1984 (advertisement)

"1984"
Ad apple 1984.jpg
Still image from the advertisement
Directed byRidley Scott
Written by
Starring
CinematographyAdrian Biddle
Edited byPamela Power
Production
companies
Fairbanks Films, New York
Distributed byApple Computer Inc.
Release dates
December 31, 1983 (local broadcast in Idaho)
January 22, 1984 (only national broadcast)
Running time
1 minute
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$370,000–$900,000

"1984" is an American television commercial that introduced the Apple Macintosh personal computer. It was conceived by Steve Hayden, Brent Thomas and Lee Clow at Chiat/Day, produced by New York production company Fairbanks Films, and directed by Ridley Scott. English athlete Anya Major performed as the unnamed heroine and David Graham as Big Brother.[1] In the US, it first aired in 10 local outlets,[2] including Twin Falls, Idaho, where Chiat/Day ran the ad on December 31, 1983, at the last possible break before midnight on KMVT, so that the advertisement qualified for the 1984 Clio Awards.[3][4][5] Its second televised airing, and only US national airing, was on January 22, 1984, during a break in the third quarter of the telecast of Super Bowl XVIII by CBS.[6]

In one interpretation of the commercial, "1984" used the unnamed heroine to represent the coming of the Macintosh (indicated by her white tank top with a stylized line drawing of Apple’s Macintosh computer on it) as a means of saving humanity from "conformity" (Big Brother).[7] These images were an allusion to George Orwell's noted 1949 novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which described a dystopian future ruled by a televised "Big Brother". The estate of George Orwell and the television rightsholder to the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four considered the commercial to be a copyright infringement and sent a cease-and-desist letter to Apple and Chiat/Day in April 1984.[8]

Originally a subject of contention within Apple, it has subsequently been called a watershed event[9] and a masterpiece[10] in advertising. In 1995, The Clio Awards added it to its Hall of Fame, and Advertising Age placed it on the top of its list of 50 greatest commercials.[11]

In January 1984, Apple also launched the inventé advertisement for Macintosh in France.[12]

  1. ^ Graham, David. "David's film appearances". David Graham Official Site. Archived from the original on August 22, 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  2. ^ Burnham, David (March 4, 1984). "The Computer, the Consumer and Privacy". The New York Times. Washington DC. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  3. ^ Dougherty, Philip H. (May 24, 1984). "ADVERTISING; Ally & Gargano Prevails At Clio Awards Again". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 10, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  4. ^ "The True Story of Apple's '1984' Ad's First Broadcast...Before the Super Bowl". mental_floss. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  5. ^ Hertzfeld, Andy (September 2004). "1984". Folklore.org. p. 73. Archived from the original on January 15, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  6. ^ Friedman, Ted (October 1997). "Apple's 1984: The Introduction of the Macintosh in the Cultural History of Personal Computers". Archived from the original on October 5, 1999.
  7. ^ Cellini, Adelia (January 2004). "The Story Behind Apple's '1984' TV commercial: Big Brother at 20". MacWorld. 21 (1): 18. Archived from the original on June 28, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2008.
  8. ^ Coulson, William R. (Winter 2009). "'Big Brother' is Watching Apple: The Truth About the Super Bowl's Most Famous Ad" (PDF). Dartmouth Law Journal. 7 (1): 106–115. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 25, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  9. ^ Maney, Kevin (January 28, 2004). "Apple's '1984' Super Bowl Commercial Still Stands as Watershed Event". USA Today. Archived from the original on April 10, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  10. ^ Leopold, Todd (February 3, 2006). "Why 2006 Isn't like '1984'". CNN. Archived from the original on April 5, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2008.
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference nyt1995adage was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  12. ^ Ina.fr, Institut National de l’Audiovisuel-. "Apple : Macintosh : ordinateur". Ina.fr (in French). Archived from the original on May 7, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2021.

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