10 Worst Apple Commercials

Roberto Baldwin's picture

10 Worst Apple Commercials

 

 

#1 - Times were tough in 1994 for Apple. What's a company on the brink of disaster do to restore its former glory. Well, you don't start making infomercials. Without a British spokesperson or shoe to cut through, the Performa infomercial just looks desperate.

 

If you know of an Apple commercial that didn't make the list, but should have. Tell us in the comments.

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JoeAnne

This programs are great to be honest. I don`t know why people voted them as worst. The only reason I would do that it`s because I saw many doctors who listen to their Ipods during their Intervention Program or something like this.

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media sorcerer

ive had such a good laugh from viewing this stuff,thanks so much for that,brilliant stuff,right down to the 80s hair yUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUk ,and the POWERFUL-60MB PROCESSOR,AHAHAHAHAHA,AND EVERYBODIES OPINION TOO,WHAT A FRIGGIN HOOT!!!!!I GOT TO SAVE THIS FOR THE BIG SCREEN,good on you brilliant,thank god the eighties are over hey,

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roystonlodge

That Lisa ad reminded me of the ads Ricardo Montalban did for the Chrysler Cordoba.

Also, the Lisa is "infinitely expandable"?! So, like, I could run World of Warcraft on it?

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mac_daddy

I love Apple, but those were honestly bad commercials.

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evane

The commercial that is number two on the list reminds me of a death march during the holocaust.

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mr100percent

I love the Ellen Feiss ad, it does not belong in the "worst" list. I'd rather you put one of those Blue Dalmation iMac ads in. Whoo

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b_dubb

i thought the ellen ad was great. how many of us have lived through the same experience? watching helplessly as hours of work suddenly disappears. for no apparent reason.

b

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Anonymous

i knew times were bad at some point before the ipod but an infomercial??!! don't get me wrong in 94 i was 13 and barely had an clue of computers. in fact i believe we had an atari. but with that add they reduced the apple computers to time life music compilations. let me guess it probably aired at 2:00 am right before the stations either switched off or went to dating hotlines. another thing i noticed that the 20th anniversary mac has a striking resemblance to many of the all in one pc's coming out.

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JimH

Sure the infomercial looks bad now, especially to our 2008 eyes. But I think that's because the infomercials have gotten worse over the years. Most people correlate the informercial with loud stupid hosts, running at 2am, with palovian trained audiences vapidly oohing and ahing, and pushing crappy over priced products.

Please remember that in the mid-90's Apple was having a hard time trying to differentiate there computers from others. Users were yelling that apple wasn't doing enough to promote it's ease of use over windows. To the masses windows was the same thing as a mac.

It's hard to sell ease of use in a 30 or 60 sec spot. (this is also a reason why Apple now is accused of making nothing but pretty objects. It's easier to sell style in a 30 to 60 second ad.) They felt they needed a longer format to really explain the differences.

They ran these during the day on the weekends and were somewhat effective.

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Drew

That last one was amazing....Who exactly was in charge at Apple in 1994? I don't work in advertising and even "I" can tell that an infomercial format is an extremely bad idea. The beeping one and the Haiku one were horrible also. Were those actually approved by Apple employees? Wow!

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Paul S

Many of these spots are promotional videos made for in-store and PR-Agency exposure (like the 1-min iPod spot--that was a Web video). One of them (Lisa ad) is for a local computer store selling Lisa. Not sure how these become they top-10 worst ADS. Perhaps worst videos. Although, I think the iPod video is ok.

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Anonymous

Firstly, anyone still on dialup in the USA is just asking for trouble. It's time to upgrade - it's BEYOND time to upgrade... Designers have been catering to dial up hold outs for far too long as it is.

Next, the Ellen ad rocked... hardly one of the 10 worst. It actually got more press for Apple among the college demographic than probably any of its ads before, or since. And that sounds like a ringing success to me.

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Anonymous

Upgrade to what exactly? Unfortunately, both satellite and cell phone internet are still expensive, and cell coverage is spotty in many areas, for the same reason DSL coverage is, lack of infrastructure. My mother lives less than five minutes from me, I can get DSL and she can't. Nope, no cell either, poor coverage. Satellite? Not at $90 a month, not for internet bingo and e-mail. She's lucky the dialup works at her house, sometimes it even stops working if it rains too hard.

Some people aren't "holdouts," they just can't get or afford the alternatives. As a good friend says: Economy stands in the way of progress.

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Anonymous

What you apparently don't realize about #4 is that there were a number of Apple ][ clones, many of which played on the fruit theme.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_II#Clones
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Apple_II_clones

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Anonymous

I think it's kind of funny that my iPod has as much ram as the hard drive space in my old IIsi.

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Glenn

Here are my thoughts on some of these ads:

#10 - You know how today's Apple ads and product displays use lots of pictures of hip, young models? Apparently these are the 80's equivalents. Check out that rad hair and clothes!

#9 - What was Apple thinking? Maybe they wanted to get a teenager who looked like she hadn't gotten any sleep in days to illustrate the point that she had to redo her paper b/c her PC ate it up. If that's the case, it worked. "It's kind of ........ a bummer." My thoughts exactly, Ellen.

#7 - This one is in my opinion the worst of them all. It reminds me of one of those cheesy perfume ads, only worse.

#4 - Call me crazy, but I actually like this one. It's so bad it's funny.

#2 - Talk about creepy and depressing. Doesn't that just make you want to go right out and buy Macintosh Office right now?

#1 - It's amazing what we thought was powerful over 10 years ago. The iPod Shuffle has a bigger hard drive than these computers.

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Randy Missildine

That was a great list. I enjoyed seeing some of those commercials for the first time. However, finding the worst ten with a company that doesn't make many bad ones anyway shouldn't be that hard. The real challenge, I think, is to list the ten BEST Apple commercials. Now there's a challenge! Are you up to it, MacLife?

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chexrex

These were a real eye-opener. For all of us who are so used to Apple's slick, sophisticated ads (going back to the "Think Different" series), it's strange to see these clunky and awkward attempts. And the captions were great,too!

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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Ben

You asked for possible additional commercials, I think you covered just about all of them, or as far as my travels on YouTube. Good job.

I personally think that shower commercial was the worst, by the way, though the Feiss commercial was awfully [no pun intended] close.

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Li Ge

A 350MB hdd!?!?!? I don't even know what to say about that!

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Anonymous

yea, 10mb is the standard back then, and 20mb hd is the max thing you can find on earth!

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Eric S

I remember when I got my first 10 MB external hard drive. It was very exciting to not have to run everything off of floppy disks.

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Anonymous

I came here thinking: yeah, but the Performa informercial takes the cake, and they'll probably not even have heard of it. Well done, MacAddict folks!

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Wollie

I thought these ads were actually pretty good.

#5 was funny and showed that you could do more with the Apple computer than do just household "things" with it. Humor sells!

The lemmings commercial was a great one to follow the 1984 commercial. Just as the latter it was a dramatic statement that made me think.

Thanks for putting both in 'cause I'd never seen them before. They just didn't belong in the 10 worst!

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mackerm

For us people with slower connections it would be nice if your embedded movies had a "click to load" button like the trailers at www.apple.com/trailers .

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Tony

You write that "what was Apple thinking airing this disjointed story about a beeping PC?" Just to make it clear, this commercial was never "aired." I'm meaning that no TVstation ever ran it.

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zahadum

first off: my apologies for the giant block of text but this webform sucks ... what kind of crazy webmaster forces posters on a blog to fiddle with html tags ("<hr />") in order to get a simple CRLF? wtf? <hr />for the record, everyone's favorite apple nymphet - ellen feiss - was NOT high on weed -- she had taken some anti-histamines for a cold (maybe allergies too), so she was groggy from the meds. <hr />any real reporter would have done some basic research on google /before/ writing the caption (ellen disclosed this fact in an interview a few years ago). <hr />moreover, anyone who was actually familiar with apple lore would also know that ellen was not actually "cast" for the advert; she tagged along to the studio with a friend who had been officially slated for the shoot, and the director propositioned her - in a good way, one supposes ... though with such a tasty morsel one can certainly imagine otherwise ;-) <hr />as to being included in the hall of shame - well, since you didnt really specify any concrete criteria for good/bad, it is fair to say that being a hit a key demographic group must certainly qualify as some kind of success! <hr />sigh. now look what you have done, getting all my ellen-protection-feelings going: i feel like that crazy girl on youtube who demands - crying hysterically - that everyone should stop picking on brittany spears :-) <hr />so i hope you are happy with yourself! < hr/>anyways - we still love you ellen. <hr />ps: why can't GO DADDY get cuter, more natural girls like ellen? ... the pneumatic thing they have going is just way overdone!

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vizulefllry

I like your term tasty morsel.  I use that a lot too.  haha 

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Anonymous

It did air. I remember seeing it. There was also an accompanying print ad campaign.

Check the wired article from 2002:
http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/commentary/cultofmac/2002/08/54333

There was a second Ellen ad with a Powerbook G4 that did NOT air.

Check your facts. And say no to drugs. (Ref. to Ellen.)

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