1984 Apple’s Macintosh Commercial
January 22nd 2009, marked the 25th anniversary of the perhaps biggest advertisement in history. One that generated millions in free coverage and still does today: 1984—presenting the Apple Macintosh—is still a gem that leaves most people speechless.
The production values of this ad, created by Steve Hayden and Lee Clow at advertising agency Chiat/Day—Apple’s current ad agency—and directed by Ridley Scott—director of Alien and Blade Runner—, are simply amazing. At the time, the narrative and the cinematography were a complete breakthrough, to the point of TV commentators exclaiming “What the hell was that?” after the commercial cut, which ran during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, January 22, 1984.
Apple spent 1.5 million on it, even while the board didn’t want to run it and Steve Jobs—who obviously believed the ad was genius and was present at the moment of the filming—had to use all his Reality Distortion Field powers alongside John Sculley to get them to approve the spot. Reportedly, Steve Wozniak liked it so much that he offered to pay for it with his own money.
At the end, Steve’s vision—as some times, spot on—prevailed and the 1984 commercial became the biggest hit ever in the history of advertising, setting the bar for every Super Bowl commercial since then. With one single emission, it generated millions of dollars in free coverage and re-runs in TV stations through the nation and abroad, and became a historical landmark to advertisers, companies, and public alike.