The Big Brother-like leader in the Super Bowl commercial that introduced the world to the Apple Macintosh computer. Photo: Apple/YouTube
During the third quarter, a referee blew the whistle to signal a timeout. What happened next, signaled the beginning of a sizemic shift in our lives.
But if you left the couch for beer and snacks at that moment of the 1984 Super Bowl, you may have missed the first run of a commercial that made more history than the game itself (sorry Oakland Raiders, 38-9 winners over the Washington Redskins).
On this date 31 years ago, Apple aired a commercial introducing the world to the first MacIntosh personal computer. It was the feature of Today in Media History on the Poynter Institute website.
Editor’s note: The iPod has enjoyed a good long run as one of the world’s most revolutionary music machines, but the time has come to bid adieu to the click-wheeled wonder.
Apple quietly removed the iPod Classic from its website this week, so now is the perfect time to wax nostalgic. Cult of Mac is republishing this illustrated history of the iPod — put together to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary, and originally published on Oct. 22, 2011 — to mark this solemn occasion.
An Illustrated History of the iPod
The iPod grew out of Steve Jobs’ digital hub strategy. Life was going digital. People were plugging all kinds of devices into their computers: digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players. The computer was the central device, the “digital hub,” that could be used to edit photos and movies or manage a large music library. Jobs tasked Apple’s programmers with making software for editing photos, movies and managing digital music. While they were doing this, they discovered that all the early MP3 players were horrible. Jobs asked his top hardware guy, Jon Rubinstein, to see if Apple could do better.
This is a guest post by Ken Segall, a Silicon Valley advertising executive who worked closely with Steve Jobs. Among other things, Segall put that little “i” in front of the iMac and helped develop Apple’s famous Think Different ad campaign. Segall is author of Insanely Simple, a very readable insightful account of what makes Apple tick.
Last time Apple went heavy on advertising in a sporting event, it didn’t exactly end well.
But let us not speak of the Genius anymore. All traces of that campaign have been hidden from our sight.
Now the baseball playoffs are here. And once again, Apple has made a very expensive media buy. This time, it’s blanketing the games with the new iPhone 5 ads.
But look. Someone else has moved into the neighborhood. Samsung showed up for the playoffs with equal force, in the form of its Galaxy S III ads. You know — the ones that make fun of the lost souls who line up to buy an iPhone, when they could just as easily have a much cooler Samsung phone.
Two weeks after the launch of the new iPad, this iPad 2 billboard is still up. This is the first time in years that Apple hasn't updated its signage to feature the new product. Photo: Leander Kahney
Whenever Apple launches a major new product, massive billboards usually go up within days. I know this, because my commute along San Francisco’s 101 freeway passes three giant billboards on the way into the city.
Year after year, I’ve seen the ads go up within days of the new product’s launch. Last year, ads for the iPad 2 were posted almost immediately after the device’s introduction by Steve Jobs.
Thing is, those same iPad 2 billboards are still there. Two weeks after the launch of the iPad 3, the billboards along 101 are still advertising the old iPad 2.
It seems to be the same situation across the country. We’ve been talking about this for days, and no one on the Cult of Mac staff has seen a outdoor ad for the new iPad.
Eagle-eyed CoM reader Joaquin Jang spotted what looks like a either a Pismo, the last G3 PowerBook launched in 2000, or its close cousin, the Lombard PowerBook G3 laptop launched a year earlier, in a recent Wells Fargo bank banner.
He writes, “Imagine my surprise when I went to log in to my bank account at Wells Fargo’s website and found this picture which appears to show my first Mac laptop, the Pismo, it could also be a Lombard which had a similar form factor. While the Pismo still does some work for me, it’s not my everyday machine since it is nearly ten years old. Yet, it still makes it into a website ad nine years after it was introduced.”
The PowerBook 2000 (FireWire), a.k.a. "Pismo", is the Energizer Bunny of Apple notebooks.
So, which one is it?
Many thanks to Joaquin for the tip and screenshots. CoM readers: if you spot other interesting Macs starring in ads, let us know!