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

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1984
Before it won the Super Bowl, Apple's iconic Mac ad invaded theaters.
Photo: Chiat/Day/Apple

January 17: Today in Apple history: Mac's '1984' ad debuts in theaters January 17, 1984: A week before its famous airing during Super Bowl XVIII, Apple’s iconic “1984” ad debuts as a trailer in movie theaters.

To hype its revolutionary new Macintosh computer, Apple buys several months of promotion from theatrical ad distributor ScreenVision. Cupertino’s sci-fi-tinged “1984” spot — which depicts a sledgehammer-wielding freedom fighter taking on a Big Brother figure supposed to represent IBM —
gets such a favorable audience reaction that some theater owners continue to roll the ad after Apple’s contract ends.

Sci-fi novel that inspired Apple’s iconic Mac ad is hitting the big screen

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Apple's vision of a possible 1984-style dystopian future. Photo: Apple
Apple's vision of a possible 1984-style dystopian future. Photo: Apple

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of my favorite dystopian sci-fi novels, and according to Hollywood magazine Deadline, it’s about to be brought to the screen courtesy of the Jason Bourne movies’ director Paul Greengrass.

For those who are unfamiliar with it, Nineteen Eighty-Four tells the story of a surveillance heavy future (well, technically the past at this point) in which an everyman named Winston Smith rebels against an all-knowing government in an age of omnipresent surveillance and perpetual war.

Marketing Guru Behind Apple’s 1984 Ad Believes It Was More Successful Than The Mac Itself

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Apple-original-Mac

Apple’s infamous 1984 advertising campaign for the original Macintosh needs little introduction from myself. The one-minute clip, which was inspired by George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four novel and depicts IBM users as mindless followers, was a huge success. So much so that the marketing guru behind it, Regis McKenna, believes it was more successful than the Macintosh itself.