Mac Is 30 Years Old Today — Watch Its Bizarre First Ad From 1984

Mac Is 30 Years Old Today — Watch Its Bizarre First Ad From 1984

On Jan. 24, 1984 — exactly 30 years ago — the Macintosh computer was introduced to the world in a groundbreaking, yet bizarre, Super Bowl commercial. 

The commercial, named "1984," was a reenactment of George Orwell's book, 1984, which depicts a dystopian world ruled by a televised "Big Brother." Apple's commercial opens in an industrial setting showing lines of androgynous people marching in unison into a room to stare at a big screen.

As the people march, a woman wearing a bright athletic uniform and carrying a large sledgehammer, is charging at the Big Brother-esque screen as the police chase her.

The ad ends with scrolling black text:

"On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984.' "

Many believe that the "Big Brother" in Apple's '1984' ad was meant to be IBM since at the time, Apple was still a small, private company while IBM was already an office machine giant. After the ad premiered, Apple received widespread media coverage and sold 72,000 computers in 100 days — 50% more than it originally predicted.

In 1995, the coveted Clio Awards added Mac's debut ad to its hall of fame.

Watch the bizarre, yet brilliant "1984" ad below:


Here's Steve Jobs presenting the first Macintosh in 1984:



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Vivian Giang

Vivian is the former lead entrepreneurship editor at PolicyMic. She previously worked at Business Insider and freelanced for Dan Rather Reports. Vivian has a masters in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University and a B.A. from the University of Georgia. She once lived in Denver, Colorado.

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