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Macintosh-launching '1984' Super Bowl advertisement pitch deck surfaces

A newly-published storyboard reveals the imagery used to pitch Apple on what would ultimately become its "1984" Super Bowl ad, teasing the launch of the Macintosh.

1984 storyboard



Drawn by Hank Hinton, the storyboard depicts each shot planned by Apple's ad firm, now known as TBWA\Chiat\Day. Prior to "1984," Jay Chiat was rejecting most of his own firm's concepts, Business Insider said.

After settling on an idea, a nervous ad team presented the storyboard to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and then-CEO John Sculley. Jobs was immediately enthusiastic.

"The first thing was Steve just saying 'Oh s---. This is amazing'," according to Sculley.

The final ad, directed by "Alien" and "Blade Runner" creator Ridley Scott, played on fears in the early 1980s that computers were too big, complex, and/or expensive to be used by the average person, even though the Apple II had been on the market for several years. The Macintosh was Apple's first mass-market computer with a graphical interface and a mouse, making it a success despite a $1,995 initial price tag —the equivalent of $4,922 today.

Apple spent some $1.5 million on the ad, which only aired once nationally during Super Bowl XVIII, ushering in the era of the prestige Super Bowl spot. Its only other TV appearances were in late-night local spots to qualify for awards, and in news broadcasts that handed the company free publicity.