Former Apple Engineer Posts Unseen Mac TV Ad From 1983
Not every inside peek into early Apple innovations has to come out of unsealed Apple v. Samsung documents these days. Early Apple engineer and current Googler Andy Hertzfeld has shared a fun inside look at what could have been the first TV commercial for the Mac.
Hertzfeld, a member of the original Macintosh team, has posted an unaired promotional video for the Mac on YouTube. Hertzfeld explained in a Google+ post that the video never publicly aired because — wait for it — “Apple deemed it too self-congratulatory.”
“We designed Macintosh really because we wanted one for ourselves, and we couldn’t get one,” Apple hardware engineer Burrell Smith says in the video’s opening. Hertzfeld, George Crow (manager of analog design), Bill Atkinson (Apple fellow), and Mike Murray (Macintosh marketing manager) also make appearances in the video.
Interestingly, Apple abandoned the unaired TV spot for the now-legendary 1984 TV commercial that aired during Super Bowl XVIII. That ad certainly doesn’t come across as any less humble: Apple traded the “self-congratulatory” schtick for something more akin to “We’re all doomed unless you buy a Mac.”
And Apple’s more recent commercials, as well as videos shown to introduce products at Apple media events, also veer straight into brazen self-congratulations. What’s more, in court last week, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller said that the company uses a “product as a hero” advertising approach, placing its gear front and center, and extolling landmark innovations.
Apple has come under fire from consumers for false advertising regarding its Siri ads, and some customers have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company.
Hertzfeld was one of the earliest members of the Apple team and was a co-creator of the Mac. In the video, he’s amusingly credited as a “Software Wizard” for the Macintosh. Hertzfeld has been employed as a software engineer at Google since 2005.
You can catch the video in its entirety below.