Anyone else get irritated when football interrupts Super Bowl commercials? Millions of people tune into the big game to see if their favorite brands are on their game with funny, compelling, surprising ads. But they weren’t always the multimillion-dollar spectacles they are today; people watched the Super Bowl to watch the Super Bowl! Apple changed all of that back in 1984 with a now-iconic spot.
Take a look:
The last ten seconds are legend: “On January 24, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.’” In the 1980s, tech was “evil.” It would take over and drive us into an Orwellian nightmare. Apple wanted to show people that this perception was wrong; technology wasn’t a destructive force but rather a constructive one.
The agency behind the ad, Chiat/Day, showed Apple’s Board of Directors the finished version on the Thursday before the Super Bowl. One member stood up and demanded they be fired! Skeptical — and scared — they hedged their bets, selling the two 30-second spots they had and taking the risk to air the 60-second ad.
Good thing. The spot literally changed the world of advertising and marketing. It highlighted that a brand didn’t even need to show their product to convey their message; it emphasized that bold and different was effective. It showcased the power that a single story has to change perceptions.
The ad is one of the most innovative, creative, and distinctive ever aired, and the true Apple was launched that day. Imagine if they’d never run it? If they never challenged and changed consumers’ perceptions?
Apple is different. Bold. Brave. And they started a revolution in both the technology and the advertising worlds. This is the power of a story, told differently.