Over twenty-five years ago, Apple paid close to one million dollars to air its iconic Macintosh commercial during the 1984 Superbowl. To date, it remains one of the best — if not the best — Superbowl commercials of all time. In fact, it is widely regarded that Apple’s ’1984′ commercial in particular started the phenomenon of many fans watching the NFL’s biggest game of the season just for the commercial breaks. What is shocking, however, is that Apple nearly cancelled the commercial altogether…
According to Mental Floss, Apple’s Board of Directors absolutely hated the ad when it was shown to them. Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, on the other hand, loved the clip and offered to split the cost of its airtime. Former Apple chief executive Mike Markkula disagreed, however, and wanted Chiat\Day, the advertising agency behind the commercial, to be fired outright. Ultimately, the Cupertino-based company asked for Chiat\Day to cancel its Superbowl airtime slots it had booked instead.
Chiat\Day obliged partially, removing the 30 second time slot they had reserved; however, the company lied and stated that it was too late for it to remove the full-length 60 second slot. Then, when the ad finally aired, it received widespread attention and critical acclaim. Due to its controversial nature regarding IBM, the commercial received news coverage from three different national TV stations in the United States. Eventually, the spot went on to win several awards as well as the approval — and somewhat of an apology — from Apple’s board of executives. It’s interesting to think what would have happened had Chiat\Day listened to Apple and scrapped this commercial.