Thirty years ago this month, Apple introduced the first Macintosh, giving home computer users a workable interface and launching three decades of wildly imaginative innovations. In honor of the big three-oh birthday, we've rounded up some of Apple's more memorable ads that have helped get the once underdog company to where it is today.
1. 1984 Superbowl
Directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) this first-ever Apple ad introduced the Mac computer to the world. It ran once, during the third quarter of the Superbowl, and once again to make it eligible for advertising awards; and then it was shelved. In the video below, a fresh-faced, 28-year old Steve Jobs introduces the concept and the ad during a 1983 keynote speech.
2. The Computer for the Rest of Us
The ads that aired during Mac's first year focus on its simplicity and ease of use, with the tagline, "The Computer for the Rest of Us."
3. HAL 9000
Remember the hysteria surrounding Y2K? Apple approached it with a stunning impression of the sinister star of the Stanley Kubrick classic, "2001: A Space Odyssey," HAL 9000, the creepy computer gone rogue.
4. Think Different: “Crazy Ones”
In the late 1990s, Apple started comparing itself to the greatest, iconic mavericks and thinkers history has ever known, the "crazy ones," including: Albert Einstein; Bob Dylan; Martin Luther King, JR; Mahatma Gandhi; Alfred Hitchcock; John Lennon; and Jerry Seinfeld, among others.
5. iPod Silhouettes
When Apple branched out with the iPod, their advertising took a leap as well. Appealing to the young and cool, the silhouette series of ads used advanced animation with compelling music, this one employing the electronic music duo, Daft Punk.
6. Bob Dylan: iPod and iTunes
In this two-for-one, Apple does double duty for both iPod and iTunes with the help of Bob Dylan.
7. I’m a Mac, I’m a PC
In 2006, Apple launched a series of "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads as part of their "Get a Mac" campaign. The run included 24 ads before it ended in 2010; it may be one of the most memorable campaigns in computer history. Many are amusing; this one pokes fun at the lugubrious nature of the PC.
8. I’m a Mac, I’m a PC … with Gisele Bundchen
Another from the same campaign; this one, for the Gisele lovers in the world.
It turns out that the Genius ads of 2012 were maybe not so genius after all. Amidst complaints that they made Mac users seem less than bright, the campaign ended quickly.
10. Christmas 2013
Capitalizing on the warm and fuzzy holiday spirit, this recent ad for Christmas 2013 seems to be saying: Get your teen an iPhone already, because instead of tuning out and becoming zombies, they will make heart-tugging family films that will make everyone cry. Hmm.
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