Has Apple Missed The Mark With Its Latest iPad Ad?

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Note: This article discusses Apple’s “Crush” ad. The accompanying product image of the latest iPad Pro can be found on Apple’s official website here and is used solely to visually represent the product discussed in the article. This use should not be interpreted as an endorsement or affiliation with Apple Inc.

Apple’s recent iPad Pro commercial has sparked a heated online debate. The ad, showcasing a hydraulic press crushing various creative instruments before revealing a new iPad Pro, aimed to highlight the product’s power and versatility. However, the execution has raised concerns among marketers and consumers alike.

Some critics have interpreted the ad as insensitive, particularly at a time when many fear technology replacing human creativity and jobs. The imagery of cherished items being destroyed has amplified these concerns, raising questions about the message Apple intended to convey.

This campaign also stands in stark contrast to Apple’s previous marketing efforts, which often celebrated individuality and creativity. 

The iconic 1984 ad, for instance, focused on empowering individuals to think differently and break free from conformity. Some argue that the new iPad Pro ad appears to contradict this ethos.

In response to the backlash, Apple has issued an apology, acknowledging that the ad missed the mark. The company has also decided to pull the commercial from television.

Despite the controversy, Apple’s latest iPad Pro boasts impressive features, including a thinner design, a powerful M4 processor, and dual OLED panels for enhanced visuals. However, the ad’s unintended consequences highlight the importance of careful messaging and understanding audience sensitivities, especially in an era of rapid technological advancement.

The Controversial 2024 iPad Pro Ad

Our Take On Apple’s iPad Pro Ad

In our view, Apple’s iPad Pro ad demonstrates a misalignment between the intended message and the audience’s perception. While aiming to emphasize the iPad’s capabilities, the execution inadvertently triggered anxieties about technology’s impact on creativity and jobs, highlighting the importance of considering the broader cultural context and potential interpretations of marketing messages.

This misstep is further emphasized by the glaring difference between the iconic 1984 and 2024 iPad Pro ads. In 1984, Apple championed individuality and creativity, challenging the status quo. The new ad, however, seemed to embrace conformity and standardization, suggesting that all creative tools could be replaced by a single device. This shift in messaging alienated many loyal Apple customers who value the company’s history of supporting artistic expression.

The Iconic 1984 Apple Ad

So, how could they have done it better?

Instead of portraying the iPad Pro as a replacement for traditional creative tools, Apple could have highlighted its ability to complement and enhance the creative process. They could have shown artists using the iPad Pro alongside their existing tools, showcasing how it can streamline workflows, spark new ideas, and bring creative visions to life in new ways.

This disconnect between Apple’s message and its audience’s concerns is a cautionary tale for any business owner.  Effective marketing campaigns should not only showcase product features but also resonate with your target audience’s values and aspirations. Understanding the cultural context and potential interpretations of your message is key to avoiding unintended negative reactions.

Tips For Creating Relevant And On-Point Ads

  1. 1. Know Your Audience: Understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. Tailor your message to resonate with them on a personal level.
  2. 2. Focus on Benefits: Highlight how your product or service solves problems or improves lives, rather than just listing features.
  3. 3. Be Authentic: Avoid gimmicks or overly exaggerated claims. Be genuine and transparent in your communication.
  4. 4. Test and Iterate: Gather feedback on your ads and refine them based on real-world results. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new approaches.
  5. 5. Consider the Context: Be mindful of current events, cultural sensitivities, and the overall mood of your audience.

While Apple’s new iPad Pro might be a technological marvel, the controversy surrounding its ad serves as a reminder that even industry giants can stumble when it comes to marketing their products. By following these tips and learning from others’ mistakes, you can create ads that are both relevant and effective in driving business growth.


Don’t let your marketing miss the mark!

Beanstalk offers data-driven growth across all channels: advertising, SEO, branding, social media management, and more. We’ll help you craft a message that resonates and reach your target audience where they are. 

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