It was in the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII played on January 22, 1984 that the video announcing the first Macintosh ran. It ran only once, but surely impressed a lot of people with its power and creativity. Some would say the video was the precursor of “event advertising” during subsequent Super Bowls.

According to Wikipedia, which seems to have an article on everything, that commerical cost $800,000 to make and another $800,000 to air during that game between the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders. For the sake of accuracy, the Raiders won that game 38-9.

At the time, I was an Educational Sales rep for an Apple reseller and actually saw the commercial back in December at a Macintosh product roll-out. Those of us in the room were stunned; literally blown away by the impact of that video. The Macintosh computer itself was also quite revolutionary for its time. Unlike the Apple //e, which I owned at the time, and the IBM PC XT, all the components were inside one box. Additionally, instead of a command line interface, it used a mouse and graphics to make the computer work aka a GUI (graphical user interface).

As an employee in an Apple store, I was eligible to purchase one of these computers under what was called “Own a Mac.” For $2500, I received the original Macintosh, the first ImageWriter Printer, MacWrite word processing, MacPaint, a revolutionary graphics program, a subscription to MacWorld, and a carrying case for the computer. It showed up in several boxes on my doorstep in March of 1984.

I still have the carrying case and printer, although I’ve not used either in years. The original Macintosh is long gone, although subsequent Macs, including my current MacBook Pro, are commonplace in my office and home. Soon after the product announcement, I purchased a few hundred shares of Apple stock, based upon what I beliefed to be a great product. I was proven correct by the share price, and sold my holding a few years later for a down payment on our current Cincinnati residence.

If you have an thoughts about that video, or experience with early computing, please feel welcome to comment below.



One response to “1984

  1. I learned on Macs and have had too many of them to count, although I’ve also done a lot of computing on PCs too (and am on one now). I have always thought that Apple made the superior product. I begged my husband to let me buy Apple stock when it was down to $8/share in the (early?) 90s. We were poor and I was talking about borrowing a couple of thousand to do it so it would have required us to be in agreement and he refused. To his credit, he brings it up from time to time, regreting his choice. *sigh*

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