Campaign India Team
Jan 28, 2009

Why "The Mac is Obama, Microsoft is McCain"

Steve Jobs didn't say that. On the 25th anniversary of the original Macintosh I chanced upon this provocative quote in an article by Steven Levy, senior writer of Wired. It was contrarian, controversial and cultural. Very much like the Mac.Apple introduced the Mac with the famous "1984" television commercial made by Ridley Scott that ran on the Super Bowl. This spot, that was aired only once, invoked author George Orwell's message and stood as a warning against conformity.

Why

Steve Jobs didn't say that. On the 25th anniversary of the original Macintosh I chanced upon this provocative quote in an article by Steven Levy, senior writer of Wired. It was contrarian, controversial and cultural. Very much like the Mac.
Apple introduced the Mac with the famous "1984" television commercial made by Ridley Scott that ran on the Super Bowl. This spot, that was aired only once, invoked author George Orwell's message and stood as a warning against conformity.
Think different. Change the world. Stand for something. Stay hungry… stay foolish. These are messages that are so Mac, so Apple, so Steve Jobs. You can't separate the company from the product, the charismatic leader from the passionate user. It was a giant living organism of Mac beings. The machine was part of a larger collective state of mind. It was like the Mac and its founders had touched a new cosmic consciousness. They were in the flow. They had created an alternative mainstream…one that was driving and inspiring greater creativity and fiercely promoting the power of the individual.
In his speech during the unveiling of the Mac in 1984, Steve Jobs said, "IBM wants it all and is aiming its guns on its last obstacle to industry control, Apple. Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry, the entire information age? Was George Orwell right?"
He went on to play the '1984' commercial, amidst hysterical screaming. It was the theatre of a man out to challenge, sneer and bring down the giant. Steve Jobs walked over to a bag, unzipped it and took the computer out. And he let the Macintosh speak. In a soft machine like voice the Mac said, "Hello, I am Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag. Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I'd like to share with you a thought that occurred to me the first time I met an IBM mainframe. Never trust a computer you can't lift."
The crowd went ballistic! The auditorium roared with approval. As John Sculley the CEO and co-leader of Apple said in his book Odyssey, "For a moment he had created more than an insanely great product. He had created a church."
The Mac had turned Apple into a place of worship. It had become a cathedral that encouraged contrarian thinking. You always need some level of dissent. There should always be a level of tension between discipline and anarchy. Dissent stimulates friction and thought - leading to unique points of view. People come to the Mac because they wanted something of themselves. There was a new personality type emerging. It was about artists, in all fields of science and commerce.
Writing for Wired, Steven Levy says "A sense of a cultural divide was there from the very beginning and persists to this day. The skunkworkers behind the Mac were self-styled corporate outcasts who flew a pirate flag and talked trash about the competition. They made it clear that they saw themselves as a new kind of digital hipster—silicon artists determined to take down the faceless giants dominating the industry. They weren't building a computer for some wonks behind a desk; they were building it for themselves."
In a sense, the Mac continues to represent the creative surge of Silicon Valley… a perennial symbol for defiance and the challenge of authority. A state of perpetual Renaissance! Even today, the Mac continues to influence and dominate the creative world with an imaginative ballet of technology and design, science and artistry!
"It's the 25th anniversary of the Apple Macintosh, but Steve Jobs' eyes are dry" says Steven Levy. Jobs recoiled at any suggestion of nostalgia. "If you look backward in this business, you'll be crushed. You have to look forward."
 
Josy Paul, national creative director and chairman, BBDO India

Source:
Campaign India