Since the launch of the original Macintosh in 1984, Apple has not only brought to market a huge collection of revolutionary products, but has also sold them in a way that has often transcended from simple consumer products to authentic objects of desire .
Apple’s reputation in the advertising field is unquestionable, managing to polarize its efforts with great effectiveness that has contributed to bring the company to its current position and that has turned its logo into one of the most recognized brand symbols in the world. We will now take a tour of some of Apple’s most memorable ads over four decades.
1976, the beginnings in a California garage . The first announcement of the company, just an insert talking about the features of the Apple I of which would sell about two hundred units at $666.66, an unprecedented success for a product created by two humble fans of computers and electronics.
1977, making the leap to mass production . Apple is no longer a hobby, it is a company that receives its first major capital investments, and this is also evident in its advertising. Putting the advertisement in context, it is important to point out that we are talking about a time when nobody thought that normal people would want to have a computer at home.
1980, One week trip to Hawaii for two people . All you had to do was fill out a form writing in a thousand words or less the unusual or interesting uses that the users of the Apple II had discovered that they could carry out with their computers.
1982, What can an Apple do? It seems that the Hawaii contest paid off and the result was a long list of all the original things that could be done with those first apple personal computers creating a need that we didn’t know we had.
1983, “Apple invents the personal computer. Again.” So you can see that Apple’s slogans haven’t changed much in the last 30 years. This was the introduction of the Local Integrated Software Architecture, Lisa for friends, the first affordable personal computer ($9,995 at the time) with a graphic interface and mouse.
1984, You’ll see why 1984 won’t be like “1984” . The fact that it was broadcast only once during the third quarter of the 18th Super Bowl on January 22, 1984 did not prevent it from becoming (deservedly) one of the most famous commercials. A masterpiece directed by Ridley Scott that presented the Macintosh as the savior of humanity from IBM conformity.
1984, The computer for the rest of us. “Of the 235 million people living in America, only a fraction can use a computer. Introducing Macintosh. For the rest of us.” Apple reinforcing the idea that their computers are so simple to use that you can carry them in a backpack, plug them in anywhere and use them even if you’re not a computer genius.
1993, Newton . Advertising did not save a product as far ahead of its time as the Apple Newton, a PDA with handwriting recognition that can be considered the direct ancestor of iOS and all the devices that surround us today such as the iPhone, the iPad or the iPod touch.
1997, in the absence of good cats are aliens . “An operating system so advanced that it can only come from Apple (or not?)” Mac OS 8 was the biggest revision of Apple’s operating system since the launch of System 7 six years ago and although it meant a great improvement on a technological level, it suffered numerous delays and became a real nightmare for its development team.
1997, IBM is no longer the enemy, it’s Intel’s turn . “Some people think that the Pentium II is the fastest processor in the world. Not quite. The chip inside every new Power Macintosh G3 is up to twice as fast.” It’s not what you’d call a catchy slogan, but along with such an explicit image it served its purpose.
1997-2002, Think differently . Another masterpiece of apple marketing that marked a powerful idea in its brand image: Think differently, don’t be afraid, don’t conform, follow your convictions. The campaign was the idea of the agency TBWAChiatDay although Steve Jobs was so involved in its development that he even intervened personally in the selection and obtaining of many of the images used and the writing of the ad script itself. At one point they even suggested that he should be the one to give it a voice but at the last minute he decided to use the original version with Richard Dreyfuss’ voice so that it would not attract attention to itself and focus on the company. As for the promotional posters, it is difficult to stay with one of the 29 that were created, but this of Muhammad Ali is simply spectacular.
1998, the first iMac arrives . “The thrill of surfing. The agony of choosing a color.” Impossible to describe better those first loud and translucent iMac G3, a marvel of industrial design of the time that catapulted Jonathan Ive, responsible for all the company’s designs from that moment on.
2000, Hint: It’s a computer. Needless to say. The Power Mac G4 Cube was not as successful as expected because of its high price, 200 dollars more than the normal model, but to argue that its design was a work of art is to question the criteria of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where it is still on display today.
2001, iPod, a turning point in Apple’s history . A computer company launches itself into a market where it is nobody and manages to convert its music player into the digital version of Sony’s walkman. The product deserved it, but its minimalist campaign of black silhouettes dancing to music with distinctive white headphones contributed so much to its success and popularity that it even created a trend in the world of design.
2004, From the creators of the iPod. The new iMac G5 . Regonaut
2006, Come to Mac . Without a doubt, one of the funniest campaigns of the apple, and also one of the longest (from 2006 to 2009). John Hodgman plays the clumsy and boring (though endearing) PC and Justin Long the modern and dynamic Mac in nearly eighty pieces of about 30 seconds long in which they parody the weaknesses of Windows PCs against the virtues of the Mac.
2007, and the iPhone arrives: tapping to believe . Criticized, ridiculed and belittled after its presentation by technology experts and rival companies. Touch to Believe, a slogan that ended up being prophetic. The original iPhone had many shortcomings but few of those who tried it wanted to use their old phones again. From this moment on, as if we were back in the days of the first Macintosh, Apple’s advertising begins to focus again on what you can do with these new touch devices to explain another need we didn’t know we had.
2010, the family grows, it’s the iPad’s turn and as with the iPhone, the focus is not on the device, but what you can do with it, with people enjoying the comfort of the coziest places in their homes while surfing the Internet, checking email, sharing the family photo album or reading an e-book. And all this in a more intimate way, at our fingertips, with nothing standing between us and the content.
2011, Samuel Siri Jackson . With the exception of an occasional cameo like BonoU2 with the song Vertigo, Apple didn’t usually resort to celebrities to advertise their products. iPhone 4S and Siri broke this tradition with a series of spots starring actors Samuel S. Jackson and JohnMalkovich, actress-singer-songwriter Zooey Deschanel, and director Martin Scorsese. Their only problem may be that they are too conventional.
2012, and this is as far as we go . This year Apple has suffered a notable setback with the reception of a campaign starring a skilful Genius who is always ready to help the apple’s customers. The ads, although fun (thanks to the particular charisma of the main actor, Josh Rabinowtiz), send out a rather unfortunate message: Macs are difficult to use and you need a kid who sleeps with the Apple T-shirt to explain how to do even the simplest task.
We’ll have to forgive the boys at TBWAMedia Arts Lab this little setback.