Unauthorized Obama Internet political ad converts Apple’s famous ‘1984’ commerical (with video)

“It may be the most stunning and creative attack ad yet for a 2008 presidential candidate — one experts say could represent a watershed moment in 21st century media and political advertising,” Carla Marinucci reports for The San Francisco Chronicle. “Yet the groundbreaking 74-second pitch for Democratic Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, which remixes the classic “1984” ad that introduced Apple computers to the world, is not on cable or network TV, but on the Internet.”

“And Obama’s campaign says it had absolutely nothing to do with the video that attacks one of his principal Democratic rivals, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Indeed, the ad’s creator is a mystery, at least for now,” Marinucci reports.

Hillary 1984 ad:

Marinucci reports, “The compelling ‘Hillary 1984’ video recently introduced on YouTube represents ‘a new era, a new wave of politics … because it’s not about Obama,’ said Peter Leyden, director of the New Politics Institute, a San Francisco-based think tank on politics and new media. ‘It’s about the end of the broadcast era.'”

“But some say the ad is just the latest attempt by outside activists to influence political campaigns — or the newest way for campaigns to anonymously attack their opponents.
The video is a sophisticated new take on director Ridley Scott’s controversial Apple ad that caused shock waves with its premiere during the 1984 Super Bowl, and shows the same blond young female athlete running with a sledgehammer toward a widescreen — where an ominous Big Brother figure drones to a mass of zombielike followers,” Marinucci reports. “But this time, the woman is wearing an iPod — and has her candidate’s slogan on her chest. And the Big Brother — whose image she defiantly smashes with a wave of her sledgehammer — is Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner.”

“The tagline for the attack: ‘On Jan. 14, the Democratic primary will begin. And you’ll see why 2008 won’t be like 1984.’ An updated Apple symbol — transformed into an O — is followed by the dramatically emerging logo: BarackObama.com,” Marinucci reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: In June 1999, TV Guide ran a cover story on the “50 Greatest Commercials of All Time.” Apple’s “1984” ad was #1 on the list. TV Guide wrote:

“With a single airing during Super Bowl XVIII, ‘1984’ did more to change the way ads are created and viewed than any commercial in years. It was not the most heartwarming spot nor a big laugh getter, but it turned a little-known brand into a household name and set a new commercial standard for production values and cinematic style. ‘1984’ also raised the financial stakes: Apple spent a then-outlandish sum of $400,000 to produce the ad and $500,000 to air it; 15 years later, a minute of Super Bowl time costs $3.2 million. Lee Clow, then executive creative director of Chiat/Day, recalls that ‘1984’ almost debuted during a lowlier college bowl game. ‘We had to make a last-minute switch to the Super Bowl because Apple wanted to air the ad closer to the date when the product would actually be available for sale,’ he says. ‘Funny how something that simple could have changed a big piece of advertising history.”

Did you know that Apple’s “1984” commercial, widely credited with starting the Super Bowl advertising craze, actually aired twice? The actual first airing was on a small U.S. local station — KMVT-TV (Twin Falls, Idaho) on December 15, 1983 in the 1:00am sign-off slot — in order for the spot to qualify for 1983 advertising awards.

Apple remastered the famous spot to incorporate an iPod and showed it at MacWorld Expo in January 2004. “We couldn’t resist,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs:

Related articles:
Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial named best Super Bowl ad ever – February 01, 2007


  1. Power corrupts. Bushs mafia clan and his crumbling credibility are a proof that democracy needs change. It now is the democrats turn, four more years of republicans would be VERY bad for the US.

  2. Hillary is not a bad egg. She is an opportunist, though, as is Bill. I’d prefer someone who genuinely cares about people – the real people, salt of the Earth, and all that (i.e. not Bush’s ‘Haves & Have Mores’).

    MW=behind, as in ‘Perhaps Al Gore is behind this commercial?’

  3. Disappointing. I have no opinion of the candidates or the parties. That’s for another time and place. But what I am appalled at is that one group representing a candidate would so blatantly rip off a brilliant commerical like Apple’s 1984 ad that is not in the public domain. It cheapens the original ad by orders of magnitude. And the doctoring of the original was totally lame. If they were going to rip off the original 1984 commercial, they could have at least done it justice.

    There was little imagination. If you want to market your candidate as someone with new ideas, this is NOT the way to do it.

    If I were Obama, I’d be PO’d. That some group, whether they were affiliated with his campaign officially or not, would feel the way to represent their candiate was by ripping off private property is pretty lame.

  4. I guess I’d wish to make a very public disclaimer and apology if I were Obama.

    Ripping off other others’ campaigns and ideas is *not unusual* where politicians are concerned, but being tainted by association must be a p.o. for anyone.

    Cute though!

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  5. That is really shameless, that isn’t creative, they’ve just taken something great and turned it into pathetic election propaganda. Apple’s attorney’s should SUE!!! Although I would like to see a commercial where he shouts “OBAMA BITCH!”

  6. This is blatant plagiarism. Apple should sue the snot out of the idiot who thought this up. Wait, someone like this acutally had a thought?

    If this was my work being butchered, I would be calling my own lawyers for multi-million dollar suits. Not only for plagiarism but for libel against the reputation that the original ad stood for.

    At least Global PC referenced the commercial, not stole it outright.

    It is now tarnished and will forever be.

  7. Well, lets just chime in on this one.

    First, lets face it, this is not creative, nor innovative. I would expect better from Microsoft!

    Second, to let them (the politicians) use such work to defame each other is also wrong. Lawyers have started to land outside the Obama headquarters as we speak!

    Third, I would like to give hope to this up and coming election. America is not lost, nor was she ever! She is not controlled by big money or over see interests. America is OUR country and we should fight for her! We should but aside the pity little difference that we have and do what is best not for you and me, but for the future of this country. Lets take this up and coming election and make a turning point in OUR country’s history. Lets not let the naw-sayers; the want’abe’s and those fat cats in Washington have their way! We, the America people, have just started to take back this country from the over zealot republican’s who have used everything from terrorism to God himself to try to control, manipulate and to just give us FUD over OUR future of America!

    Lastly, I just received confirmation that the lawyers have made contact. Hostiles are in site and DTA on squashing all hostile activity is almost here!

  8. whoa… Obama will be lucky if Hillary doesn’t have him killed a la Vinced Foster for this blasphemy. This thing showed up on Drudge last night (the Clinton’s favorite website) so the whole world could have a chuckle at her expense.

    Barak is fixin’ to go out… Tarantino-style.

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