Due to its massive audience, the Super Bowl is an ideal platform for companies to launch their advertising campaigns and reach a large and diverse audience. The Super Bowl has featured a lot of memorable commercials that have had a lasting impact on fans’ minds. Often referred to as the best is the “1984” commercial by Apple.
Apple's "1984" commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984, is arguably one of the most iconic and memorable advertisements of all time. Directed by Ridley Scott and produced by Chiat/Day, the commercial was designed to introduce the world to the then-new and revolutionary Apple Macintosh computer.
The Apple's “1984” Commercial
The commercial opens with a dystopian scene of a totalitarian society where the masses are brainwashed and controlled by a charismatic leader thought to be the "big brother". Analysts believe it was a reference to then-market leader IBM, but Apple didn't think so at first.
A female runner enters the room and smashes the screen with a sledgehammer, destroying the image of the leader and symbolising the end of his reign. After that, the commercial cuts to the Apple logo with the tagline "Apple Computers will release the Macintosh on January 24th. And you'll understand why 1984 will not be like '1984.'"
The commercial was an apparent reference to George Orwell's novel "1984," which depicted a totalitarian society controlled by the government through the use of propaganda and technology. Using this analogy, Apple was positioning itself as the savior of the people, freeing them from the shackles of monolithic technology and offering them a better alternative.
The commercial was well received at the time, and it remains one of the most memorable ads at the Super Bowl. The ad has been praised for its use of powerful imagery and its ability to create an emotional connection with the viewer. It has also been credited with helping to establish Apple's brand identity and establishing the company as a leader in innovation and creativity.
The Apple Board Opposition
After it was set for screening, Apple's board of directors was skeptical of the ad and its bold approach. They were concerned that the commercial was too negative and that it would alienate customers. The vast majority of the board of directors felt the advert was irresponsible and didn't say anything about the Macintosh itself.
However, Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO at the time, was a strong supporter of the commercials and attempted to persuade the board to allow them to air. The level of internal disagreement at Apple over whether or not to run the commercial resulted in it being a one-time event. It was agreed that it would only be shown once, during the Super Bowl.
In the end, the "1984" commercial was a huge success for Apple. It generated a lot of buzz and helped to establish the company as a leader in innovation and creativity. The ad's impact was so significant that it is still remembered and discussed decades later, which is a testament to its lasting impact on the company's brand perception.
The Influence of Super Bowl Commercials
Advertising during the Super Bowl has become a cultural phenomenon, and many companies view it as a way to make a big impact and reach a large number of potential customers. The high viewership of the Super Bowl provides advertisers with an opportunity to reach a broad audience and showcase their brand or product in a creative and memorable way.
The commercial was a turning point for Apple as it helped to launch the company into the mainstream and set the stage for its continued growth and success. Today, Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world, and its products are synonymous with innovation, creativity, and excellence.
Apple's "1984" commercial is a testament to the power of advertising at the Super Bowl and its ability to shape our perceptions and influence our lives. The advert remains one of the most memorable in the Super Bowl and impactful advertisements of all time. it will always be remembered as a seminal moment in the history of sports, technology, and marketing.