January 20, 1985: Apple Goes to the Well One Too Many Times

by Chris Seibold Jan 20, 2011

The original Apple Super Bowl commercial, 1984, was an unquestionable success. Less remembered was the effort Apple made to catch lightening in a bottle a second time. While the Forty-Niners were embarrassing the Dolphins, Apple had hinted to the public that missing the last quarter of that year's Super Bowl would be a mistake. The game may have lost all interest but people stayed glued to their TVs to see what commercial Apple would roll out.

Those who stuck around for the commercial were, to say the least, a bit disappointed. The ad featured person after person walking off a cliff in a lemming-like fashion. Whereas the 1984 commercial had given viewers a sense of empowerment if they opted to use the Mac, the-follow up Super Bowl ad left viewers with the feeling that they were inferior for not using the Mac.

Turns out that insulting the very people you are trying to sell merchandise to is not the best idea. You can't fault Apple in the promotion department-- they had given everyone in the stadium cushy seats and signs. Apple even went so far as to advertise the advertisement in some newspapers. Still, all the graft and event making in the world couldn't save the lemmings ad. People were roundly depressed by Apple's Super Bowl follow-up commercial on January 20, 1985.


You need log in, or register, in order to comment