Friday, February 1, 2008

The forgotten Apple Superbowl ad

...or maybe the one just Apple just wishes everyone would forget.

Of course, it was Apple's "1984" spot in that year's Superbowl that really started the whole idea of "event" commercials, which has been pretty much done to death over the years by Pepsi and Diet Coke, Doritos, Budweiser and a wastebasket full of defunct web sites.  Admittedly, these big budget but usually vapid spots have been often more entertaining than the events that they sponsored, but too many years of unmet expectations seemed to have dampened most people's anticipation for the latest 30-second extranvaganzas.

Being unable to live up to their own hype was a problem Apple faced just one year after their ground-breaking 1984 triumph.  Despite another big budget, more disturbing, bleak visuals and a similarly empowering message, the "Lemmings" spot was a pale shadow of their previous production, ignored by viewers and derided by critics.  



Still, it's hard to figure out exactly why.  Probably the best explanation is simply that the commercial "1984" tied in the zeitgeist surrounding the year 1984 in a way that is almost impossible to duplicate.  Even now, it's hard to remember the impact of that moment in our culture when we actually reached the titular year in H.G. Welle's dystopian novel.

Well, it may not have moved much product, but "Lemmings" does have its own bit of immortality -- it's the obvious inspiration for a very similar dream sequence by Norm in a "Cheers" episode you can still catch in reruns.

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2 Comments:

At June 4, 2008 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous John, same guy who commented on the Huxley reference above said...

Even now, it's hard to remember the impact of that moment in our culture when we actually reached the titular year in H.G. Welle's dystopian novel.

You are just messing with us to see if anyone is actually reading this, right?

 
At November 29, 2010 at 7:00 PM , Anonymous Paul Duca said...

In another post Craig said it was written by Aldous Huxley.

 

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