Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
1984 (television commercial)
The commercial aired on January 22, 1984 during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, during the "two minute warning". The ad showed an unnamed heroine (played by Anya Major ) wearing red shorts and an Apple t-shirt running through an Orwellian world to throw a sledgehammer at an image of Big Brother — an implied representation of IBM. The concluding screen showed the message and voice over "On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984'.". At the end, the Apple logo is shown on a black background.
Influence on marketing
Despite costing $400,000 USD to make and a further $500,000 on air time, the film was shown commercially only once, although it was shown once before on December 15, 1983 at 01:00 on KMVC Channel 11 , a small television station in Twin Falls, Idaho to allow the commercial to qualify for advertising awards, to quote the book Apple Confidential :
- The famous "1984" commercial that launched the Macintosh during the Super Bowl in 1984 is purported to have been shown only once; but to qualify for 1983's advertising awards, the commercial also aired on December 15 th at a small TV station in Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVC Channel 11), and in movie theaters for weeks starting on January 17th.
However its impact created such a media frenzy that it gained many subsequent free TV airings and column images as it was discussed in the media. At the time Nielsen ratings estimated that the ad reached nearly half of all the households in America. These Guerilla marketing tactics are part of what made the commercial so influential in marketing circles; it is now seen as the first example of Event marketing , and is popularly credited with starting the trend of yearly "event" Super Bowl commercials.
The commercial is frequently voted top in surveys of influential marketing campaigns. For example, Advertising Age named it the 1980s "Commercial of the Decade", and in 1999 the US TV Guide selected it as number one in their list of "50 Greatest Commercials of All Time".
The film surfaced again in the late 1990s when the Apple made a Quicktime version of the commercial available for download from the Internet, and again in 2004 with a 20th Anniversary version modified to promote the iPod.
- "Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology. Where each worker may bloom secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths. 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. We shall prevail!"
- Lee Clow's page about the 1984 ad - Creative Director for Chiat/Day advertising agency at the time.
- Folklore.org: 1984, how the famous commercial almost got canceled.
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