The iconic 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial

In January 22, 1984, Apple aired this iconic advertisement to promote the Apple Macintosh personal computer during Superbowl XVIII:

The imagery came from George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is set in a dystopian future where “Big Brother” keeps the citizens in line through surveillance and censorship.

Apple Macintosh 128K (the first Macintosh, 1984)

Apple Macintosh 128K (first Macintosh)

The advertisement was shot in Britain, directed by Ridley Scott with a budget of $900,000. Scott could not get enough British skinheads to populate the auditorium so he paid amateurs $125 a day to shave their heads. In the original storyboard, the heroine was supposed to be holding a baseball bat, but the bat was changed into a sledgehammer which, while more dramatic, was a lot harder to wield. The models who answered the casting call could not throw the sledgehammer safely or elegantly. Being an experienced discus thrower helped Anya Major get the part.

In 2004, Apple rebroadcast the advertisement. This time, the unnamed heroine was digitally modified to be listening to an iPod.

In one interpretation of the advertisement, the heroine represents the arrival of the Macintosh as a way to save humanity from a dreary and sheep-like existence imposed by a controlling figure. In1984, that figure was IBM; in 2004, viewers generally thought it was Microsoft.

Nowadays though, is this still applicable? Or have Apple products become the mainstream things that people use to conform to everyone else?

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5 comments

  1. Lipstick&chopsticks says:

    Ang creepy ng Commercial! Personally I buy apple products not because they’re uso but because I find them useful and I love its features.

  2. Rizza says:

    The only Apple products I have are its phone and ipod.

  3. Kris Edison says:

    Not a fan of Apple but the commercial is an epic one.

  4. Bam says:

    What can I say those we’re the days! when apple is still starting and struggling!

  5. I never had an Apple product, medyo may kamahalan. Hindi ko yata matandaan yung commercial na yan.

Let me know what you think!