30 years ago. The Los Angeles Raiders are slaughtering the Washington Redskins at halftime. You decide it's time for a refill on your Crystal Light. You're headed to the kitchen when something stops you in your tracks—a chick with a Brigitte Nielsen haircut and a hammer, running towards you.
Yes, indeed: The "1984" commercial that introduced the Macintosh aired 30 Super Bowls ago last week. And the general consensus is that Apple might run another ad today.
Why is this such a definite possibility? Well, for one, Lee Clow, the creative director at Chiat Day who created the original "1984" ad, tweeted this two weeks ago:
Gonna be a goodSuper Bowl. Mac's gonna be 30 :)
— Lee Clow (@_clow) January 20, 2014
Even I don't need a clear delineation between words to figure out what he's trying to say here.
But it's also because Apple has been making a really big deal about the 30th anniversary of the Mac. For good reason, of course—a recent earning report showed that Apple sold 20 percent more Macs in 2013 than they did in 2012. Mac is back! (And you can even get one that looks like a black trash can now!) But there's also a nice subtext here: The Mac was Steve Jobs' baby, and it's a nice way to keep honoring his legacy.
It was widely known that Jobs considered "1984" to be one of his crowing achievements (the follow up, "Lemmings," was kind of a bust). He even produced a remastered version of the ad for the Mac's 20th anniversary, with the heroine wearing an iPod, of course.
But on this occasion, to truly honor Jobs and his work on the Mac, Apple should make a brand new ad that's as ridiculously ambitious as he would have made.
Apple needs this. Their last big ad featuring the Sullen Male Youth was a huge dud. They just haven't been able to produce the same quality of commercials post-Jobs. Remember the buzz that that original "1984" ad was bigger than the product itself? Apple's got strong products now—that they need is a little ad magic to make everyone feel giddy and warm about Mac.
Or perhaps, scared to the point of hysteria. As factually inaccurate as it ended up being, I'd personally like to see Apple produce something like the last Super Bowl ad they ran:
That ad haunted me all year long. I can't say that about any other Super Bowl commercial.
Update: Super Bowl is over. No ad from Apple. Never trust a man named Lee Clow.
Another update: Did we get punked? Well… kinda. So they did release an ad, just not during the Super Bowl. A celebration of 30 years of Mac, all shot on iPhones in a single day. And directed by Ridley Scott's son, Jake Scott. Then what was Clow hinting about? Was it meant to be a Super Bowl commercial that didn't make the cut for whatever reason? Did they decide buying time wasn't worth their money after all?
Top image: YouTube