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Apple Super Bowl Ads: The Good, The Bad and The Legendary

1 February 2014 1,170 views No Comment

Apple isn't perfect. While they've only tried three times, Apple Super Bowl ads have hit, missed and become the stuff of legend — one perfect moment.

Apple isn’t perfect. However, when it comes to creating perfect moments, no one tops the Cupertino, CA-based Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod maker. While they’ve only tried three times, Apple Super Bowl ads have hit, missed and become the stuff of legend — one perfect moment.

Fundamentally, Super Bowl ads are a sucker’s bet. Super expensive ($4 million for a 30-second spot) and you’re chances of getting it wrong, really wrong, are improbably high.

Little wonder then that Apple’s only tried three.

Apple Super Bowl: The Bad

Their 1985 follow up to 1984 (below) was perhaps Apple’s worst TV ad ever, one might even call it epicly bad. Lemmings violated a cardinal rule of advertising — never, ever say your customers are stupid.

Another reason Lemmings failed so badly was the simple fact that “The Macintosh Office” didn’t yet exist and, in fact, didn’t ship until 1987. Even then, it was received badly by customers.

Apple Super Bowl: The Good

It would be 14 years until the third and, to date, final Apple Super Bowl ad came out. A riff on 2001‘s Hal 9000, Apple’s Y2K was merely and not great, perhaps because Y2K itself turned out to be a non-event.

Apple Super Bowl: The Legendary

It has been called the greatest TV advertisement in history. Apple spent $900,000 to make the ad and another $800,000 to get aired during the Super Bowl, both staggering figures for the day. However, Apple paid to air it once and only once, but people then and now just can’t stop talking about it.

Will Apple have an ad during the 2014 Super Bowl? Highly unlikely, but if they do chances are it won’t be as memorable, good or bad, as either 1984 or Lemmings…\

What’s your take?

See also Every Apple Ad

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