Thursday, January 23, 2014

1984 Revisited

Not as confusing as Prometheus
On January 22nd, 1984, Apple Computer ran, what was at the time, the most expensive 1-minute television commercial ever produced, titled "1984." The $900,000 ad, directed by Ridley Scott, was shown only once during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII and it was immediately recognized as something special and unique, winning several awards and helping to kickstart the tradition of producing elaborate, over-the-top commercials for the Super Bowl. Apple's purpose behind the ad was to whip up enthusiasm for the company's next big product at the time, the Macintosh. As you may or may not know, the Macintosh computer introduced the concepts of the mouse and icon-driven computing environments in 1984 to a market who had been, up until then, operating their computers by typing in cryptic codes and commands via keyboard. After shaking up the advertising world with its innovative commercial, Apple successfully shook up the computer world with the introduction of its radical new machine two days later on January 24th, 1984.

Do you prefer brand X over brand Y?

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the commercial's original public broadcast and tomorrow will be the 30th anniversary of the introduction of Macintosh itself. When you get a chance, take a minute or two to watch Apple's little micro-epic and consider how much our world has changed in the years between 1984 and 2014. Thirty years may seem like a long time, but as the great philosopher, Ferris Bueller once said: life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

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