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October 7, 2015

Someone fetch me my cane: Apple's "1984" ad is 25 years old today - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 22nd 2009 5:03PM
Original MacintoshTwo things about Darren Rovell's CNBC.com story about the famous Apple Macintosh Super Bowl ad shocked me:

  • That it aired for the first and only time (at least as an ad, not a cultural icon) 25 years ago today, during the broadcast of Super Bowl XVIII (when the Los Angeles Raiders crushed the Washington Redskins, for you sports fans); and
  • That the Super Bowl was once played as early as January 22.

The NFL season has slowly gotten longer and longer, hasn't it? Anyway, Rovell has an interesting interview with Mike Murray, Apple's marketing manager for the then-brand-new Mac. The best thing to come out of the interview was the fact that Apple's board of directors hated the completed ad, which was inspired by George Orwell's novel 1984, and never wanted it to air. But they couldn't sell back their 60-second spot and had nothing else to put there.

So, basically, a lack of productivity on the part of Apple's marketing department allowed us to see what became the most famous Super Bowl ad ever. You can see the ad after the jump.

This ad is generally recognized for starting the trend of "event" Super Bowl ads that are almost as highly-anticipated as the game itself (in fact, we go over each commercial that airs, and plan on doing the same thing on February 1).

And, to think, if Murray listened to Apple's board and this ad didn't air, you might not be enjoying that air of superiority you're feeling right now as you read this on your MacBook, iMac, or iPhone. Oh, and we might have had to endure a game full of ads for the Snuggie and Slap Chop. Hearing that douche Vince say "You'll love my nuts" all day would have been very sad.

[via Watchdog]

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l in fairness it wasn't until after 9-11 when the Super bowl was moved to February. So if it wasn't for that this year's game would be on the 25th, so that's not late at all.

January 22 2009 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My parents gave me that Mac for a combination 18th birthday and high school graduation present. I switched to PCs afterwards, but I remember the Mac and the ad fondly. I was the only kid in my freshman dorm with a computer. It's amazing how things have changed.

January 22 2009 at 8:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I didn't have to watch for I remember it vividly. I was working on a newsletter when my husband told me there's a new computer coming out that would really be good for creating my monthly publication. I watched the commercial and deferred to his knowledge of the future. Little did I know that 25 years later I'd still be using the Apple through all its incarnations. We once went to the Smithsonian in D.C. and to my utter surprise, there was my first Mac loving displayed and covered by glass.

January 22 2009 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I went to school with Darren. I've known him since we were six... he is an AMAZING guy with one of the best bass voices - I'm surprised that he never went into theater - he was always the lead.


January 22 2009 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Actually it aired once before that in order to qualify for awards. From Wikipedia:

Chiat/Day also ran the ad one other time on television, a month earlier at 1:00 A.M on 15 December 1983 on KMVT in Twin Falls, Idaho

January 22 2009 at 5:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to djr's comment
Joel Keller

Thanks for the clarification, even if it's from Wikipedia.

January 22 2009 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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