Apple apologizes after piano smashes ad response

Apple apologizes after piano smashes ad response

Apple has apologized after a backlash over ads showing objects, including musical instruments and books, being crushed by a hydraulic machine.

Apple said the ad failed to achieve its goal of empowering and celebrating creatives, in a statement released to marketing publication Ad Age.

The video aims to show how creativity has been squeezed into the latest iPad.

But celebrities including Hugh Grant and Justine Bateman reacted with horror at the devastation shown in the ad.

“Our goal is to always celebrate the many ways users express themselves and bring their ideas to life through the iPad. We missed the mark with this video, and we apologize,” Tor Myhren, Apple’s VP of marketing communications said in the statement.

Apple boss Tim Cook has been called tone-deaf for his post on X, formerly Twitter, about the device, where he asked people to “imagine all the things it will be used to create”.

The ad tries to show what Apple’s latest tablet is capable of, such as watching television programs, listening to music and playing video games, while noting that the new device is very thin.

It does this by using a video theme that has been around for nearly a decade of musical instruments being smashed.

However, in this case, it seems the tech giant has also managed to damage its own reputation, with complainants saying the ad actually shows how technology stifles creativity rather than encouraging it.

Actor Hugh Grant labeled it “the destruction of the human experience, courtesy of Silicon Valley”.

The criticism was aimed mainly because of concerns in many creative industries about artificial intelligence (AI) taking people’s jobs.

Actress and filmmaker Justine Bateman, a vocal critic of the use of AI in the film industry, said Apple’s ad was “destroying art.”

Multi-platinum-selling songwriter Crispin Hunt called the act of destroying musical instruments reminiscent of burning books.

The comments under Mr Cook’s post on X were overwhelmingly negative, with one person calling it “very unpleasant”, and another saying it made them feel “embarrassed to buy Apple products”.

The Japan-based person seems to stand out among the critics, who some say are “disrespectful”.

Some say this is based on “tsukumogami” – a term from Japanese folklore that describes a tool that can contain its own spirit or soul.

“The act of destroying an instrument is arrogant and offensive to Japanese people,” explained one, while another said musicians value their instruments “more than life itself”.

The video has also drawn unfavorable comparisons to one of Apple’s most famous commercials, which aired in 1984.

In a nod to the year of its release (and the novel by George Orwell), the ad depicts an athlete fighting a dystopian future.

One user said the new ad was “almost the exact opposite” of it, and another said it showed Apple had “become the faceless culture-crushing force they fought back in 1984”.

And for one, it’s a “visual and metaphorical bookend” to the original ad.

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