Is Balenciaga's provocative iPhone stunt a step too far?

Cracked iPhone
(Image credit: Peter Dazeley via Getty)

Unless you possess superhuman powers of care and grip, you've probably experienced the heart-in-mouth horror of dropping your phone. A cracked screen is every iPhone user's worst nightmare, or at least so we thought until Balenciaga decided to make them cool. 

The fashion brand ditched traditional paper invites for its Autumn/Winter 2022 show at Paris Fashion Week, opting instead for, er, cracked iPhones. Because of course it did. (If your own iPhone is cracked and you feel like upgrading, check out the best iPhone 13 deals). 

The smashing invite (sorry) saw iPhone 6S models delivered to attendees, with event information engraved on the back of the device. Described as a "genuine artefact from the year 2022," the non-working phones come with a certificate declaring the damage "made from years of use and later, neglect". 

The brand is known for its headline-grabbing marketing stunts, including launching its very own Simpsons episode last year. But this might just be its audacious yet, and social media users seem to be either loving or hating the smashed iPhones. Indeed, the tweets below just about sum it up.

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As for us, we're just wondering why Balenciaga opted for arguably the least luxurious iPhone ever, 2015's 6S. If nostalgia was the aim of the game, couldn't it have gone for the much more covetable iPhone 4 or 5? Even the iPhone 14 is said to be looking to 2010's iPhone 4 for design inspiration.

Still, we're all for creative advertising. From Burger King's optical illusion ads to this ingenious road safety poster, there's clearly still plenty of room for thinking outside the box when it comes to marketing (as Rihanna's confusing ketchup-themed collaboration proves). Looking for the most cracking iPhone deals available now? Take a look at today's best Apple deals.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.