Reading Film (Fall 2011)

a qwriting blog for ENG 110

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Commercial Analysis: Macintosh (1984)

September 24th, 2011 by Tom Schalk · 4 Comments · ¶4 Commercial

Yes, you are confused. This rather famous commercial was known for its very bizzare and abstract message. True, we get the point that they want us to buy a Mac, but whats with the socialism and creepy masks?

What is this? I don't even...

Fret not, my young and naive readers. Such an advertisement is confusing only to your conscious eyes. Its clever use of imagery and symbols has tricked many a brain into making its host buy a Macintosh computer. Allow me to break it down.

Fade in. Immediately, we are bombarded with images that take very much from the classic novel, 1984. A small 101 on the subject: Most of the world is a part of Oceania, an extremely socialist government that is responsible for persistent policing, mind-control of the public, and the cancellation of the Ghostbusters movie. So yeah, it’s not as boss as the 1984 a lot of people actually lived in.









The theme here is oppression. None of the people here are happy, so chances are they are coming here against their will. Not to mention the masks that some people were wearing, which shows the people both are oppessed in their will AND their freedom of speech. The shots of police indicate that those who go against them get into some big trouble. And then of course, there’s the big screening room, with a giant face just telling all the much smaller people what to do. The large face clearly has the power in the situation. The rest just sit there and listen…

…except one. This lady.

Hubba hubba. That's one heavy looking hammer.

Having stared at dull, lifeless, grey, zombie-like audience not unlike one going to a Creed concert, it was quite a sight to see a rather attractive woman wearing very bright colors.

Now we understand that the police we saw shots of are actually going after her. The most likely reason is because they are scared of the color red she is different. Her resistance could threaten the power of the oppressors.

Next thing you know, she makes it to the screening room, and tosses the hammer at the giant face, because it’s ugly.





No, that lady did it because being the boss she was, the lady took it upon herself to defeat the giant ugly oppressor that was taking control of both her life and the lives of others.

That’s how the commercial ends, but if you’re ADD is too out of whack to pick up on the whole 1984 thing, don’t worry. The commercial spells it out for you.

The police, the giant ugly face, the zombies following their every command; It’s all a metaphor for the stereotypical “mainstream.” Ya know those hipsters that think they’re better than you because YOU are too mainstream? If they were right, you’d be like those guys, wearing rags and masks and what not.

Those fellows down at the Mac Corp building who worked on this commercial wanted to trick your brain into thinking that PC computers were so mainstream that 86% of the world would eventually become socialist because of it.

The fact, they claim, is that we are all suckers for buying the same old crap.  Buying a Mac, however, is different, and therefore, better. That’s the message.

It’s hilarious, because looking at them today, you’d think they are hypocrites.

It's the same damn thing as the last one. Why am I spending $300 on- OOHH A FRONT FACING CAMERA! I WANT IT!!

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Stephen Mahoney

    This is probably the best commercial you could have analyzed. This changed the way commercials have been made. Apple brought in an actual film director to come and shoot a one minute piece. Also most commercials before this were so much more strait forward than this. I also think this started the whole Super Bowl commercial craze.

  • Raaj Mangroo

    The choice of words used are very unique like “Fret not, my young and naive readers”.

  • Jeen Kim

    Great analysis and commercial. This is a really smart commercial and you got to the point of it.

    I liked your comment on the mainstream PC but making everyone else seem like a socialist is pretty cheap by Apple

  • Kevin L. Ferguson

    Do you think the red connotes apples? Is that why she has on that particular color?

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