Let’s celebrate once again Apple’s most famous marketing ploy

Contrary to popular belief, Apple’s iconic 1984-themed commercial did not run first during Super Bowl XVIII.

The real unveiling of the award-winning spot, which used the introduction of the Macintosh as a dramatic shot over IBM’s bow and immediately went down in the annals of advertising as one of the best ever, actually took place just before midnight on Dec. 31, 1983, on KMVT-TV in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Why, you ask?

According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog:

The reason behind the peculiar airtime is that the advertising folks over at Chiat/Day (now TBWA\Chiat\Day) wanted the commercial to be eligible for that year’s advertising awards.

Check it out:


According to the post, the TV station’s Tom Frank commented many years later that he “was under explicit orders to make sure it aired and aired correctly.”

He also added that the tape containing the commercial was immediately mailed back to the ad agency after air. As to why Apple’s ad agency chose Twin Falls, Idaho as the prime spot to premiere the commercial, Frank speculates that it all boils down to geography.

As Frank put it:

probably because of our remote location and small nighttime audience. Remember, they were trying to qualify for the next awards season. They really didn’t want anyone to see it and comment on it. The Super Bowl was to be the official ‘premiere.’

Credit: Wikipedia.org




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  • RussellL

    “Contrary to popular belief, Apple’s iconic 1984-themed commercial did not run first during Super Bowl XVIII.”

    It’s popular belief because Apple has never corrected anybody. They allow the falsehood to grow.

  • ScooterLibbby

    Apple has also repeated lied, claiming the ad ran only once.
    It ran only once on a network, but ran repeatedly throughout the year as a spot buy on local stations in the 10 biggest markets in the country. It also ran in the Florida market where IBM’s PC business was headquartered, just to piss off IBM!