Lesson plan; Analyzing Apple’s Controversial iPad Pro Ad

Hugh Grant speaks for all on Apple’s horrific new ad

The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley’; Hugh Grant

A newly released ad promoting Apple’s new iPad Pro has struck quite a nerve online.


  • Critically examine Apple’s recent iPad Pro ad and its potential impact on viewers.
  • Explore the role of creativity, symbolism, and brand messaging in advertising.
  • Foster analytical thinking, discussion, and reflection skills.

The ad, which was released by the tech giant Tuesday, shows a hydraulic press crushing just about every creative instrument artists and consumers have used over the years — from a piano and record player, to piles of paint, books, cameras and relics of arcade games. Resulting from the destruction? A pristine new iPad Pro. Source: Fortune.

“My initial thought was that Apple has become exactly what it never wanted to be,” Vann Graves, executive director of the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter, said.

Graves pointed to Apple’s famous 1984 ad introducing the Macintosh computer, which he said focused more on uplifting creativity and thinking outside of the box as a unique individual. In contrast, Graves added, “this (new iPad) commercial says, ‘No, we’re going to take all the creativity in the world and use a hydraulic press to push it down into one device that everyone uses.’”  Fortune

  1. Viewing and Analysis:
    • Watch the full Apple iPad Pro ad together.
    • Divide students into small groups and provide them with a list of questions:
        • What creative tools and mediums were destroyed in the ad?
        • What emotions did the ad evoke in you? Why?
        • What message do you think Apple was trying to convey?
        • How does this ad compare to Apple’s iconic 1984 Macintosh ad regarding messaging and symbolism?
        • Do you think the ad effectively promotes the iPad Pro? Why or why not?
      • Instruct groups to discuss and analyze the ad based on the provided questions.
      • Compare this ad to Apple’s iconic 1984 Macintosh ad. How are they different?
      • Have each group discuss their answers.
  1. Group Discussion:
    • Bring the class back together and facilitate a discussion:
      • Share group responses.
      • Discuss the impact of destroying creative tools in the ad.
      • Explore whether the ad aligns with Apple’s brand image.
      • Consider the role of creativity and individuality in advertising.
  1. Reflection:
    • Ask students to write a short reflection on the following:
      • Their personal opinion on the effectiveness and appropriateness of the ad.
      • Whether they agree or disagree with Vann Graves’ critique of the ad.
      • How the ad might affect Apple’s brand reputation and consumer perception.
  2. Class Discussion:
    • Invite students to share their reflections.
    • Summarize key points from the discussion.

Essay questions and project task

Essay Question 1: Analyze the symbolism and messaging present in Apple’s iPad Pro ad. How do the visuals and creative destruction depicted in the ad align (or fail to align) with Apple’s brand identity and values? Support your analysis with specific examples from the ad and compare it to Apple’s iconic 1984 Macintosh ad.

Essay Question 2: “This (new iPad) commercial says, ‘No, we’re going to take all the creativity in the world and use a hydraulic press to push it down into one device that everyone uses.’” – Vann Graves, Executive Director of VCU’s Brandcenter.

Do you agree or disagree with Vann Graves’ critique of Apple’s iPad Pro ad? Provide a well-reasoned argument supporting your stance, considering the ad’s symbolism, messaging, and potential impact on viewers’ perceptions of creativity and individuality.

Project Task 1: In small groups, create an alternative advertising campaign for Apple’s iPad Pro that better aligns with the company’s brand values and messaging around creativity, innovation, and individuality. Your campaign should include:

  1. A storyboard or script for a 30-second ad (video or multimedia format)
  2. A print ad or social media campaign visuals
  3. A brief rationale explaining how your campaign effectively promotes the iPad Pro while staying true to Apple’s brand identity and core values.

Present your campaign to the class, highlighting the key messaging, symbolism, and creative elements you incorporated.

This famous ad, directed by Ridley Scott, aired nationally during the 1984 Super Bowl. It introduced the Macintosh personal computer and positioned it as a tool for fighting conformity and promoting individuality.

The ad depicts a dystopian society of uniform citizens watching a Big Brother-like figure on a large screen. A woman representing the Macintosh system runs through the crowd and hurls a hammer at the screen, shattering it. The ad’s slogan “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’” references George Orwell’s novel 1984 and its themes of totalitarianism and loss of individual freedom.

Title: Lesson plan; Analyzing Apple’s Controversial iPad Pro Ad
URL: https://annmichaelsen.com/2024/05/11/lesson-plan-analyzing-apples-controversial-ipad-pro-ad/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lesson-plan-analyzing-apples-controversial-ipad-pro-ad
Source: Teaching English using web 2.0
Source URL: https://annmichaelsen.com
Date: May 11, 2024 at 02:09PM
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