“On January 24th Apple Computer will introduce Machintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like “1984”.
While the Super Bowl is still far off, the thought of it got my brain turning again…and while every year we see new brilliant ads run, we always return to the same subject of 1984 and asking the same questions: What made it so great? Why is it still so potent? Was it that they only ran the commercial once? Was it that it only ran during the Super Bowl? Was it that they didn’t show the product? Was it Lee Clow of TBWA/Chiat+Day? Was it Ridely Scott?
It’s not fair…
It’s really not…there is still pressure from a commercial that was produced before I was even a “wink in my dad’s eye”…to replicate the success of this damn thing.
Here are some inside thoughts on it:
1) They were introducting something that was revolutionary…it was the first time there was computer with a mouse interface…and a regular consumer could buy this…it wasn’t “the car that’s coming out in 5 years”…(game changer)
2) They had a client who believed in the product and wanted something that didn’t look like anything that had been done before……despite his board saying that it was stupid to run an expensive commercial that didn’t even show the product…Steve Jobs said, “I’ll pay for half of it if you’ll cover the other half”….(yeah, that actually freakin’ happened!)
In a viral age, we should be able to replicate this…but far too often we keep running into the same issue. We try to replicate the success in a world that has become increasingly saturated.
Here’s the deal: in 1984 the average person got hit up with 1,000 touches a day…..today, we are molested with over 4,000 touches EVERY DAY. It’s harder. You have to do something special like Chiat/Day + Apple’s “1984”, but at the same time now you have to do something different: you need to be a talkable brand.
This year the big buzz surrounds the Old Spice commercial…but here’s the real issue: they created a nova. A brilliant star that faded faster than it rose to the surface. They f*ed up the idea. It’s not about a creating a nova….that doesn’t work anymore. You need to have a strategy that lasts longer than 3 months. You need a real campaign that will keep feeding the need for more content by the public. If you don’t do this….then when they reach the end of the content on your YouTube channel….you’re done….Dear John, that’s it…thanks for playing….now the attention is moving on to the next YouTube recommended content piece, until I run into a dead end and decided to go to bed.
It has to be more. You have to create a character, a story, a reason for people to come back…you cannot finish the story. You cannot create a short story and expect to become a giant…you have to create the trilogy. You have to put your company in a good to great situation.
The great example of this for me, is the story of Tesla Motors. These guys have a nobel mission: create an oil free car. They are battling against the big brother corporations……I CANNOT GET ENOUGH FROM THESE GUYS! I need them to succeed! They are me. I relate to their mission: hate the big man, they want to do good by humanity….I mean literally they could run me over with with this car and I would still want to own one….because I relate to their story!