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Bizarre New iPad Pro Ad Says the Quiet Part Out Loud

Witnessing the rise of anti-human corporate tech

Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared the brand-new preview of the “thinnest iPad” to date, the iPad Pro, praising its portability and capacity. Capitalizing on the “thin” aspect, the promo commercial, titled “Crush!” has been turning heads and could also be accused of crushing the human spirit.

The commercial plays to the song “All I Need is You” by Sonny & Cher, opening up with a metronome and a record player. Then, the scene broadens out to show a platform in the middle of a room piled with an array of gadgets and knickknacks, like a drum set, cans of paint, a trumpet, piano, bust of a Greco-Roman figure, a globe, chess set, and other goods that the mind naturally associates with human creativity and intellect. Above the arrangement, a massive metal plate slowly descends, crushing it all into a pulp and compressing it into the all-new 2024 iPad Pro.

The viewer watches as a guitar gets mashed to splinters, a wood sketching model gets bent backward, and the clay bust of a human head is slowly pancaked into indistinguishable mush. And we get Tim Cook’s sleek and soulless invention, a device that supposedly holds all those instruments and human endeavors in its cold heart of silicon.

It’s certainly the most bizarre tech ad I’ve ever seen, besides perhaps the dystopian 2022 Super Bowl Meta ad, which was so depressing it may have sent investors scurrying faster than field mice in a rainstorm.

The reaction on X to the iPad commercial, though, has been overwhelming negative from what I’ve seen, with users saying that it’s creepy, depressing, and even “anti-human.” The point of the ad is obviously to show that this thin device can be a library of all the objects that were destroyed, but watching the video makes one feel that we’re actually losing a lot and gaining quite little in return. For instance, you can get a piano app on an iPad, but do we seriously think that compares to an actually Grand or Yamaha in a concert hall? And what about the clay mold of the bust? Is that a message to sculptors and potters that they should throw their craft into the garbage bin? I hope not. The stage of goods, crushed for the sake of a new Apple gadget, represents the multifaceted and wondrous array of human achievement. And it’s just unthinkable that those achievements and endeavors can be replicated on screen.

It was a weird commercial that may have revealed something disturbingly accurate about some of these Big Tech corporations. Do they want to make our lives better or flatten our experience to enhance their own business model and ever-fattening wallets? Based on this commercial, it seems Apple wants to monopolize the world of art, beauty, and experience, cloistering it inside a screen.

Peter Biles

Writer and Editor, Center for Science & Culture
Peter Biles graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois and went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University. He is the author of Hillbilly Hymn and Keep and Other Stories and has also written stories and essays for a variety of publications. He was born and raised in Ada, Oklahoma and serves as Managing Editor of Mind Matters.

Bizarre New iPad Pro Ad Says the Quiet Part Out Loud