It’s almost hard to believe it has been a full thirty years since the release of Apple’s iconic “1984” commercial. The ad is still viewed thousands and thousands of times every day, and is considered by many to be the best commercial ever made. And it is certainly one of, if not the finest, Super Bowl commercial ever.
With this famous ad, Apple raised the bar for all future advertising in myriad ways. The spot is dramatic, it is cinematic, it catches and holds your attention, and it gives you a reason to look forward to something. Far too many ads make their point (or fail to) without leaving any lasting impression on the viewer (e.g. an impulse to buy the product!).
By building on the oppressive, alternative world established by George Orwell’s book “1984” and the film of that same name, and by of course releasing this ad during the biggest television event of that actual year, Apple rode atop a surge of momentum with this commercial. And we ride that momentum too: when the protagonist’s hammer shatters that screen (if you don’t know what we’re talking about, you are one of the ten people alive who has still not seen this ad, but don’t worry, it’s posted right here for ya!), we are all liberated along with her and those seated denizens. Liberated to go out and buy a Macintosh computer, that is.
The commercial is artistic, compelling, and actually surprisingly simple. You learn nothing about the product being discussed other than the fact that it is a computer and will be available for purchase on January 24th, 1984, and that, somehow, it is going to pretty much change everything. Now flash forward thirty years: Apple truly has become a juggernaut of the tech world, a very big company indeed, and one that seems to pervade all aspects of our lives… almost like a certain Big Brother from a certain book/movie…
Anyway, enough of that, enjoy this classic ad! Happy birthday, 1984 Macintosh commercial! You’ve still got it, all these years later!