“1984” was the television commercial that introduced the Apple Macintosh computer to the world during the Super Bowl XVIII on CBS, January 22, 1984.
The ad was directed by Ridley Scott who previously directed “Blade Runner” and “Alien.”
The Orwellian scene opens with a gray, industrial, lockstep group of people streaming into an auditorium to hear Big Brother (David Graham) announce the future:
“Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology—where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!”
Despite the conformance of the population, a female athlete, English athlete Anya Major enters the scene with sledge hammer in hand. She throws her weapon at the giant screen.
The commercial concludes with a voiceover, “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984.”
The screen fades to black as the voiceover ends, and the rainbow Apple logo appears.
George Orwell’s estate sent Apple a cease-and-desist letter four months after the commercial aired.