Today in Apple history: Mac’s ‘1984’ ad debuts in theaters

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Before it won the Super Bowl, Apple's iconic Mac ad invaded theaters.
Photo: Chiat/Day/Apple

Jan17 January 17, 1984: A week before its famous appearance during Super Bowl XVIII, Apple’s iconic “1984” ad debuts as a pre-movie trailer in theaters.

To sell its revolutionary new Macintosh computer, Apple buys several months of ad time from theatrical ad distributor ScreenVision. The sci-fi-tinged spot gets such a favorable reaction from audiences that some theater owners continue to roll the ad after Apple’s contract comes to an end.

New stoner ad from Ben & Jerry’s parodies an Apple classic

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This one's coming out on 4.20. Yes, that's intentional. Photo: Ben & Jerry's
This one's coming out on 4.20. Yes, that's intentional. Photo: Ben & Jerry's

Is this a new era of marketing directly to stoners?

In Ben & Jerry’s new ad for its in-shop confection, the Brrr-ito, a young woman wearing an ice cream server’s uniform runs into a room of slack-jawed young men staring at a screen showing a boring old ice cream bar.

What happens next should be no surprise to those of you who remember Ridley Scott’s famous ad for Apple in 1984 introducing the Mac.

9 astonishing Apple ads you probably missed

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From sledgehammer-tossing freedom fighters to misunderstood teenagers at Christmas, Apple’s TV commercials have hit us with some truly iconic imagery over the years. But when a company has been around since the 1970s, it’s no great surprise that a select few ads would slip our collective memory.

After scouring through hundreds of big-time commercials and tiny TV spots that promoted Cupertino’s products over the years, here are our picks for the Apple advertisements that time forgot. All of them are worthy of a second look — and almost all of them for the right reasons.

Apple’s New Mac Video Wins The Super Bowl Ad Contest Without Even Trying

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Apple was notably absent from the Super Bowl ad slots Sunday, but a new video touting the Mac’s transformative power is quickly making Cupertino the most talked-about company the morning after the big game. The impressive clip continues the Mac’s 30th-anniversary celebration, and it was shot entirely on iPhones in 15 locations across five continents.