Controversial Apple ad ranks low with consumers and industry alike, data suggests

The ad, which Apple has now apologised for, had a “less negative than you might expect” reaction from consumers, claims System1. However, it still falls short.

The marketing industry has been up in arms this week after Apple released an ad for its new iPad Pro, featuring a giant hydraulic press crushing a myriad creative objects, from a guitar to a record player and paints.

The ad sparked a backlash online, leading Apple to apologise, saying it had “missed the mark”, leading to it reportedly pulling back on plans to roll it out on TV.

The spot, aptly named ‘Crush!’, records a lowly 1.9-star rating, according to effectiveness firm System1, which predicts long-term brand growth from ads. It also earns a low spike rating of 0.78, which means the ad has poor short-term sales potential. Additionally, the ad has a “modest” fluency score of 77, which benchmarks brand recognition.

Ritson is right, pre-testing has transformed marketing effectivenessDespite the strong response from the industry, Jon Evans, chief customer officer at System1 and host of the Uncensored CMO podcast, says the reaction of the general public, “the people who really matter”, was “actually less negative than you might expect”.

“There is clearly some negative emotion and the overall score is low as we expected but the overriding emotion was neutrality,” he adds.

Apple’s brand recognition is typically high, according to System1’s findings, despite Apple perhaps not pulling on its usual brand levers. As Evans explains: “The other surprise since this is an Apple ad was how weak the branding was. That may end up being a good thing.”