Opinion: Mac advertising masterpieces and missteps

A dozen dazzling and dopey Mac ads from the past 25 years

Jan. 16, 2009 (Computerworld) The Macintosh turns 25 this year, and that means Mac advertising turns 25, too. From a hammer-throwing, Big Brother-smashing woman to a pair of slightly schlubby guys impersonating computers, Apple has tried lots of different ways over the years to get us to buy its flagship product. Some of them were so memorable that they've entered the national pop culture consciousness, while others are better left in the dustbins of advertising history.

Here's a brief tour of some of the best moments in Mac advertising -- and some of the epic fails.

"1984"

Year: 1984

The one that started it all, directed by Ridley Scott and broadcast during the 1984 Super Bowl, has deservedly become a legend. More people probably remember the ad -- in which a running woman throws a hammer at a giant screen showing Big Brother, thus smashing the face of corporate computing and ushering in a new era of personal computing -- than remember the outcome of the game. (The Los Angeles Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins, 38-9.)

Even the placement was brilliant -- broadcasting it during a football game pretty much guaranteed that it wouldn't look like any of the other ads shown that day.

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