Apple apologises for piano-crushing advert – after brilliant Bach parody

10 May 2024, 13:26

Apple apologises for new iPad advert after internet backlash, including brilliant Bach parody.
Apple apologises for new iPad advert after internet backlash, including brilliant Bach parody. Picture: Apple / Alamy

By Siena Linton

The tech firm announced its new iPad with a musical instrument-crushing video, met with intense backlash from across the creative world.

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Apple has apologised after its latest promotional video drew widespread criticism and backlash for destroying creative objects in a giant hydraulic press.

From a metronome to record player, piano, trumpet and guitar, the eye-watering video sees musical instruments, art materials, cameras, books and games consoles ruthlessly crushed between two enormous metal plates, to the disjointedly cheerful sound of Sonny & Cher’s ‘All I Ever Need is You’.

Apple CEO Tim Cook posted the video to social media, captioning it: “Meet the new iPad Pro: the thinnest product we’ve ever created ... Just imagine all the things it’ll be used to create.”

The video was immediately slammed by fellow social media users, from a Bach-inspired parody by a classical music label to outspoken actor Hugh Grant, who called the ad: “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

The tech giant has now been forced to apologise, with vice president of marketing communications Tor Myhren releasing a statement: “Creativity is in our DNA at Apple, and it’s incredibly important to us to design products that empower creatives all over the world.

“Our goal is to always celebrate the myriad of ways users express themselves and brign their ideas to life through iPad. We missed the mark with this video, and we’re sorry.”

Read more: Youth orchestra expertly trolls car company who made fun of young musicians in TV advert

iPad Pro shown in new advert

Social media users flocked to express their outrage and disappointment, calling the ad ‘grotesque’, ‘dystopian’, ‘soul-crushing’ and ‘ghoulishly anti-human’.

Others also drew parallels between the ad and the current challenges faced by the arts, with classical music critic Rebecca Franks writing: “Well this is quite the metaphor for creative life in the 21st century.”

One of the more creative responses came from Scotland-based classical record label, Delphian, who transformed the ad into an oddly uplifting version of events.

Reversing the video and pairing it with a Bach organ sonata, they captioned it: “Fixed it for you, @Apple.”

“This is MILES better,” one user replied, with another agreeing: “It’s funny that this really is a better ad.”

Played in reverse, Apple’s ad becomes a story of the endless creative potential unlocked by Apple’s new product, with capabilities from music-making and playback, to books, digital art, photography, games, and more.

And with the right musical pairing – in this case, Víkingur Ólafsson’s masterful recording of J.S. Bach’s Organ Sonata No.4 – Delphian’s version of the video is nothing short of motivational and uplifting. The power of music in action.