Monday, April 02, 2007

Practicing Blogging- Intro to 1984


Today we are going to watch two videos as well as look at setting up the culture for 1984 in our classroom. Take a second to watch the two videos( in order) and then react to them on the blog. Also, make sure to reference the poster. What does this all make you think of? What connections can you make? Please, as always reference, one another's comments.




55 Comments:

Blogger paigen said...

I recognize the commercial from history because the one about Apple was very controversial. It is surprising that the Democratic Primary would use the same commercial. It also shows how Apple is the one that breaks the supression and how the Democratic Primary is Big Brother. They are both strange ways to portray yourself. I was wondering why they both decided to use 1984 because it is such a controversial book, why that one?

Mon Apr 02, 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Hannah J said...

The two videos were very interesting in the ways that they were different. In the first video, it references Apple computers and how technology is changing and evolving so fast. The sencond video shows Hilary Clinton's face on the screen, making her the one that its controling all the people. Whoever posted the video on YouTube must not be a very big fan of Clinton and thinks she'll take over the United States.

Mon Apr 02, 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger kimmy c. said...

I agree with Paige. The book was and still is very controversical because of its base, and how it portrays the government in a bad light. It seems to me that the democratic party used the comercial as a way of saying that they will prevent a world like the one in 1984.

Mon Apr 02, 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger erinl said...

I found these two videos rather confusing. The person speaking in the first film the person talking was hard to understand what he was saying. In the second film Hilary Clinton was speaking and sounded like she wanted to control the people, but the ad seemed to support her also.

Mon Apr 02, 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger maria k said...

I accidently watched the movies in the wrong order and I think I got a different effect. The people watching Hillary Clinton control the world looked shocked and a little scared. It almost seemed like an anti-hillary movie. But then I watched the second one and saw how it was a spoof off of the apple commercial and how ti showed that technology is changing.

Mon Apr 02, 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Aylar said...

Although both vidoes had nearly the same clip the interpretation for each was very different. In one technology is viewed as almost overtly controlling to people and that is true to a point. As our technological mindpower increase our infatuation with it grows as well. Beacause of the growing impact of technology, 1984 WONT be like 1984.
In the next clip with presidental canidate Hillary Clinton portrayeed her as a dictator of sorts. The utube posting showed her a a brainwasher of the American people. Showing a conection to the novel of 1984.

Mon Apr 02, 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger lauraf said...

I think that the two videos illustrating how two different things are beginning, or trying, to control society. One is technology and apple which controls so much of society's time and money. The second one shows Hilary Clinton and relates it to the first in how she is trying to use power to control society.

Mon Apr 02, 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger danh said...

The second movie kind of confused me. Aren't Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton both democrats? So why is the democratic party portraying Hilary in a bad light like she wants to control the U.S.?

Mon Apr 02, 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger tomr said...

The second commercial is obviously very biased against dear ould Hillary, and we're watching it in school...hmm. Anyway, it's a spoof on the old 1984 commercial, which shows how the introduction of Apple will make everyone's lives bright and shiny. In all honesty, I don't think the plot of 1984 had anything to do with the first commercial other than being a dreary backdrop to compare to Apple. And, as always, anti-communist messages were all the rage, throwing hammers at dictators and whatnot.

Mon Apr 02, 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger karib said...

I think the biggest difference between the two videos was the feeling they give the person watching them. For me, the original Apple one seemed much more positive than the one about Hilary Clinton. The original one seemed like the dawning of a bright new era, and the the other one almost seemed like beginnings of a dictatorship.

Mon Apr 02, 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Lane C. said...

I really don't understand how the release of the Macintosh will stop that from happening. Is big brother supposed to be Bill Gates and windows or what? I didn't really understand it. I also can't really see the connection of Hillary Clinton and Big Brother. It seems to me that what is actually going on in the clips is not the focus but merely the dreary monotonous backround and sounds.

Mon Apr 02, 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

I think both of the videos were used to incite emotional response, not express real specific concerns. Apple did not use the commercial to brag about the features of Macintosh, and the political ad did not really make any serious attacks on Hillary Clinton's policy.

The poster is in some ways the same. It has a very simple, emotional slogan, not a specific description of Big Brothers surveillance capabilities.

One of the themes of 1984 was rule by emotion, not reason. That is also one of the basic tenets of fascism.

Mon Apr 02, 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger hannahs said...

Both of these videos are disturbing. The people marching looked like their every move was controlled. I agree that the first movie was difficult to understand, because to speaker was not very audible. I don't understand why the particular clip of Hillary Clinton was chosen, because her message caused me to think she wants equality and diversity in America.

Mon Apr 02, 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger lindseyc said...

At first I thought that these two films, were way confusing, but after I realized what they were saying, it clicked. These two video clips are showing how Hilary Clinton want to have control over everybody, kid of like technology and big brother in the first one. The technology is trying to take power over everybody in the first video and Hilary is doing the same in the second. The two are comparing how anything can have the need for control.

Mon Apr 02, 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Zachf said...

The two videos relate to how society is being controlled by one person (or will be in the second video). The first video shows that technology will allow us to break free and think for ourselves. The second video shows Barack Obama's opinion that if you don't vote for Hillary Clinton and vote for Obama life will be less like "1984."

Mon Apr 02, 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Madisonm said...

I agree with what everyone else has stated about the two videos. They display how everyone has been conformed and "brainwashed" to listen to the person on the screen. They also show how the girl releases them from their transe and conformity, in a sense, when she throws the hammer into the screen. When she does this, it helps the people to sort of come to a realization about what might be going on.

I think that the poster is supposed to scare people into following the person on the poster. Kind of a ruling by fear tactic.

Mon Apr 02, 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger emilya said...

I thought it was neat how both commercials used the same setup and same props but two totally different themes. The first one showed technoligical advancement and how the past (1984) qould have been different. The second movie showed Hilary Clinton trying to comtrol the people and overpower the country. I really don't think it made a difference in watching the videos in order... why do you think Smith made us watch them in order?
AS for the poster, I really could not relate to it. I don't quite understand the meaning...

Mon Apr 02, 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah C said...

I agree with what has been said about the videos. Plus, I thought it was really creepy to watch. It just kind of freaked me out that all those people looked the same, and were the same.
I wonder why a woman was chosen to smash out the TV screen...any thoughts?
I think that the poster relates to society today because people are always talking about the government watching us and tapping phone lines (even though they this does not involve every single person). Also, it applies to us every day. For instance, our parents watch over us and can check our grades and whereabouts using the phone (which some have a tracker installed in it) and the internet. It really is astounding how closely watched we are by our own peers and parents.

Mon Apr 02, 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger alexd said...

As Madison M. said, people were conformed and “brainwashed” to listen to the leader. In the 1950s and 1960s there was not individuality in the work place.

I think that the people looked the same because they all followed the same leader. At the beginning of the movie it showed a wire with all the people walking through. I think the theater with the big screen is the CPU of a computer and the people are electrons coming in to receive instructions.

Mon Apr 02, 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger chelseah said...

I found both of those commercials very confusing and obviously controversial. i thought it was interesting how they used the same commercial, but for two completely different things. They show how controlling the government and leaders can be. They also show how "brainwashed" (like Alex D. said) the community gets when in the presence of the leader. They were also kind or disturbing, how they were predicting the future. Both videos were a "wake-up" call, as it makes me wonder if those things will happen one day. Or something like it.

Mon Apr 02, 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger lewinparents said...

It was very interesting to me that even though the words were very different in each video, the sound and action of the video were still very intimidating. It made me wonder if the commentator would add some inflammatory remarks, would anyone stand up and protest the video or just ignore it like so many other commercials out there. Since we are in a media based society, it makes me wonder how many others out there would be just as intimidated as the American society was back in the 50's with McCarthyism or with the Germans when the Nazi's took control of Germany back in the 30's and 40's.

Mon Apr 02, 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger EmilyL said...

Ok, well for anyone who was confused about who was putting out the Hillary Clinton video, it was not the Democratic Party. A Barack Obama supporter probably made the ad. Barack Obama is running against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency.

To me, the thrower of the ax represented Goldstein, protesting Big Brother, the speaker. He throws the ax to stop Big Brother from as the poster says watching them.

Mon Apr 02, 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger endsleye said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Mon Apr 02, 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger endsleye said...

The one thing about the videos that confused me was when the screen exploded how the people sitting there did not flinch. Their facials changed but they did not duck and cover. They seemed brain washed and like a zombie to me. The one for Apple seemed to be showing them how good of life they could have with the new macintosh. In the one with Hillary Cliton, wasn't she telling them that she doen't want them to do everything she says and she wants their opinions? Was this kinda like a political campaign? Or did the people who made it Republican and it was used against the Democrats?

Mon Apr 02, 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mphair said...

To me, the Apple commercial represented how the new technology of their MacIntosh computer would give freedom from a conformed society to any who bought it. The girl running in represented Apple's technology and how anyone could use it and stand out brightly among people who are dressed the same, look the same, and even have the same expressions on their faces.

The second clip was also trying to sell the public something. However, instead of selling something physical, it was selling the thought that Hillary Clinton should not be elected.

I also noticed a couple of other general things concerning these video clips. For one thing, all of the brainwashed people watching the screen were men, and the one who brought in the axe and destroyed the screen was a woman. Also, the high-tech screen was destroyed by a much simpler form of technology which had been used for centuries, the axe.

The poster is rather intimidating to me, as a person is looking straight at the viewer and the "you" is emphasized. It brings it closer to home and how the viewer is constantly watched and under the influence of others.

Mon Apr 02, 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger alexm said...

Like Ben, I think that both clips were purposed to incite emotion. That was probably a very grammatically incorrect statement, but you know what I mean.

Nobody seems to get that while Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton are both democrats, they both want themselves in the White House, as opposed to the other.

I really have no idea what 1984 is about, so I can't fairly draw reference from what it stands for. Steve's Jobs and Wozniak have always stood for that message (improvement beyond others), and this Macintosh ad seems no different.

I thought the imagery in the identical films was nice however.
The zombie-like people and the hammer-throwing-television-bashing-exploding painted a nice picture of things to come.

Alex

Mon Apr 02, 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger alexm said...

I also agree with mphair on all accounts.

Good job

Mon Apr 02, 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Mphair'smom said...

The big brother in the poster and the Macintosh ad are both anonymous, whereas Hilary Clinton in the second clip is someone we all "know." Therefore our opinion of her affects how we see the clip. The first clip is scarey, but the final affect is liberating. I suppose that if Hilary Clinton scares you, the affect of the second clip is the same. If you are inclined to like her, the affect of the second clip is mean, reflecting poorly on both Clinton and Obama, but especially Obama.

Mon Apr 02, 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger briang said...

I agree with what many people have said thus far. I think the video and the poster are both made to control people by emotions. I particuarlly like what ben said about control by emotion rather than reason. I think the Apple video and the Hilary Clinton video were used to intimidate the viewer by the dreary, totalitarian society that the men lived in, influencing you to either buy a Mac or vote for Obama. I think that each video is used to attack these emotions, which in some instances control us as humans more than our reason. The poster also makes me feel a bit parinoid, as though he were really watching me. But like Ben said, I think the point of the videos and the poster are to control us by emotion rather than reason.

Mon Apr 02, 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger connord said...

It was interesting how the woman in both videos was in bright color while every other person was dressed the same in gray. She was clearly a challenger to the system of Big Brother.

Just to clear the second video up, it was not an official commercial. It was just an employee of Obama's commercial crew messing around with an idea and he put it on the internet. The video becoming public lead to his firing.

Mon Apr 02, 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger tanal said...

I thought that these video clips were both confusing and intimidating when you don't know what is going on. After watching them a couple of times I thought that even though they were very similar, they were also very different. I thought the first clip was comparing what Orwell thought the future (1984) was going to be like to what 1984 turned out to be. Then the second video was comparing what Orwell thought the future was going to be like in the book 1984 to 2008, which is the future to us right now. I thought it was interesting though how they used the same clip with just different speakers and words to it, to compare both 1984 to 2008.

Mon Apr 02, 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Interesting to see the contrast/comparison in the two videos. Have we become so paranoid in our society that politics and our view of it is similar to mind control? Do we need to look to politicians to make all our decisions for us? Will we come to the point that we can no longer make decisions ourselves? This is an excellent example of what life would be like if we ceased to think for ourselves and only followed what the person in front of us was doing. We will be robotic. What will be our god?

Mon Apr 02, 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Shelbyb-dad said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Mon Apr 02, 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger kjerstinL said...

I think this has a lot to do with the two minute fear in one of the first two chapters, but I will cease to bring it into this conversation. I thinkthat these commercials show a lot. One thing, is the pain of showing one thing gives power to another. The lady who through the heavy stick (whatever it was), seemed so scared or angered that she could take the pain no longer. Also, looking at the fear and shock on the audience's faces was interesting too. It made me think that they were wonering, "Why is this person thinking about these crazy ideas?" when all they've been taught is the opposite of what said in the short clip. It was an interesting connection with the mac then because some people are so frightened about what could happen on an old computer, persuading the person watching to realize that buying a new mac would be better. The same ideas apply to the Obama add too, only of course, a slighty different context, but overall, same concept.

Mon Apr 02, 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

What I found most interesting about these ads was how they both start out almost scary and it ends up being a big joke. I mean, at the beginning you see these mindless peole marching in some underground tunnels and then all of a sudden, out pops "Buy a Mac" or "Vote for Barack Obama". I just think that these were extreme commercials. I also think that the idea to make the Obama spinoff of the commercial was great and really funny.

Mon Apr 02, 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger ADRIANA G said...

Thanks for bringing up that interesting fact, connor. I didn't know the video was made by someone associated with the Obama campaign. I thought it was just someone who didn't like Hillary Clinton. No surprise that the maker of the video was fired...
mphair's mom--You make an intriguing point. The first clip does seem scary at first, but then it turns out to be a commercial that is almost funny. The second one however, was obviously political from the beginning. I hope that no one will think less of Obama after watching this. He didn't approve the video, and I doubt he was involved in it's creation. It kind of made me think about how practically anyone today can make a video and put it online to spread their views. Going backto the book, that might mean that in this age, it would be harder for so many people to be repressed and have their thoughts controlled. At least, we would hope so.

Mon Apr 02, 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger christa s said...

I agree with everything that has already been said. I think the first video was a statement against the control technology has on society- the people in the video were summoned by an electronic buzzer and had information conveyed to them by a huge TV. The second video was a little strange. I’m not very knowledgeable about politics, but I kind of agree with Hannah S. Hillary did not seem to be conveyed in the negative light that she is usually depicted. She seemed more like a person that just wanted to make our country better and create success for its people. But I guess that this might be the point of the video- while Hillary spouts off nice sentiments about “having a conversation” with the people of the country and making the country a better place, the people in the video that she is trying to reach look ill, poor, and trapped. She says that she has been conversing with them, but they look almost incapable of thought or speech. I think that both videos represented a dystopia and how the human race has a picture of what they believe is a perfect world, but that image is never achieved and they can go too far with things like technology and bright ideas that never become reality.
I also agree with MPhair’s mom when she said that it depends on how we view the person in the video. At first the man on the big TV screen in the first video seemed scary because he was this mystical person that was not familiar to me, but as I thought about it, Hillary seemed even creepier in the second video because I know her face and her voice was kind of mesmerizing. I think that Hillary seemed scarier to most of us because we have seen her face before and we know that she has some control in our society and is more directly connected to our individual lives.

Mon Apr 02, 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger Mphair'smom said...

I did not mean to introduce politics into the discussion as much as I wanted to say the the response to Big Brother will be different for individuals based on their personal opinion or experience with Big Brother.

Tue Apr 03, 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger saram said...

I agree with endsley. I did not understand the people's reactions when the screen exploded. They seemed to be hanging on every word that the person on the screen was saying and when it exploded they didn't seem to care.
On the second video, was it a government campaign? If it is, then is it a democratic commercial or a republican commercial?

Tue Apr 03, 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger HorseGirlAnnie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tue Apr 03, 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger HorseGirlAnnie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tue Apr 03, 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger AnnaD said...

I tried to post yesterday, but the computer was not cooperating... So, here goes:

I agree with Ben. The Apple commercial is a lot more effective than the Barack Obama one. This is true because of the simple fact that the Apple one makes sense and the Barack Obama one does not. As entertaining as Obama's is, it does not have much of a purpose aside from making people "fear" Hilary Clinton. The Apple commercial used the idea of 1984 in advertising its creative and innovative new ideas. Basically the commercial was trying to say that Apple would cause the obsolescence of the dull, monotonous "Big Brother" that was embodied in Windows computers. This, in essence, is a commercial that actually makes sense in relation to Apple's purposes.

The poster would be more effective than either of the movies. To constantly be reminded that Big Brother is "stalking" you would cause you to constantly be wary and to mind.

Tue Apr 03, 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger danh said...

I am back again with new insight. In a way, the Apple commercial is a bit hypocritical. If you think about it, the release of a revolutionary computer could actually help create a government that controls peoples' actions and thoughts. The government can moniter everything we do on computers as long as there is an internet connection... so you better watch out.

Tue Apr 03, 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger adamb said...

The videos are just trying to express that there product or canidate is revolutionary, it doesn't actually free peoples thoughts, it is just an advertisement tool. The only difference between the two is that Hilary Clinton is speaking and on the screen instead of big brother, other than that, they are the exact same commercial advertising the same thing, just for different objects.

Tue Apr 03, 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger KathrynT said...

It seems to me that the first clip might be saying that, unlike in 1984, the people will have more freedom because of their ability to use a home computer. They won't be controlled by anyone who may control their thoughts. They have the freedom to use the computer how they would like.

Tue Apr 03, 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger elyse h said...

Both videos seem really similar at first, but the main difference is between the two speeches. Hilary's speech is contradicting itself. She says she wants to have a conversation, but she is speaking at us and the note on the screen says "this is our conversation". Like the Apple commercial seems brainwashing and is in a way "campaining" against another or saying that we don't have to settle for a dictating government/ computer.

Tue Apr 03, 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger deuce_rents said...

A difference in the two videos was in the Clinton utube the liberating woman had an Ipod on. That was to tie her to your new generation, or make her more modern and/or appease apple for ripping off the video. I agreed with the comments of the atmosphere promoting emotion. The resolution of the creepy situations with crass commercialism banner print at the end left me dissapointed in both producers. To play on humanity so harshly, you need to be selling something that is more important than one computer v. another, or trashing a public servant.

Tue Apr 03, 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger shaunam said...

In my eyes, these commercials are confusing as well as controversial. It is scary to me how that one day, we could end up with "Big Brother watching us." If that happens, we will no longer be "free," we will be "watched" and "monitered." I also like what Elyse said about Hilary and her conversation. How can someone have a "conversation" if their the only one talking while the people listenting are completely mesmerized?
As in reference to the poster, it is common among people (but not always) to sometimes think of the government as a big scary man that has all the power and control. But could our society turn into that?

Tue Apr 03, 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Shelby B. said...

I find it very interesting that there is a man on the screen on the first one and a woman, Hilary Clinton, on the second. Also, the fact the Hilary is asking advice and feedback from mindless people really makes you think what is she trying to say. But, relating this back to the poster Big Brother is Watching you I feeel is kind of stretching it because I do not understand the poster that well.

Tue Apr 03, 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger Adam's Parents said...

I like what DanH said about internet monitoring. In 1984, the Macintosh presented itself as the tool to break out of the system. In hindsight, the Macintosh - via the internet - represents the ultimate 'big brother' who is watching us (virtually anyway).

Could the Obama commercial foretell that he presents himself as a revolutionary, but -like the Macintosh - will really end up feeding the system he claims to rebuke?

Tue Apr 03, 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger BenHDad said...

My reaction to these videos was, I'm afraid, colored by my familiarity with the first video. I'm old enough to have seen its original run :-(

The general meaning of the this first video was picked up by quite a few people, including Madisonm, who noted "They display how everyone has been conformed and "brainwashed" to listen to the person on the screen." The common wisdom on the original Apple ad was that the guy on the screen is a metaphor for the mainstream personal computing platforms (in 1984 this meant IBM). The poor people in the audience were those of us brainwashed into conforming to (or being controlled by) IBM. IBM pretty much had a monopoly on personal computers back then. The woman was Apple and liberated the masses by smashing the screen - breaking the control. (How replacing one big company, IBM, with another not so big company, Apple, was liberating I never quite got...)

When I viewed the second video, it took me a minute to get it, actually. Like paigen said, "It is surprising that the Democratic Primary would use the same commercial. " And, as erinl noted, "In the second film Hilary Clinton was speaking and sounded like she wanted to control the people, but the ad seemed to support her also." Good points!

The ad did seem to equate Hillary with the guy in the original add (Big Brother???), which is seriously not nice, but at least the background movie had clips of Hillary saying decent things about listening and a conversation, as opposed to clips showing the dumbest or meanest things that Hillary ever said. That is what someone who really wanted to go after Hillary would do, I think. So, what gives? Was this a Republican attack ad disguised as an Obama ad? Was it really made by a Democrat who liked Obama and not Hillary and wanted to show Hillary was Big Brother or at least in control? Did Hillary just represent "the establishment" (mainstream Democrats, the current government in general, etc.)?

Well, I did what any lazy person would do, I googled (is this cheating?). Thanks to a propitious choice of search terms my first hits seemed to tell the story. Take these links if you want to get what may be the story on the second clip. (Remember, take everything on the Internet, including my posts, with a grain of salt.)

This is a general story on the video, making it sound like a "Big Deal" that will change campaigns:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/18/MNGHNONEPS1.DTL&feed=rss.news

This is a blog entry about the video where Ms. Arianna Huffington supposedly tracked down the creator (and there is a link to the creator fessing up near the bottom of the post):

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/who-created-hillary-1984_b_43978.html

One of the interesting things about both of these videos is that they help show what an integral part of our culture "1984" has become. That Apple thought to use the ad symbolic of the book shows the book's evocative power - and its staying power. Apple just new that people would "get" the ad - they would understand the symbolism. Even the derived symbolism - that is Apple's ad - has been with us and remembered for 20+ years!

As Im re-reading the book (I'm a little behind, but I've started!) I have been reminded of all the phrases from the book that are used as part of our everyday language:

Big Brother
War Is Peace
Thought Police
Doublethink
...

Pretty amazing...

Tue Apr 03, 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger onedad said...

OK, BenHDad beat me to it, but I was having trouble getting my blogger account to work. Anyway, I too am so old that I remember the original add for the Apple Macintosh. With a little help from Wikipedia (hey....if BenHDad can use Google, I can use Wikipedia)...

In 1983, Apple introduced the “Lisa,” the first commercial personal computer to employ a graphical user interface (GUI). Lisa was also the first personal computer to have a mouse. In 1984, the Macintosh was introduced, furthering the concept of a user-friendly graphical user interface. Apple's success with the Macintosh became a major influence in the development of graphical interfaces elsewhere [including Microsoft Windows, which came a few years later. Yes, it’s true … before 1983 there was no such thing as a computer mouse, or icons on a computer screen.]
After seeing a demonstration of Xerox’s “Alto” computer in 1979, Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder, was immediately convinced that all future computers would use a GUI, and decided to take over design of Apple's first project, the Apple Lisa, to produce such a device. The Lisa was named after Jobs' daughter. In 1983, Apple introduced the Lisa as the first personal computer to be sold to the public with a GUI. However, the Lisa was a commercial failure as a result of its high price tag (9,995 USD) and limited software titles.

In 1984, drawing upon its experience with the Lisa, Apple next launched the Macintosh. Its debut was announced by a single national broadcast of the now famous US$1.5 million television commercial, "1984", based on George Orwell's novel. The commercial aired during Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984. Jobs' intention with the ad was to represent the IBM PC as Big Brother, and the Macintosh as a nameless female action hero portrayed by Anya Major. While the Macintosh initially sold well, follow-up sales were not particularly strong.

The film was shot in London and most of the actors were British skinheads hired for the day at a cost of 125 USD each as the director was unable to find enough actors prepared to shave their heads. Apple’s board of directors was dismayed by the ad when they initially saw it, and instructed management not to show it. Despite the board's dislike of the film, Steve Wozniak watched it and offered to pay for the Super Bowl spot personally if the board refused to air it.

Even with this limited appearance, the ad created such a media frenzy that it gained many subsequent free TV airings and print mentions as it was discussed in the media. At the time Nielsen ratings estimated that the commercial reached 46.4 percent of American households (50 percent of all men and 36 percent of women.) These tactics are part of what made the commercial so influential in marketing circles; it is now seen as the first example of event marketing, and is popularly credited with starting the trend of yearly "event" Super Bowl commercials.

The second video clip on YouTube is obviously a parody of Apple’s fine work from 23 years ago, created by some clever Obama supporter with a sense of humor and some good editing software. I bet he or she did it on a Mac!

You're all a bunch of awesome bloggers, and have done a great job of thinking about the clips and sharing your thoughts! I really enjoyed reading through all of them.

Tue Apr 03, 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

I've really enjoyed all the comments about the poster, and the two videos. One thing I would point out is that in our culture, we "sell" products (like computers) in much the same way that we "sell" presidential candidates. This wasn't always the case (I'm a parent, and therefore old enough to remember), and I wonder what students think about this.

Wed Apr 04, 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger hannahs said...

Sorry about the blogging malfunction. That was my dad so we will try to fix this problem.

Wed Apr 04, 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger karib said...

I've enjoyed reading the comments and the background information. I agree with the comment that the person who did the Hillary clip was clever. This is definitely a commercial that sticks in your memory whether you are for or against her. (Parent comment as my blog doesn't like me.)

Wed Apr 04, 09:21:00 PM  

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