View Full Version : USATODAY: Apple's '1984' Ad by Ridley Scott 20 years later

01 January 2004, 03:29 PM
"The "1984" commercial certainly stood out from the ones with Bixby and Alda, a couple of older guys selling PCs that required users to type in cryptic commands to get anything done.

In Apple's (AAPL) ad, a woman with blond hair and a get-up like Olivia Newton-John might've worn in her Physical video, runs into a sci-fi setting packed with bald human drones who are listening to their leader address them on a giant TV. The aerobics woman, chased by storm trooper types, throws a sledgehammer through the screen.

Afterward, she no doubt gets arrested and tortured, but the commercial ends before that happens. (The suits at competitor IBM (IBM) should've made a response ad that picked up the story there.)

"I remember cheering when I saw the '1984' ad," says Steve Jurvetson, now a high-profile venture capitalist. At the time, he was a senior in high school in Dallas a kid programming games for his Apple II. He got a Mac IIcx for college and pulled all-nighters writing code for classes. The Mac made him love computers, and he still uses a Mac at his firm.

"It was like I had discovered gold," says Jon Staenberg, another venture capitalist. He was so pumped by the Mac back then, he went to work at Microsoft (MSFT), which would try to replicate the heart of the Mac's magic: its graphical user interface, known as a GUI (and pronounced "gooey"). That effort became Windows.

In the United Kingdom, the Mac propelled Peter Cochrane, who bought one in 1984 when working at British Telecommunications. "It was like the difference between a ballpoint pen and a hammer and chisel," he says. "I had a real edge on just about everyone in my company." He went on to become BT's chief scientist, and is now a speaker, author and head of investment firm Concept Labs. "

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01 January 2004, 06:43 PM
GUI = Gooey?

Are they serious? LOL

01 January 2004, 07:36 PM
That was a good read. not to long, not to short. Get's to the point = There is no spoon. :p

01 January 2004, 08:01 PM
Hey I'm sure i'm being a sourpuss here but i don't care,
I'm just sick about hearing about how windows has tried to
re create the amazing Mac GUI.

Personally I find the actual programmers that program GUI's to be definately impressive, but on the other hand don't we all feel that a GUI is just a natural progression for obvious organization needs on a computer. I feel it's obvious that we would all probably come up with the same idea's if we were forced to asthetically design one (GUI).
I think it's just an old conversation really.

01 January 2004, 08:15 PM
Originally posted by chadtheartist
GUI = Gooey?

Are they serious? LOL Yep. Been that way for decades (two at least) now :)

01 January 2004, 09:14 PM
Learn something new everyday! HAHA!

01 January 2004, 02:03 AM
Did everyone notice the iPod on the hammer throwing woman in the 20th Anniv. Remix Edition of the spot now available on Apple's website? I didn't the first time through but then I was like, "hey, wait a minute, something's different."

It's pretty subtle but sets an interesting precident. The folks at DD did the revisionist treatment to the spot I later found out.

Andrew W
01 January 2004, 09:15 AM
Regardless of what you think of the product (I use Linux, IRIX, MacOS X and Windows so I'm keeping right out of the firing line) you have to admit it's a truly brilliant advert. Even now it still looks good (with or without iPod). Ridley Scott at his advertising best,

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