Diana Bradley
May 9, 2024

Apple's 'Crush' ad elicits backlash from marketing and PR pros

“This Apple ad is what happens when you try to be ‘edgy’ with no consideration for strategy,” said Lulu Cheng Meservey.

Photo credit: Apple / YouTube
Photo credit: Apple / YouTube

A new Apple ad called Crush!, which features an industrial press pulverising a pile of creative objects to birth a new ultrathin iPad Pro, is getting a lot of hate from PR and marketing pros on social media. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook posted the video on X Tuesday, writing, “Just imagine all the things it’ll be used to create.”

Lulu Cheng Meservey said on X that this ad is “what happens when you try to be ‘edgy’ with no consideration for strategy.”

With the ad, which she noted evokes the destruction of art during China’s Cultural Revolution, Apple “created a vision of dystopia.” 

Meservey, Activision Blizzard’s former communications lead, recently launched Rostra, an agency designed to support founder-led companies. 

Meservey added that Apple would’ve been wiser to make an ad that feels uplifting, celebrates human creativity and centers on people rather than a machine.

Liliana Pertenava, founder and CEO of strategic comms firm Axxilion wrote on LinkedIn that the ad is “unsettling” and “reminds us of all the fears of machines destroying everything humane.”

Pertenava added that the spot “creates a huge gap between Steve Jobs' message in the legendary 1984 commercial, where he broke a totalitarian screen to liberate the creative people, and the new Apple that breaks the creative tools to lock them in one screen.”

The new ad “went 180 degrees from Apple's stance with its original founders,” Pertenava said. 
Here’s what other marketing pros on LinkedIn are saying about the ad.


An Apple spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. 


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