The 1984 Apple advertisement is an iconic and revolutionary commercial that aired during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984. Directed by Ridley Scott, the one-minute spot is a masterpiece of advertising, positioning Apple’s Macintosh computer as a symbol of rebellion and freedom against a totalitarian regime.
The ad is set in a dystopian future inspired by George Orwell’s novel “1984.” It opens with a monochrome, soulless assembly of people sitting in a large, stark room, mindlessly watching a giant screen showing a Big Brother-like figure addressing the crowd. The atmosphere is grim, oppressive, and lacking individuality.
Suddenly, a vibrant young woman, representing the Macintosh, bursts into the scene, wearing a white tank top and bright red shorts. She defiantly hurls a sledgehammer at the giant screen, shattering it into pieces, and freeing the people from their mental enslavement. The commercial concludes with the text, “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.’”
The advertisement was groundbreaking for its time, as it defied the traditional approach of technology advertising that focused solely on product features. Instead, it used powerful imagery and symbolism to create an emotional impact. The commercial successfully introduced the Macintosh as a tool for individual empowerment and creativity in a world dominated by conformity and restriction.
The 1984 Apple advertisement is often hailed as one of the greatest commercials in history and played a significant role in the Macintosh’s successful launch, solidifying its place as an innovative and game-changing product in the world of personal computing.