aaaI’ll admit I enjoy some pretty stupid commercials, especially the ones that air during the primetime Super Bowl slots. In the age of Netflix and Hulu, where commercials are becoming rarer or now even “skip-able,” I find my most recent viewing of the now infamous “1984 Apple Macintosh Commercial” more satisfying than ever. Weirdly enough, I just recently managed to read George Orwell’s dystopian literary masterpiece “1984” and like most, it really struck a chord in me. I was traveling to Switzerland on a train so the format was perfect, but I kept thinking how badly I would have loved a new cinematic take on it. To my surprise, life had me stumble upon this epic 1-minute piece of entertainment. Now I understand it’s just a commercial, but myself and scores of other talking-heads agree it is one spectacular piece of advertising.
aaaBe it the 2004 20th anniversary edition (where Apple added the iconic white iPod headphones to the heroine) or the grainy 1984 version… I love it. Now taken at face value, its main objective was just a marketing ploy to take on Apple’s main competitor at the time, IBM; but either way it was executed with the kind of great style and grace only real innovators achieve once in a blue moon. The commercial’s presentation is epic in only a way Sci-Fi legend Ridley Scott could have delivered, and the reasoning seemed to resonate with the Super Bowl audience… or at least intrigued them enough to search out more info on the Apple Macintosh personal computer. As the 1 minute commercial spot comes to an end, Apple boldly proclaims…
“On January 24th,
Apple Computer will introduce
And you’ll see why 1984
won’t be like ‘1984.’”
Culminating with a stark black background with a centered now iconic rainbow Apple logo, the commercial provides visual entertainment and poses interesting questions for us all right now. Did Apple save us from a dystopian information-controlled era? Are we still navigating the waters of those perilous times? Considering pieces of legislation Congress has drafted threatening the very concept of Net Neutrality, it doesn’t seem too paranoid to ask. It’s not really a matter of who owns what type of computer but how and what you can do with them. We already know there is private, professional software that allows unknown entities to track, monitor, and even turn on webcams without the owner knowing. With this in mind, where are we headed? Which company will be there to “save us” when its time?
__Ultimately, who will be the one to throw the hammer through the next screen? It’s hard to say… what do you think? I am not of the belief corporations are necessarily always “bad” and I do see hope with certain billionaire businessmen like Elon Musk and what he is doing with Space X. Regardless, Apple presented a pretty awesome piece of advertising and has proven over and over its profound ability to cement itself in our culture.
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