On 24 January, the Apple Macintosh celebrated its 30th birthday. While tech writers looked to the past and mulled over the possible future of the desktop machine, and there was an event at the Flint Centre featuring members of the original Macintosh team, management at the Cupertino, California company also got in on the act. As well as executives granting interviews to Macworld and the US’s ABC News, Apple also presented employees with 30th anniversary t-shirts.
The company also made an ad. Surprisingly though, the clip wasn’t created for the US Super Bowl, which took place this weekend, even though Microsoft debuted a very similarly themed video at that very event.
Instead, Apple’s anniversary video was released on YouTube and at Apple.com. Directed by Jake Scott (son of Ridley, who of course directed the memorable 1984 commercial) the clip was shot entirely on an iPhone 5s and includes footage from five continents, 15 locations and 10 different countries. It was produced by Apple’s regular ad agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day, a studio headed by Lee Clow. The video is called 1.24.14 (using the US style of writing dates).
Apple released an accompanying statement, contextualising the video. ”On January 24, 1984, Apple introduced the Macintosh. And with it a promise that the power of technology, put in the hands of everyone, could change the world. On January 24, 2014, we sent 15 camera crews all over the world to show how that promise has become a reality.
“From sunrise in Melbourne to nightfall in Los Angeles, they documented people doing amazing things with Apple products. They shot over 70 hours of footage – all with the iPhone 5s. Then it was edited and scored with an original soundtrack. Thanks to the power of the Mac and the innovations it has inspired, an effort that normally takes months was accomplished in a matter of days.”
Moving away from the emotion-stirring, heartstring-tugging tenor of Apple’s iPhone Christmas video, the new clip is more practical – focusing on the diverse uses of the company’s technology across the world. It contrasts notably with Microsoft’s Super Bowl clip, which, mindful of the occasion perhaps, falls definitely into the sentimental camp.
On watching the clip, our biggest concern was the chap at around the 40-second mark, who seems to be driving an all-terrain vehicle while talking on his phone and juggling a MacBook on his lap. It took us several rewinds to confirm that he’s actually in the passenger seat!
What do you think of the Apple video?
And to compare, you can watch Microsoft’s creation here.
Apple didn’t stay completely away from the Super Bowl, though. It partnered with U2 and the Bank of America in their new (Product) RED promotion. The Super Bowl ad explained how the bank would donate US$1 to the charity for every free iTunes download of ‘Invisible’, the new single from the band.
(Product) RED is a concept established in 2006 by rock singer Bono and activist Bobby Shriver, which seeks to “engage the private sector for the purpose of raising awareness and funds to help eliminate HIV/AIDS in Africa”.
One of the recipients of funds raised is the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
So Apple was involved in the Super Bowl, but presumably it did so sharing the massive costs involved (it’s up to US$4 million for a 30-second spot, although this being a charitable promotion, there may well have been discounts involved) and associating itself with a good cause at the same time. Win/win it seems.