** THREAD **

The story of Apple’s “1984”, the most influential Super Bowl commercial of all time.
1) "On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984.'"

That’s the line that signed off Apple’s groundbreaking “1984” Super Bowl ad, which left the audience overwhelmed with its visuals and message.
2) "1984" aired during the 18th Super Bowl, on Jan 22nd, 1984, when the Los Angeles Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins 38-9.

The advert successfully put the Apple brand in the minds of the mainstream American audience.
3) "In 1983, IBM was really beating the heck out of Apple," Fred Goldberg, then Apple’s account manager at ad agency Chiat\Day, recalled.

Apple’s next product, a personal computer, had to start closing the gap to IBM’s leading position.
4) Apple was finishing the development of the Macintosh personal computer in 1983 and Steve Jobs was excited about the potential of the product. He believed the Macintosh would give Apple the chance to compete in equal grounds with IBM.

Apple needed the right ad to promote it.
5) When Apple decided to produce a commercial for the Macintosh ahead of its launch, they turned to ad agency Chiat/Day. Creative Director Lee Clow would be the one leading the agency response.
6) The tagline "Why 1984 Won't Be Like '1984'" references George Orwell's 1949 novel 1984, about a dystopian future, controlled by a "Big Brother." The tagline was written by a team at Chiat\Day in 1982, who tried to sell it to various companies but were turned down repeatedly.
7) The creative team, together with Clow, made the decision to use the line as the proposition for the advert, to be centered around a dystopian future where IBM was seen as the “Big Brother” and Apple as the hero.
8) When Jobs first saw the idea, his reaction was, "Oh shit. This is amazing." former Apple CEO John Sculley remembered.

Steve thought of the Macintosh as a revolutionary product and wanted the advertising to match.
9) The computer was scheduled to launch in late January of 1984, a week after the Super Bowl. With IBM already being known as the "Big Blue," the parallels were too clear to ignore according to Jobs.
10) Business Insider was given access to an original storyboard for the ad, which shows the original design and what the commercial looked like before it was filmed.
11) The original plan had the heroine in the ad to swing a baseball bat at the Big Brother screen. However, director Ridley Scott argued that a sledgehammer was "much more international," and would be much more effective at breaking a screen in reality.
12) Shooting the commercial was a challenge. The ad was directed by Ridley Scott, who recently had worked on "Blade Runner" and "Alien".

The location chosen for the shoot was London and the budget for the ad was reported to be around $650,000.
13) To give the ad the same gritty, futuristic feel, the production company hired 300 locals as extras, many actual skinheads, who got a bit antsy after three days of filming.

"The last day they started throwing the rocks at each other." Goldberg told CNN.
14) The Chiat/Day team was next scheduled to present the ad to the Apple board. The meeting was a mess. After seeing the ad for the first time, board member Mike Markkula suggested that Chiat\Day be fired, and the remainder of the board were similarly unimpressed.
15) Then-CEO John Sculley recalled the reaction after the ad was screened for the group: "The others just looked at each other, dazed expressions on their faces ... Most of them felt it was the worst commercial they had ever seen. Not a single outside board member liked it."
16) Sculley instructed Chiat\Day to sell off the Super Bowl airtime they had purchased, but the agency president Jay Chiat resisted.

Chiat/Day had purchased two slots—a 60-second slot to show the full ad, plus a 30-second slot later on to repeat an edited-down version.
17) Chiat sold only the 30-second slot and claimed it was too late to sell the longer one. By disobeying Apple’s instructions, Jay Chiat gave a chance to the most influential ad in Super Bowl history to run.
18) "1984" aired during one of the commercial breaks during the third quarter of the 18th Super Bowl, while the Los Angeles Raiders were crushing the Washington Redskins.
19) The ad actually aired once before that in order to qualify for 1983 awards seasons. The producers didn't want anyone to see it before the big game, so they aired it in the last break before midnight in the small town of Twin Falls, Idaho.
20) Super Bowl viewers were overwhelmed by the advert. The ad garnered millions of dollars worth of free publicity, as news programs rebroadcast it that night. The next day, the ad was being more covered than the actual game.
21) “The Monday after ‘1984,’ there were lots of agency types who basically said, ‘That's the most irresponsible commercial that was ever done. They didn’t even show the product…But I'd rather apologize than to be so timid as to not to try and do anything brave.” said Clow.
22) Despite airing nationally just once, the commercial revolutionised the way products were promoted in the Super Bowl. It was one of the first instances of a company producing an ad specifically for the big game.
23) Clow confessed years later that the ad was supposed to continue running but did not because Apple's board thought it "irresponsible" to air a commercial for which no product yet existed. Running only once only added to the legend of “1984”.
24) The commercial put Apple’s brand in the minds of the American audience. In the 100 days following the debut of “1984”, Apple sales topped $150m.
25) See below the original recording of the advert during a Super Bowl break in 1984.
26) “1984” was a Clio Award winner and received a Grand Prix in Cannes in 1984. Additionally, the commercial has been voted in several occasions as one of the most influential adverts of all time.
28) Watch Lee Clow take you through”1984”.

29) See the Making Of the ad below with Ridley Scott talking about the production of "1984".

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