Thetelevision commercials are distinct from the printed advertisementsin that they contain extra elements such as assorted editingpractices, narrative structure, different shots, music, anddialogues. This makes it possible for the commercials to provide muchinformation than image and printed advertisements can deliver. Thecommercials can be classified into simple and complex advertisements(Gradus 17). The simple versions include varieties that feature aperson narrating informative details regarding a given product thatis being promoted. On the other hand, complex commercials areminifilms or videos because they contain diverse critical componentssuch as images, audio, and motion impressions. The objective of thisessay is evaluating essential features integrated in the “1984”Macintosh advertisement to prove that it had the valuable featuresthat made it worth being rated as the second-best televisioncommercial created in the 1980s (Gradus 22).
Accordingto Chapter 9, there is a variety of features that a commercial shouldhave in order to be rated as a complex advertisement. The “1984”Macintosh commercial featured several complex features thatcommunicated unique information. The commercial opens with a displayof “1984” on the screen. The administrator then cuts to a verylong shot of faintly perceived persons walking past a tunnel linkedto enormous structures. He then cuts to extended images of marchingfigures. The figures are wearing dull uniforms, as well as they areshaved. Moreover, the faces of the figures are expressionless. Thenext feature is an extreme close up of the figures’ heavy boots(Kanner 66). Another fast cut portrays a blond woman wearing redshorts and a white jersey, running. The woman is only visible for aninstant, and then the director takes her away from the viewers’sight. The next short displays the figures once more, and then thedirector shows the blond woman for an instant as she is being chasedby a group of paratroopers. For the next few seconds, the directorcuts back and forth to the woman and the troopers chasing her. Thenthe director shows another very long shot of the prisoners in thefacility sitting in a vast room. Their eyes are all fixed to a bigtelevision set. The inmates are listening to the speech of a figureclad in dark glasses (Kanner 69). The figure addressing the inmatesis sitting still as if he is hypnotized. He is telling the inmates tobe united, as well as freedom among other topics. Then out of nowherethe blond woman bursts into the room, armed with a sledge hammer. Shethrows the sledgehammer at the television set (Kanner 83). A massiveexplosion follows when the sledgehammer hits the television screen.The explosion resembles the one that results from an atomic bomb. Theprisoners stare steadily with amazement at the screen. Then, amessage from Apple Computers pops up on the screen telling theviewers that Apple is on the process of introducing a new version ofthe computer called the Macintosh, soon (Kanner 91).
Thecommercial was designed by Chiat, Apple’s advertising. RiddleyScott, a famous British filmmaker, was the director in the productionof the commercial. The success of the commercial was not a surpriseconsidering that Riddley had managed successful film projects such asthe Blade Runner and Alien (Kanner 44). The commercial was just sixtyseconds long, but it was created at the cost of $500,000, and airedat an additional cost of $600,000. Amazingly, the commercial wasonly broadcast once at the 1984 Super Bowl (Kanner 45). Thecommercial was highly successful because it was later aired invarious broadcast stations occasionally, although Apple was notconvinced that the advertisement could have been successful. Prior tobroadcasting the commercial, Apple had attempted to call the directorto stop the production of the commercial. However, they decided to goahead with using it at the last moment after they discovered that theproduction team had already shot the commercial. Besides, theproduction process was at very advanced stage to abort the assembly(Kanner 47).
The1984 Apple Commercial is an outstanding advertisement, and itsrecognition as the second best most creative television commercialback in the 1980s was worth. The director used a unique approach toaddressing the problem (White 16). For example, the marching figureswere British trained skinheads that had not been used in previousadvertisements. From just a single broadcast, the broadcast became sopopular such that it was aired in various other broadcast stations atdifferent times afterwards (White 21).
Anotherreason that has helped the commercial to become dominant in themarket includes the fact that it promotes a unique pop culture. Afterthe commercial was aired, skinhead style became so popular such thatmany conservative persons in the US prefer the hairstyle. Each timean advertisement has adequate influence for creating a pop culture,it creates an everlasting impression among the staff (White 37).
Thedirector also integrated unique narrative tricks. The occasionalappearance of the blond woman occasionally implies that the Apple hascome from far. At one time, a woman is marching alongside darkfigures, to portray Apple as a company that is competing with manyupcoming companies (Gradus 33). On the other hand, an illustration ofApple Company as an organization that is being chased by troopersimplies that the company is facing stiff competition in the market.In fact, Apple was competing against several established andestablished computer companies such as the Microsoft (Gradus 41).
Thecommercial also uses dramatic technique to illustrate the expectedpopularity that Macintosh was projected to achieve. The Blond Womanwas used in an advertisement to illustrate that Apple was unique fromits competitors, the skinheads wearing dark clothes (poortechnology), and heavy boots (outdated technology) that were slowingthem down. On the contrary, the blond woman (Apple) is so versatilesuch that they she can run away from the troopers (competitors) (Foxand George 7).
Theatomic-like explosion in the commercial illustrates the dominance,innovation, and influence of the Macintosh computers that would beunrivalled as the history of the Atomic bombs. In fact, the 1984Macintosh computers created a platform for modern computers. Thedirector had created a commercial that successfully gained theattention of the customers. Moreover, the commercial delivers thedesired information shortly (Fox and George 13).
Insummary, the “1984” Macintosh commercial is worth getting therate of the second best commercial in the 1980s because it hadseveral unique things that successfully caught the attention ofnumerous people. Besides, the advertisement catches the attention ofthe viewers through creating high suspense on the intention of theblond woman the troopers are pursuing, the dark figures, the bigbrothers, and the images.
White,Hooper. Howto Produce Effective Tv Commercials.Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Business Books, 1994. Print.
Kanner,Bernice. The100 Best Tv Commercials: … and Why They Worked.Toronto: Random House, 1999. Print.
Fox,Roy F, and George Gerbner. HarvestingMinds: How Tv Commercials Control Kids.Westport, Conn: Praeger, 1996. Print.
Gradus,Ben. Directing,the Television Commercial.New York, N.Y: Hastings House, 2001. Print.