Codebreaker

Why Apple’s 1984 ad ran only once

John Moe Feb 1, 2011

Apple’s commercial in the 1984 Super Bowl is one of the most famous of all time. Not bad for a commercial that only ran one time. It’s a take off on George Orwell’s 1984 and features a jogger (okay, maybe that part’s not so Orwellian) smashing a screen displaying a Big Brother like figure who is supposed to represent Windows. It was directed by Ridley Scott, who had recently made Blade Runner and it had that same dystopian vibe.

Some back story has been emerging this week about the spot. Apparently, while Steve Jobs was pretty excited about it back in the day, Apple’s board hated it, wanted to not run it, wanted to fire the ad agency. But the commercial spot was bought and paid for and so the ad ran. Once. But never again.

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