There’s a danger in understating the impact that the original Apple Macintosh had on the personal computer market with a story like this. To set the record straight, the Macintosh was one of the first commercially successful personal computers which included what we would recognize as a GUI. In many the Macintosh really was an amazing achievement.
That said, Andy Hertzfeld (who was part of the original Apple Macintosh development team) posted some rarely seen interview clips which were not used in national broadcasts because they were seen by apple as being “too-self congratulatory.” At least, according to the message Hertzfeld attached to the video when he published it to his Google+ feed. This is coming from a company that would soon publish their most iconic commercial, which associates Apple as a force for freedom against their competition’s Orwellian conformity.
Given Apple’s reputation as a company of notorious self-congratulators, I suspect the bigger reason these interviews with Apple’s development team weren’t used as ads is because the cliched statements about how game changing the Macintosh is doesn’t really sell the product itself. It’s an example of why technology companies need to hire professional advertising talent. Take a look:
Burrell Smith, billed as Apple’s ‘hardware Wizard’ said that, “Mac is a big extension of who we think we are and where we think we’re going.”
‘Apple Fellow’ Bill Atkinson added, “Demonstrating a mactintosh is the only way to do it. You got to show somebody. I can’t really describe it to you in words. but if I can get you to sit in front of it and play with it, you won’t let go of it.” So many other products make the same claim, I sometimes feel like I’m in a third-rate knockoff of the Matrix.
I mean sure George Crow, the Macintosh is a quarter of the cost of anything you’ve ever designed. What can it do for me, though? Why should I want one?
It’s not that the statements are particularly bad, it’s just that they don’t strike me as material for the caliber of ads Apple is known for.
What do you think of Apple’s lost ad footage? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.