Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The most famous superbowl ad
This is an excerpt from wikipedia about the making of the Ad
"The 60-second film was created by the advertising agency Chiat/Day, with copy written by Steve Hayden and direction by Ridley Scott
(who had just finished filming Blade Runner). Creative director Lee Clow was responsible for this and the later Energizer Bunny and Taco Bell chihuahua campaigns. The film was shot in London and most of the actors were British skinheads hired for the day at a cost of $125 each as the director was unable to find enough actors prepared to shave their heads.The original script had suggested a baseball bat but this was later revised to a sledgehammer. The weight of the hammer made it difficult to cast the part of the runner until Major (a discus thrower) applied.
It was shown to a large audience for the first time in October 1983, at Apple's annual sales conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. Based on the reaction of the sales team and management reviews, Apple executives booked two television advertising slots during the upcoming Super Bowl. However, the Apple board of directors was dismayed by the ad and instructed management not to show it and sell the slots. Despite the board's dislike of the film, Steve Wozniak watched it and offered to pay for the spot personally if the board refused to air it. The reason the commercial was saved from total cancellation was the result of an act of defiance and an act of bravado. According to the book The Mac Bathroom reader by Owen Linzmayer:“ The board hadn't demanded the commercial be killed, nonetheless John Sculley asked Chiat/Day to sell back the one and one half minutes of Super Bowl television time that they had purchased. The original plan was to play the full-length, 60-second 1984 spot to catch everyone's attention, then hammer home the message during a subsequent commercial break with an additional airing of an edited 30-second version.
Defying Sculley's request, Jay Chiat told his media director, Camille Johnson, "Just sell off the thirty." Johnson laughed, thinking it would be impossible to sell any of the time at so late a date, but miraculously, she managed to find a buyer for the 30-second slot. That still left Apple with a 60-second slot for which it had paid $800,000.
”The decision to run the commercial was left to VP of Marketing William V. Campbell and Executive VP of Marketing and Sales E. Floyd Kvamme. In the end, the two decided to run the commercial. It aired at the first commercial break after the second-half kick-off.The sledgehammer (here blurred by motion) is thrown into the air at the screen by the allegorical heroine.
Despite costing $800,000 to make and a further $800,000 of air time, the film was originally shown nationally only once. However, it was aired on television one other time. From the book Apple Confidential:“ The famous "1984" commercial that launched the Macintosh during the Super Bowl in 1984 is purported to have been shown only once; but to qualify for 1983's advertising awards, the commercial also aired on December 15 at a small TV station in Twin Falls, Idaho, and in movie theaters for weeks starting on January 17th. ”
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."