Apple’s controversial iPad ad sparks debate on creativity and AI’s impact – Bill Harper

Apple is under fire for its recent iPad commercial, which shows the new product crushing creative tools like musical instruments. Joining us on the latest episode of The Small Business Show to further explain the outrage and lessons other brands can all walk away with is Bill Harper, the CEO and Chief Creative Officer of BrandBossHQ.

Key Takeaways 

1. Apple’s commercial intended to showcase the iPad’s power and versatility by “crushing” traditional creative tools like musical instruments and art supplies. However, the silence that followed the crushing imagery led viewers to feel it symbolized the end of creativity rather than its advancement. Existing concerns about the impact of AI and technology on creativity and individuality heightened the adverse reaction.

2. Harper noted that while Apple’s strategy to highlight the iPad’s compact yet powerful nature was sound, the execution faltered. The choice to visually destroy traditional creative tools sent an unintended message. The commercial might have been better received had it used a different approach, such as demonstrating the iPad’s capabilities without implying the obsolescence of other creative tools.

3. Additionally, Harper emphasized that brands should not shy away from bold ideas, even if they risk backlash. He suggested that Apple might have overreacted by pulling the ad and apologizing. Instead, he recommended that brands stand by their creative choices, engage in dialogue with their audience, and use positive or negative publicity to their advantage.

4. The situation provided valuable lessons for other brands. Harper advised companies to anticipate expected and unexpected reactions to their campaigns and proactively manage the resulting conversation. He highlighted the importance of being part of the discussion rather than retreating from it, turning potential missteps into opportunities for engagement.

5. Overall, Harper described the typical process behind creating and approving marketing campaigns, involving a mix of creative, strategic, and client inputs. He acknowledged that while it’s easy to critique from the outside, decisions are made based on collective insights and goals. Despite the challenges, he noted the importance of trusting the creative process and preparing for varied public reception.

"Apple has achieved something that it didn't necessarily anticipate, which is, it's the talk of the town. And so whether or not it's a good or a bad thing, you have to admit that Apple is now on the tongue of every person everywhere." — Bill Harper

Did you know? ASBN America’s Small Business Network is now available to stream in over 70 million broadcasting households for users with Roku, Firestick, AppleTV, and mobile Android [download] and Apple IOS [download] devices.