#1356905) Journal

        Thanks for making me laugh...I've felt like that too at times.

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 2) by owl on Wednesday May 15, @01:48AM (3 children)

      by owl (15206) on Wednesday May 15, @01:48AM (#1356981)

      Each of those instruments had a soul.

      You do realize that each of those instruments, was simply a very good computer animation, right?

      There was never a real physical hydralic press, nor real physical objects, being crushed here. The entire piece is one very well done bit of CGI.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by anubi on Wednesday May 15, @03:32AM (2 children)

        by anubi (2828) on Wednesday May 15, @03:32AM (#1356996) Journal

        Oh yes...but the image of it made me cringe.

        If I think that's bad, you would have to be in Dad's ( Loved to spend Saturdays deer-hunting ) situation after my sister saw "Bambi". I don't think Dad wanted anything to do with Disney after that.

        But that's what the movies are all about. Firing off emotions. Tear-jerkers.

        Now, when I see an Apple logo, first thing to come to mind is imagery of an arrogant destruction of musical instruments. Not the kind of recall I would want to be associated with. Personally I would much prefer the Doritos Dog ad Oh yes, a perfectly good virtual entertainment system was destroyed in that ad as well. By dog pee.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce-K8_ltGVY [youtube.com]

        It got me so worked up over Doritos that I bought a couple of bags of them when I was in WalMart last night.

        Had the ad featured killing puppies, the imagery I would have retrieved, I guarantee, would not have contributed to my desire to enjoy a bag of Doritos.

        There are many things I can dream up that I would not even talk about in public, lest I be perceived as a monster. Apple obviously isn't wired like me. Sure, I could raise a buzz, but it's not the kind of buzz I want people to associate with me. Here comes that guy who kills puppies. Even though I have long entertained the thoughts of automotive type mufflers that could be attached to noisy babies.

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
        • (Score: 2) by owl on Wednesday May 15, @04:26AM (1 child)

          by owl (15206) on Wednesday May 15, @04:26AM (#1356999)

          Oh yes...but the image of it made me cringe.

          Ok, that's a fair statement. The ad is definitely very cringe inducing. Seeing a virtual trash compactor crush to nothing a lot of virtual objects of creativity is extremely cringe inducing.

          But, when one sees:

          Each of those instruments had a soul. The soul of it's maker. The soul of the artist that played it. The soul of the people who loved it's music. Gone. Deliberately destroyed.

          Without any further indicator that the author realizes they were virtual CGI images, the quote above really feels like the author thought they were watching a real physical press compress to nothing real physical objects that had once been owned by different musicians (or gamers, or photographers, or painters).

          Now, when I see an Apple logo, first thing to come to mind is imagery of an arrogant destruction of musical instruments. Not the kind of recall I would want to be associated with.

          This is the part where the ad agency and the Apple exec's that ok'ed the ad were massively tone deaf. The after image for those seeing the ad is extremely negative for Apple and their products. You are right, what will come to mind for many is Apple=destruction, and yes, indeed, unless one's business is actual "demolition" that is not an image a company like Apple would want associated with their logo.

          the Doritos Dog ad Oh yes, a perfectly good virtual entertainment system was destroyed in that ad as well.

          The one huge difference I see with the Doritos ad (had not seen it yet until yt-dlp'ing your link) is that the "virtual destruction" is but a few seconds of the total ad, and is done in a comic relief manner (Dog, frustrated that owner won't reward, even though he's doing amazing tricks, gets his revenge in the end....). The destruction was not "center stage" like in Apple's cringe ad (where it is all destruction until the press opens and the voice over says "ipad pro, our thinnest ever", which is a comment seemingly disconnected from the rest of the ad).

          Somewhere (here, or on HN) someone said a better ad would have been the ipad "vacuuming up" these various items (i.e., they virtually shrink/dissolve into the ipad). That would have conveyed the meaning Apple apparently wanted from this ad (ipad can replace all this stuff), without the negative cringe that resulted from the crusher's virtual destruction.

          • (Score: 1) by anubi on Wednesday May 15, @06:01AM

            by anubi (2828) on Wednesday May 15, @06:01AM (#1357006) Journal

            What can I say. Some in marketing say that any press is good press. If the object was to rile up a lot of people, they succeeded. There are several memes making the rounds that really rile people up...politics, religion, and I have yet to name the real unmentionables.

            I can only relate my reaction to it. Anyone else's reaction may ( and probably will ) vary.

            --
            "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by darkfeline on Tuesday May 14, @05:47AM (6 children)

    by darkfeline (1030) on Tuesday May 14, @05:47AM (#1356897) Homepage

    Such is the state of modern society. People require outrage to sustain themselves.

    Even a child would understand an ad where things are being symbolically compressed into a different item (e.g., see the various fruit snacks ads that show fruits being changed into candy). Any adult who doesn't should be revisiting coloring books, not posting criticism online.

    The other aspect of this is covered by Douglas Adams's wise words:

    1. Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and
          ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
    2. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and
          thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can
          probably get a career in it.
    3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural
          order of things.

    --
    Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by c0lo on Tuesday May 14, @08:28AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 14, @08:28AM (#1356909) Journal

      an ad where things are being symbolically compressed into a different item

      1. I watched the stupid ad to the end to see the "no thing has been harmed in the process" disclaimer. There was none, the compression was far for just symbolic.
      2. the ad's message is "the most powerful ipad ever is the thinnest", just after the puff of air blows the detritus left behind the mindless destruction of lots of things involved in creation. My mind interprets the ad as "The new ipad has the power to withstand a hydraulic press, because it the thinnest. We'll transform everything else into garbage and you are bound to like this ipad because there's nothing else anymore". There's no reference in "symbolically compressing things into a different item", there's only the arrogance of destruction and discard depicted in a as graphical manner as possible.

      I'm not willing to spend a pretty buck to something that's useless for me, but if I was looking for a tablet, the ad convinced me against this ipad.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 2) by stormreaver on Tuesday May 14, @12:51PM (1 child)

      by stormreaver (5101) on Tuesday May 14, @12:51PM (#1356924)

      I only watched the commercial once, and I thought it was trying to say that the new iPad is so strong that it could withstand a hydraulic press. Or that it was so thin, it could hide in the space between the press and the surface the iPad was resting on. It never occurred to me that the commercial was saying the iPad could do all the work of a bunch of other stuff.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by anubi on Wednesday May 15, @03:41AM

        by anubi (2828) on Wednesday May 15, @03:41AM (#1356997) Journal

        My question...

        If I left it on the couch, would it survive being sat on?

        I don't have a hydraulic press, but I have a helluva big butt.

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 2) by corey on Tuesday May 14, @11:21PM (2 children)

      by corey (2202) on Tuesday May 14, @11:21PM (#1356972)

      I watched it just now because of all the hype. It's just another ad to me, I'm not seeing why people are so cut about it. It's actually sort of interesting to watch things popping and breaking, bit like the "will it blend" videos of 10-15 years ago. It's not shocking nor powerful, really.

      The message is pretty simple, the iPad has all this stuff in it. Ok. It's not dystopian times like that Nataly Kelly suggests. Dystopian times? What about social media itself, or AI, or having influencers in existence?

      • (Score: 2) by owl on Wednesday May 15, @02:02AM (1 child)

        by owl (15206) on Wednesday May 15, @02:02AM (#1356982)

        I'm not seeing why people are so cut about it.

        If you go hunt down and read through the very long Hacker News thread on the ad from a few days ago, you'll find a great many commenters whose choice of words for their comments heavily imply that they thought Apple had used an actual giant hydraulic press to physically destroy the actual objects shown in the press at the start of the ad.

        Many of them made comments of the form: "So saddening to see a piano crushed when so many African schools could have made good use of it" or "it was heartbreaking to see such a perfect arcade game be destroyed, there are not many left in the world that are in that good a shape after all these years".

        I'd say the ratio of those who could not separate reality from CGI ran about 40-50% of the commenters. They literally thought they were watching all these actual musical instruments and game consoles and camera lenses and whatever else was on the CGI stage at the outset being destroyed to create this ad.

        And, the one's complaining about how bad/awful/etc. the ad, and Apple, was for making it were the same group that thought they were watching real items being destroyed.

        Meanwhile, those of us with engineering/science backgrounds were watching, and while the CGI was well done, we recognized immediately that you can't take a stage full of that much stuff and "crush" it down in a press such that the press jaws can close to within a few thousandth's of each other like in the ad. All the stuff, much like a car in a car crusher, will still end up with a sizeable volume once all the airspace is squeezed out, and the press jaws simply did not leave enough airspace.

        That, and you can't get 10 paint cans to identically burst at the same moment, and all in the same direction (directly to the front) and in the same spray pattern, by crushing real paint cans. Nor can you get a plastic emoji ball to just perfectly exactly jump out at just the right time to be caught just at the edge, and then only have just its eye's pop out, etc.

        The artsy/fartsy types (which are most of Apple's target audience anyway) can't recognize CGI when they see it, and were completely fooled. The science types looked at it and said: "hmm, high quality computer animation, not actual reality in any way, and fell flat on getting the intended point across".

        • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Wednesday May 15, @08:45AM

          by darkfeline (1030) on Wednesday May 15, @08:45AM (#1357011) Homepage

          Even if they crushed a real piano, people need to get their damn priorities straight (though as I said, their priority is to find something to be outraged about). It's not like they stole someone's family heirloom and destroyed it.

          I'm a pianist (and saxophonist, and very poor flautist). I have no qualms about anyone taking a random piano and destroying it to create a new video work.

          --
          Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by looorg on Tuesday May 14, @09:46AM

    by looorg (578) on Tuesday May 14, @09:46AM (#1356918)

    "Apple's new iPad spot is essentially them turning into the thing they said they were out to destroy in the 1984 ad,"

    That already happened several decades ago. I wonder who the little scrappy sledgehammer thrower is going to be for them ...

    That said a commercial that crushes or destroys things. So? Things gets destroyed daily for entertainment be it movies or tv or whatever. Are they crying about that to? Think of all the food that rots away every day that could have fed someone hungry. No, I better be upset about my new thin iPad commercial crushing some objects ... Best done by crush their own Apple products to express their inner social media rage ... hulk smash!

    That said I guess their VP of Social Media Awareness and Hugs (I'm sure there is a person like that somewhere) is going to have hell to pay in the next meeting. Oh why didn't they think about the feelz of wanna be social media influencers and use virtual objects as crushables. But then I'm sure someone would be angry about all the pixels they would have hurt.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday May 14, @12:33PM (5 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 14, @12:33PM (#1356921) Journal

    Who is outraged at this commercial? Are Apple phanbois outraged? Or Android users? Or is it just the luddites who won't own a phone? And, how do those outraged people vote? In which countries do they vote? Are those people more likely to own a Chevy, or a Mercedes? AR, or AK? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAI5IrZZ47g [youtube.com] I saw no dumbographics at all.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Username on Tuesday May 14, @01:45PM (1 child)

      by Username (4557) on Tuesday May 14, @01:45PM (#1356927)

      Fanboys. Hit them just enough to get them to share, but not enough to get them to buy android.

      Thier marketing dept seem to know exactly who they are selling to, woke leftist who thrive on hate and outrage.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14, @10:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14, @10:40PM (#1356968)

        Love to be outraged?

        https://censored.news/ [censored.news]

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Freeman on Tuesday May 14, @01:48PM

      by Freeman (732) on Tuesday May 14, @01:48PM (#1356928) Journal

      Dozens of influencers were outraged to fuel their outrage machine. Apple apologized and left the advertisement up. Yep, real sorry.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14, @01:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14, @01:49PM (#1356929)

      Who is outraged at this commercial?

      Probably nobody but writing articles about how people are outraged sure is an effective way to get people to click on the ad. We do all love to be outraged

    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday May 14, @03:23PM

      by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 14, @03:23PM (#1356936)

      Are Apple phanbois outraged?

      Nope.

      --
      🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Ingar on Tuesday May 14, @02:52PM (1 child)

    by Ingar (801) on Tuesday May 14, @02:52PM (#1356931) Homepage Journal

    ... talking about Apple's shenanigans like they were 1000$ wheels.

    Anyone claiming that the new iPad spot is essentially turning Apple into the thing they said they were out to destroy in the 1984 ad hasn't been paying attention the past few years.

    --
    You're holding it wrong - Steve Jobs

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by owl on Wednesday May 15, @02:05AM

      by owl (15206) on Wednesday May 15, @02:05AM (#1356983)

      Indeed. Apple, esp. with the iphone/ipad pair, is the most Orwellian system one can own. You are restricted to doing only what Daddy Jobs decides is safe for you to do in his little walled garden he has locked you into.

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