To mark Sunday’s big game, here’s a repost from an article I wrote a few years back about the greatest TV ad of all time.
The setting was Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984. During halftime Apple ran what is widely considered the greatest creative in the history of marketing. The commercial is an homage to the Orwellian “1984”, and promoted the launch of Apple’s new Macintosh computer on the following day. The creative draws a perfect analogy to the book 1984, by contrasting IBM as the monopolistic status quo to Apple as the revolutionary upstart. The craziest thing about this ad is that it only aired one time! The 1984 commercial actually overshadowed the football game itself, and put Apple on a trajectory to eventually displace IBM as the preeminent hardware company in all of tech. All of this from a :60 commercial airing just once. Really shows the power of advertising.
Do yourself a favor and watch this ad on Sunday and then compare it to the commercials you’ll see during this year’s game. Then you’ll understand the saying about greatness standing the test of time.