Opinion: Mac advertising masterpieces and missteps

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


Year: 1985

And this ad, shown during the 1985 Super Bowl to introduce Macintosh network hardware, could have been the one that ended it all. We watch a long line of blindfolded, business-suit-clad drones march in lockstep toward the edge of a cliff; the wind howls as a creepy, discordant version of "Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to work we go" plays in the background. As each marcher gets to the edge of the cliff, he or she tumbles over. Finally, the last guy in line removes his blindfold and looks around, even as another line of drones comes up behind him.

The ad is simply depressing. It doesn't give us anyone to root for -- are we really supposed to feel good about the guy left standing at cliff's edge after all his co-workers have fallen to their deaths? The story needs some kind of happy ending to leave us with a positive impression of the product. But the version shown just insulted the target audience ("Hey, you mindless drones! Be slightly more mindful drones!") and bummed out everyone who watched it.

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