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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 72
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    I want one
  • Reply 2 of 72
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,474member


    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.

  • Reply 3 of 72


    Not sure I follow you...


     


    Nice piece of nostalgia

  • Reply 4 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?
  • Reply 5 of 72
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member


    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).

  • Reply 6 of 72


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

  • Reply 7 of 72
    red oakred oak Posts: 988member
    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
  • Reply 8 of 72
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member

    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.

  • Reply 9 of 72
    ochymingochyming Posts: 474member

    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.

  • Reply 10 of 72
    It's good to see Burell healthy. I hope more people remember the things he did on that project.
  • Reply 11 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.

  • Reply 12 of 72
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    So young!  

  • Reply 13 of 72
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    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?  

  • Reply 14 of 72
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Wizards? Yikes! Genius is looking pretty good right now.

    sully77 wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 72
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 72
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,523member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 72
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,523member
    ifij775 wrote: »
    I want one

    I have several, make me an offer /.. true .. but kidding
  • Reply 18 of 72
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,855member

    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.

  • Reply 19 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".

  • Reply 20 of 72
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post



    I want one


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

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