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Rarely-seen 1983 commercial for original Mac was abandoned for being "too self-congratulatory"

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
A 60-second television spot created in the months leading up to the early 1984 launch of Apple's original Macintosh was shelved and never aired publicly due to concerns that it would be seen as "too self-congratulatory."

Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original members of the Macintosh team that helped pioneer the personal computer revolution alongside Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, published the video to his Google+ page on Thursday.

"Here's a rare commercial for the original Macintosh that Chiat-Day made in the fall of 1983 , featuring snippets from interviews of the design team," he said.?"It never aired because Apple deemed it too self-congratulatory, although it was used in some promotional materials sent to dealers."

In addition to himself, the commercial features Burrel Smith (hardware engineer), George Crow (Manager of Analog Design), Bill Atkinson (Apple Fellow), and Mike Murray (Marketing Manager).

Crow explains that when the team set out to create the first Mac, they were largely doing it for themselves. But in order spur widespread adoption, they needed to make it easy to manufacturer, be very reliable so customers didn't have to worry about it failing, and allow it to be priced at a fraction of the cost of anything the design team had ever worked on.



"I can't really describe it to you in words, but if I could get you to sit down in front of it and play with it, you won't let go of it," Atkinson gloats in one segment of the clip. Murray adds, "And I think what you're going to see is that the balance of power is going to shift; the balance of power from companies running people to hopefully people running companies."
post #2 of 72
I want one
post #3 of 72

Interesting to note, at that time in computer history, it seems all the commercials featured young people who worked for computer companies and people in these spots only aged as those original folk got older....

 

For the ad...they were correct and history bares that out.

post #4 of 72

Not sure I follow you...

 

Nice piece of nostalgia

post #5 of 72
How ironic. Sounds a lot like those product videos with various apple executives and engineers that apple now releases anytime there's a launch. Doesn't seem so self congratulatory now?
post #6 of 72

Or maybe they didn't run it because it was a really bad ad, featuring a group of awkward nerd kids spouting a mix of informative truths ("the best only way to explain it is to demo it; if you get your hands on it you want want to give it up") to irrelevancies ("it had to cost a quarter of anything I designed before") to meaningless babble ("we can go from companies running people to hopefully people running companies").

 

A useful reminder of how young those guys were though.  Perhaps one of the reasons companies top out and stagnate is because 40-something and 50-something guys running corporations just don't get it like these crazy kids who create startups (even though they WERE those guys once).

post #7 of 72

Blows those terrible Genius commercials run during the Olympics out of the water imo.

post #8 of 72
They could have very well been introducing the iPad

This approach and way of thinking is deeply embedding in Apple's DNA. I hope they never lose that

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post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sully77 View Post

How ironic. Sounds a lot like those product videos with various apple executives and engineers that apple now releases anytime there's a launch. Doesn't seem so self congratulatory now?

 

Beat me to the punch!  Thinking the same thing.

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post #10 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sully77 View Post

How ironic. Sounds a lot like those product videos with various apple executives and engineers that apple now releases anytime there's a launch. Doesn't seem so self congratulatory now?

 

 

Indeed!

 

Apple running full circle.

post #11 of 72
It's good to see Burell healthy. I hope more people remember the things he did on that project.
post #12 of 72

I have seen this video before. Pretty sure it has been on the Internet for quite some time and I am not sure how this somehow became important enough for an article.

post #13 of 72

So young!  

post #14 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Or maybe they didn't run it because it was a really bad ad, featuring a group of awkward nerd kids spouting a mix of informative truths ("the best only way to explain it is to demo it; if you get your hands on it you want want to give it up") to irrelevancies ("it had to cost a quarter of anything I designed before") to meaningless babble ("we can go from companies running people to hopefully people running companies").

 

A useful reminder of how young those guys were though.  Perhaps one of the reasons companies top out and stagnate is because 40-something and 50-something guys running corporations just don't get it like these crazy kids who create startups (even though they WERE those guys once).

 

I don't know how you can look at a inspirational, historical gem like that and only thing all these pissy thoughts.  Glass half empty much?  

post #15 of 72
Wizards? Yikes! Genius is looking pretty good right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sully77 View Post

How ironic. Sounds a lot like those product videos with various apple executives and engineers that apple now releases anytime there's a launch. Doesn't seem so self congratulatory now?

That depends. The article says it's a commercial which points to the initial purpose to release on TV, not on an overhead at some Mac condference. It's a bit long at 1 minute instead of the standard 30 seconds but not out of the question.

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post #16 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I don't know how you can look at a inspirational, historical gem like that and only thing all these pissy thoughts.  Glass half empty much?  

I thought it was great, especially seeing the younger versions of current Apple employees. That said, he is right that it is bad for a commercial. I do disagree with "too self-congratulatory" as being the reason it doesn't work; I see it as being something the average viewer can't relate to. There is reason 'we' love to hear Ive talk about how the iPhone was designed — I certainly look forward to that at the keynotes — but I can't see how that makes for a good commercial.
Edited by SolipsismX - 8/10/12 at 8:00am

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post #17 of 72
I felt it was remarkably in sync with the feel of the way Steve presented new products these last many years. Makes me think Steve scripted this.
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post #18 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

I want one

I have several, make me an offer /.. true .. but kidding
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post #19 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I thought it was great, especially seeing the younger versions of current Apple employees. That said, he is right that it is bad for a commercial. I do disagree with "too self-congratulatory" being the reason it doesn't work; I see it as being something the average viewer can't relate to. There is reason 'we' love to hear Ive talk about how the iPhone was designed, I certainly look forward to that at the keynotes, but I can't see how that makes for a good commercial.

Yes that was a bad commercial.  "too self-congratulatory" however does sound exactly like something an ad agency creative would say.  People might be surprised to learn how much discussion, dissection and deliberation goes on in the process of making a TV spot.  Not to mention dithering, dilly-dallying and disagreeing.  The actual shooting and cutting of the spot is the easy part.

post #20 of 72

That doesn't look like any "ad" I've ever seen Apple run. It looks more like an internal product video. Plus, I don't recall any Macintosh Ads BEFORE "1984".

post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

I want one

I want a NEW one.  Mine is now almost 8 years old....

post #22 of 72

It actually kind of reminds me of an intro to a 30 Minute infomercial.

post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sully77 View Post

How ironic. Sounds a lot like those product videos with various apple executives and engineers that apple now releases anytime there's a launch. Doesn't seem so self congratulatory now?

Different world, different rules

And those videos are for the keynote and website. They aren't created to be used as public commercial as this video was.
post #24 of 72
I think all it needs is a white background.
post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I want a NEW one.  Mine is now almost 8 years old....

Me too.  My Fat Mac upgraded to a Mac plus is 26 years old and sitting in the basement...  Wait, I already got MBA last month...  How time changed.

post #26 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

I want one

 

You will be disappointed once you try to install mountain lion.

post #27 of 72
I guessing the guys and gals @ AI was saving this for a day like this ( when they have nothing to post) who cares really
post #28 of 72

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/21/13 at 3:04pm
post #29 of 72
Originally Posted by Ryuk View Post
…who cares really

 

Still not sure what this site's about, are you?

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post #30 of 72

I feel bad for George Crow since he obviously designed the Analog board for the original Mac. It had a such high failure rate they redesign the board so many times it was at revision P before they finally fix the diode on the video flyback circuit from blowing up. Which was in the Mac Se model years later. 

 

He obviously failed at making a lower cost product that just worked.


Edited by Maestro64 - 8/10/12 at 9:16am
post #31 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A 60-second television spot created in the months leading up to the early 1984 launch of Apple's original Macintosh was shelved and never aired publicly due to concerns that it would be seen as "too self-congratulatory."

 

While I'm very glad the "1984" commercial came out first when it did, IMHO I think this would have made a great follow-up commercial. Certainly is better than the "Lemmings" disaster. As for being too self-congratulatory, I think a good dose of chutzpah is needed when introducing a radically new product. 

 

 

"I can't really describe it to you in words, but if I could get you to sit down in front of it and play with it, you won't let go of it," 

How can I possibly criticize this? This is exactly how I was introduced to my first Mac - an original 128k model.

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"You can't fall off the floor"   From 128k Mac to 8GB MBP

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post #32 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


I have several, make me an offer /.. true .. but kidding

Thought the same thing - I don't have my 128k (that I made into 512k) but do have my Plus and an SE 30 as well as several others I kept along the way. Hard to believe my first Mac 128K was $2499 + $499 for ImageWriter and $499 again for an external 400K drive (the coffee grinder) when it became available a couple months later. The only software I had for the longest was MacPaint/MacWrite which it  came with and MS Multiplan and Chart which I purchased separately while I waited for a very long time with others for Thinks PASCAL for the Mac. I still did incredible stuff with it at the time and could blow people out of their socks with the Paint/Write combo and of course Multiplan (VisiCalc or SuperCalc were the predominate spreadsheets of the time).

post #33 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

 

You will be disappointed once you try to install mountain lion.

LMAO!

post #34 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

I feel bad for George Crow ...
Exactly what I was thinking ...

Pretty ironic he would be the one to say this, even though it was the directive for the entire group.

I don't blame him of course ... It was the corporate guys, namely Sculley who were ultimately responsible for the Macimtosh not being the affordable "Volkswagen" of personal computers. Obviously his choice to maximize profit ultimately led to the decisions to use the absolute minimum components specified by the engineers. The fact that the analogue board has two sets of holes to accommodate a larger more robust flyback transformer than the smaller, notoriously unreliable one that originally shipped, says it all about the internal battles between management and the engineers ...

That said, it would seem Steve Jobs learned well from Sculley and continued to keep the profit margins of his products high, though it seems not at the expense of the quality the second time around. The smart business move of course this time around was leveraging volume over quality. Despite his efforts to portray the contrary, I'm pretty sure Jobs liked having a lot of money, otherwise he could have easily charged less for Apple products and been more competitive. The fact Apple was sitting on such a huge pile of capital that it took their shareholders ire to provoke a dividend payout speaks volumes about how inflated their profit margins were. It would be a different matter if Apple was actually investing that money in R&D, or buying new technologies, but they weren't. They just sat on it year after year watching it get exponentially bigger at the expense of the consumer.
Edited by Mac_128 - 8/10/12 at 9:10am
post #35 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

You will be disappointed once you try to install mountain lion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

LMAO!

Just turn it on and ML will download and install automatically from the Mac App Store -- over WiFi.... It's "magical"!

...the entire OS on a 400K micro floppy... running in 128K RAM... with apps in there too!
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post #36 of 72

They should have put them on a white background.

post #37 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

I don't know how you can look at a inspirational, historical gem like that and only thing all these pissy thoughts.  Glass half empty much?  

 

Because I've seen much better inspirational stuff from the same time period about the same product.  Yes, it's interesting as a "hey look it's the guys actually involved in the creation" glimpse into history.  I was just reacting to headline of the article saying "was shelved and never aired publicly due to concerns that it would be seen as "too self-congratulatory."  No, it was shelved because it was a bad ad.  I actually don't think it was too self-congratulatory, especially the line about having to try it to understand it.  That's not "gloating" at all.

 

An analogous ad today would feature some young Facebook developers rambling about how they coded the newest way to poke someone.  That's just rarely the right way to advertise a product.

post #38 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Thought the same thing - I don't have my 128k (that I made into 512k) but do have my Plus and an SE 30 as well as several others I kept along the way. Hard to believe my first Mac 128K was $2499 + $499 for ImageWriter and $499 again for an external 400K drive (the coffee grinder) when it became available a couple months later. The only software I had for the longest was MacPaint/MacWrite which it  came with and MS Multiplan and Chart which I purchased separately while I waited for a very long time with others for Thinks PASCAL for the Mac. I still did incredible stuff with it at the time and could blow people out of their socks with the Paint/Write combo and of course Multiplan (VisiCalc or SuperCalc were the predominate spreadsheets of the time).

Awesome. I maybe one of the few but I also loved my Apple /// with VisiCalc.
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post #39 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

The fact Apple was sitting on such a huge pile of capital that it took their shareholders ire to provoke a dividend payout speaks volumes about how inflated their profit margins were. It would be a different matter if Apple was actually investing that money in R&D, or buying new technologies, but they weren't. They just sat on it year after year watching it get exponentially bigger at the expense of the consumer.

The amount of cash Apple with spend in the dividend is trivial.  It was seen as a cheap way to placate shareholders without depleting the cash pile by any significant measure.

post #40 of 72
It's a comerical from 1980 once again it's point less (tall ski) mybye u have no idea what this site is about
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