In 1984, Apple’s Steve Jobs, advertising giant TBWA/Chiat Day and Alien director Ridley Scott joined forces to release the most revolutionary commercial of its time: an adaptation of George Orwell’s 1949 sci-fi novel “1984″ about government totalitarianism in a TV spot during Super Bowl XVII.
In this case, Steve Job’s used creative as a nod to IBM’s domination over the industry, but hindsight being what it is, that’s irrelevant. Yes, he was calling IBM fascists, which in itself is quite a stroke, but its unfathomable that such commentary about government during the Reagan era could be used as a platform for advertising a computer, what we now perceive as ordinary, but at the time was extraordinary.
In their version, they have an Olympic style pole vaulter launching an iron hammer (wink, wink) which crashes into a video address being given by the dictator while a group of homogenized citizens sit glued to his words. Check it out below:
Doug Pray’s Art and Copy briefly touches up on this and much more that’s happened in advertising in the last few decades. His documentary, similar to his earlier Hype! and Scratch , takes a deep look at cultural innovators and how/why they broke the mold. The highlight of the doc was the legendary George Lois’s blowhard commentary on how he changed the game with his “I Want My MTV” commercials as well his Tommy Hilfiger campaign. Check out the trailer below and don’t miss it: