Apple’s Iconic Ad!
This was the ad that created history. This 60-second commercial ran only once on the Super Bowl in 1984 and achieved the distinction of earning an unprecedented US $150 million in media in value being replayed as the subject of commentary on leading international television channels such as ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC and CBC. It is considered as one of the greatest television commercials ever.
The brief by Steve Jobs for the 1984 ad was simple: He said, I want to stop the world in its tracks. When Jobs introduced this spot at Apple’s annual sales meeting at Hawaii in October 1983, he cast IBM in the role of Big Brother.
The Big Brother was not IBM, but the collective fear of technology, not a corporation either real or imagined. The Big Brother was any government dedicated to keeping its populace in the dark.
Apple wanted to democratize technology telling people that the power was now literally in their hands. They knew that computers and communications could change all that.
Here’s the complete script of the commercial:
(In walk the drones)
Today we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information of Purification Directives.
(Apple’s Hammer-thrower enters, pursued by Storm Troopers)
We have created for the first time in all history a garden of pure ideology, where every worker may bloom, secure from the pests of any contradictory true thoughts.
Our unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth.
We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause.
Our enemies shall talk themselves to death and we will bury them with their own confusion.
(Hammer is thrown on Screen)
We shall Prevail!
On January 24th Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you will see why 1984 won’t be like 1984.
This 1984 Apple spot introducing the Macintosh computer forever raised the bar for Super Bowl advertising.
The 60-second commercial – created by Chiat/Day and directed by Oscar-nominated director Ridley Scott had cost almost $ 400,000 in production costs. Scott’s vision of George Orwell’s 1984 on which the commercial is based, is strongly reminiscent of his own 1982 film, Blade Runner, from the dark, fog-filled buildings to the beautiful heroine.
The ad also is one of the first that didn’t show the actual product, playing instead on public fears about corporate control through the mysterious Big Brother. Media outlets even posited at the time that the ad’s blue hues were meant to evoke IBM as the villain.
Gary Gusick penned the headline: Why 1984 won’t be like 1984. Lee Clow suggested that the heroine who runs in and smashes the screen with Big Brother haranguing the masses should carry a baseball, but Ridley Scott, the director of the commercial insisted that a hammer would be far better symbol.
The advertising spot actually foreshadowed the fall of the iron curtain proving Ridley Scot’s decision in retrospect.
Can we draw inspiration from this ad and identify the Big Brother, who is stopping us from doing things differently and break free from common practices and start doing something new, different and relevant?
Click here to watch the famous and revolutionary 1984 Ad of Apple!