The pantheon of outstanding Super Bowl commercials is a broad collection that includes horses playing football, frogs desiring to quench their thirst, a cheating soda deliveryman, and Joe Greene’s jersey. Foremost among the pantheon’s members, though, is Apple’s “1984” commercial. Though an overused adjective in the social media world, “1984” is epic as it shows a person’s struggle to break through the conformity of the 1980s tech world. Relive it below.
Forgive me, Father, for I will sound like a hipster with what I’m about to say: my family had Apple products (the Macintosh in particular) waaaaaaaaay before those little white earbuds became ubiquitous and cool. I am of that generation that grew up with computers — and my family had the uncool, nerdy Apples and not the standard Windows machines. My tech-savvy father knew and loved Apple’s simple operating system and we soon became hooked. Of course I would have preferred a Windows computer so I could play the better games – Madden ‘94 was superior to Tom Landry Strategy Football, but I could only play with Landry because Madden was not offered on Macs. Still, I felt unique that while everyone else had their Dells and HPs, I had the super-nerdy, one-of-a-kind Mac. I felt like I ran against the tide of 90s tech conformity.
30 years later, this Apple commercial has gone from iconic to somewhat ironic, because Apple and its iHegemony call to mind the commercial’s big screen overlord more than its hammer-throwing heroine. Apple sets the world’s tech tone. It was not the first company to create an mp3 player, laptop, or tablet, but it made these pieces of hardware accessible and fashionable for so many in the world. Part of me wishes that Apple still was a tech company with a small, devoted, and unique following. Now I need to come to grips that by using Apple products I am still very unique – just as unique as everybody else.