To register, get added benefits and unlimited access to articles, Become a Member. Already a Member? Sign in.

'1984' 30 Years Later: A Brief History of Apple's Instantly Iconic Super Bowl Commercial

By Published on . 0

The rumor of the week is that Apple may be back in the Super Bowl, marking the 30th anniversary of the birth of the Macintosh and the airing of the instantly iconic "1984" spot during Super Bowl XVII. The source of that rumor? Twitter, of course -- and specifically tweets from legendary ad man Lee Clow, like this one:

Which, inevitably, has prompted responses like this one:

Apple, naturally, is not tipping its hat. For the record, though, Chris aka @whoisccd, and you, and I, are now all going to be super disappointed if Apple is a Super Bowl no-show.

But meanwhile, to mark the 30th anniversary of "1984" and to tide you over until Feb. 2, we've pulled together a sort of five-part 1984 Reader, starting with footage of a very young Steve Jobs back in 1983, enthusiastically screening the ad to an equally enthusiastic audience. Mr. Jobs makes sure to credit Jay Chiat, the now-deceased head of the agency behind the ad, TBWA/Chiat/Day; Mr. Clow, the creative director on the ad; and copywriter Steve Hayden.

Lee Clow on How Apple's '1984' Almost Didn't Happen
And here's our 2012 interview with Mr. Clow, who discusses Mr. Jobs' mandate for "1984" and how the agency secured the spot for a Super Bowl showcase even though the Apple board was hesitant.

Advertising Age Player

Apple's First Marketing Guru on Why '1984' Is Overrated
"The ad was more successful than the Mac itself," said Regis McKenna, whose firm was Apple's first ad and public-relations shop.

The 10 Best Ads to Come out of Steve Jobs' Reign at Apple
We've got nine Apple ads besides "1984" that should be celebrated. (Its Super Bowl follow-up, "Lemmings," on the other hand...)

The Central Genius of Apple's Advertising Under Jobs
Following Mr. Jobs' death in 2011, Bob Garfield broke down the key to an ad as amazing as "1984." Unfortunately, that key isn't available to just anyone.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

In this article:

Read These Next

Comments (0)