Samsung has a brilliant response to Apple’s hated ‘Crush’ ad

Samsung has a brilliant response to Apple’s hated ‘Crush’ ad

“Creativity cannot be crushed.” Touché, Samsung.

BY Michael Grothaus

It’s not often that Samsung one-ups Apple in its marketing campaigns, but the South Korean company has done just that with its latest ad, “Uncrush.”

Earlier this month, Apple unveiled the long-awaited new iPad Pros, which feature OLED displays and the M4 chipset. They are also the thinnest devices that Apple has ever made. To show off that thinness, Apple released a new ad called “Crush.” The ad showed an industrial compressor smashing things like a guitar, piano, paint, sculptures, and more. When the compressor retracts at the end of the ad, only an iPad Pro is left in place of the destroyed creative tools.

Apple’s “Crush” ad was a rare marketing miss for the company. The spot angered a lot of creative professionals who said it symbolized technology’s destruction of human creativity. Apple later issued an apology for the ad, saying it “missed the mark” and that it wouldn’t run it on TV.

So, that was the end of the ad drama, right? Not so, thanks to Apple’s arch-competitor, Samsung.

Samsung’s response

Samsung has now released an ad called “Uncrushed” in response to Apple’s “Crush,” and whether or not you agree with the stance among some creatives that Apple’s ad was—intentionally or not—promoting technology’s destruction of human creativity, you have to admit that Samsung’s response is brilliant.

In the “Uncrush “ad, we are thrust back into what is supposed to be the same room with the same industrial compressor from Apple’s ad. Broken and crushed physical creative tools lie everywhere. (Even the paint from the crushed paint cans in Apple’s ad still stains the compressor in Samsung’s ad.) We see a pair of feet walking through the destruction, then a woman picks up a guitar that was only partially destroyed by Apple’s compressor. She begins playing it as she reads sheet music from a Samsung tablet.

The ad ends with the tag “Creativity cannot be crushed.”

While most people would probably agree Apple’s iPad Pro blows away any tablet made by Samsung, there’s no denying that Samsung has candidly beat Apple in the marketing department this time around.

“More than a response, this is a celebration of all creative souls,” Estefanio Holtz, executive creative director for BBH USA, the creative agency that made the ad, in a statement to Fast Company. “True artists, makers and creators know that creativity always finds a way.”

This story has been updated with a response from BBH USA.



Michael Grothaus is a novelist and author. He has written for Fast Company since 2013, where he’s interviewed some of the tech industry’s most prominent leaders and writes about everything from Apple and artificial intelligence to the effects of technology on individuals and society. 

Fast Company