What a remarkable 2 weeks, watching the DA (Democratic Alliance), then Adobe and lastly Apple (literally) explode many thinking brains, by seemingly forgetting to invite any intelligent feedback on their adverts.


Chronologically (I went with an alphabetical order in my headline) it was the DA who struck first.

They used the imagery of a burning flag to illustrate the dangers of voting for particular parties that may form a coalition during the coming South African election. The flag then reversed its burning process (end-burn) while they explained why voting for them would be the more sensible choice.

Here’s the advert:


Adobe was up next, punting their new AI integration with an advert that headlined with ‘Skip the Photoshoot’.

Adobe skip the photoshoot

Adobe, who has built its business, on the back of photographers and designers, is now suggesting there’s no need for a photographer, as their AI assisted products don’t require a photographer.

I don’t need to wax eloquent here. I’ll leave it to Clayton Cubbitt who posted the above image on X, to share the love:

‘So glad as a photographer I’ve given Adobe tens of thousands of dollars only to have it pivot to selling ‘skip the photo shoot,’


And lastly Apple, with the launch of their new iPad and all the humanity it can crush out of you. Yup, you read it right, crush!

I found the above video on FSGATE, who capture it all with:

Scores of indignant comments quickly arrived under Cook’s post. British novelist Hari Kunzru wrote, “Crushing the symbols of human creativity to produce a homogenized branded slab is pretty much where the tech industry is at in 2024.” Video game and film critic Chris Schilling called the video “genuinely dystopian.”


The irony for Adobe and Apple is that they’re selling intelligence via AI, and the DA, well they just seemed to avoid both AI and human intelligence all together.

I even asked AI about the DA advert, and ChatGPT had this to say:

Using the imagery of a burning flag in an advertisement can be very controversial and is likely to provoke strong reactions. In many cultures, flag burning is seen as an act of disrespect or protest against the nation and its symbols. Such imagery could be interpreted negatively by a significant portion of the audience, potentially leading to backlash against your brand or message.


Did anybody seriously ask the people around them, or customers, or future customers what they thought about what they were putting into the universe?

Why is it so obvious after the fact, that these were incredibly expensive and really stupid decisions?

I can only conclude that way too much of their own cool-aid is being drunk by the powers that be, to make good decisions that lead to the kinds of communication that these 3 organisations should be be putting out there.


Of course I’m all about Play. So here’s an invitation to Play for whomever was responsible for those 3 adverts. If you’d just done this, you might have avoided the trouble you brought on yourselves:

play activity to avoice Adobe Apple da