Feb 12 2024

How 1984 almost didn’t happen

Just over 40 years ago, Apple decided to run a TV advert during the Superbowl. Just the one time, mind.

GOLDBERG I had them do a theater test. We get back the results, and it’s the worst business commercial that they’ve ever tested, in terms of persuasiveness.

SCULLEY The board said, We don’t think you should run it. Try to sell the time.”

GOLDBERG And it was Jay Chiat who told us to drag our feet, basically, when we were told to sell off the time on the Super Bowl.

HAYDEN At long last, it came down that we would run the 1984” commercial once.

Hard to imagine a world where Apple didn’t run this ad. Whether or not it was a persuasive advert for a very expensive piece of technology that could just barely accomplish what it claimed to do,1 it certainly reminded anyone paying attention of the contrast with IBMs vision of the future of computing.

[Via Pixel Envy]

  1. Obviously it’s possible that a decade from now the Apple Vision Pro will be seen as a crazy attempt to wrest design leadership from Meta in a market that never quite came to anything. Or a decade from now someone will have figured out how to build the underpinnings of these devices into a normal-ish seat of sunglass frames and Sony or Samsung will be selling them by the tens of millions every year. It’ll be fun to see.↩︎