Apple’s “1984”: Greatest Commercial Ever Made
"1984" is an American television commercial which introduced the Apple Macintosh personal computer for the first time. The commercial served as a significant milestone in the history of adverting and had a massive effect on the popularity of Apple. The ad consistently been lauded as a classic, winning critical acclaim over time. It is now considered a watershed event and a masterpiece in advertising, and is widely regarded as one of the most memorable and successful American television commercials of all time. It aired only once on daytime television, on 22 January 1984 in the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII. The ad was not only rated as the best advertisement ever in 2007, it was also rated as the ‘Best Super Bowl spot in the 40 years history’. The turning point event was not the only computer advertisement that aired in these years, but it was “the only one that changed people's lives”. The ad started the phenomenon known as "event marketing," in which a high-visibility commercial garners a lot of extra free publicity. "1984" also inaugurated the trend of showcasing commercials on the Super Bowl. And, most importantly for Apple, the ad brought consumers into the stores.
The commercial opens with a droning voice resonating through a science-fiction dystrophic setting, which is held in dark, blue and gray tones. Then you see emotionless, bald and almost robotic people marching in unanimity through a long tunnel with telescreens on the wall. Then out of nowhere, a young woman appears, dressed like an athlete, in a color-full sports outfit that forms a strong contrast to the dull gray environment surrounding her. She carries a sledgehammer and is being chased by uniformed guards and then she runs up to the screen, hurls a hammer with a heroic grunt, and shatters the TV image of the said dictator named “Big Brother”. As the screen explodes, bathing the stunned audience in the light of freedom, a voice-over...
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