Everyone remembers ‘1984,’ the Superbowl television commercial that seemed to launch Apple Computers into the public consciousness by positioning the company as an alternative to a faceless corporate future dystopia (If you don’t, you can see it here). It’s slightly less known, however, that Steve Jobs starred in an accompanying video called ‘1944,’ playing Franklin D. Roosevelt and planning out a world war for the future of personal computing. Subtle? Not exactly, but definitely a lot of fun.
Uncovered by Network World’s Paul McNamara, ‘1944’ offers up a far longer – Nine minutes – and far less serious take on the idea of a conflict between then-new upstart Apple Computers and the dominant brand of the time, IBM. Filmed for a meeting of Apple’s international sales force in 1984, the short film features Jobs and other Apple employees mixed with professional actors in a surreal alternate history world where PC users are zombies suffering from a plague that only Apple can cure. After all, as Jobs himself says,
One Mac can change a person’s way of life. Imagine the power of many Macs tied together in the MacIntosh office. Imagine the power of Mac offices multiplying around the globe, the power to smash the Big Blue monoblob.
Ah, the ’80s. It was a stranger time, apparently – A time where people cared about IBM, for one, never mind called the company “the Big Blue monoblob.” The question is, what color of monoblob is Apple these days? In a strange way, this resurfaced advertisement may turn out to just be part of a Steve Jobs revival; a 1995 television interview with the Apple founder is to be released in movie theaters next week, with distributors Magnolia Pictures describing the hour long conversation as “a valuable piece of history that has thankfully been rescued from obscurity.” What’s next? Jobs’ old home movies remastered for 3D IMAX viewing?