Here are the original ideas and storyboard behind Apple's iconic 1984 Super Bowl ad

YouTube/Steve Hayden
  • In 1984, Apple aired what may be the most famous Super Bowl ad of all time.
  • It ends with the iconic phrase: “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.”
  • See an original storyboard for the ad, provided to Business Insider’s podcast “Household Name” by one of the people behind the spot.
  • To hear the full story of 1984, subscribe to Business Insider’s podcast “Household Name.”

There are a lot of Super Bowl ads that are seared into the American memory, but few have had the impact of Apple’s “1984” spot, which aired in – when else – 1984.

The Ridley Scott-directed clip shows an athlete running through a series of emotionless men, eventually hurling a hammer through a screen displaying “Big Brother,” the personification of a dystopian state, a reference to George Orwell’s novel “1984.”

At the end of the ad is the iconic tagline and first mention of Apple’s products: “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.’”

But before the ad was even filmed, Apple’s ad agency needed buy-in from Apple cofounder Steve Jobs and then-CEO John Sculley.

The tech executives were shown a storyboard, or a series of pictures that describe what the ad would look like when it was actually filmed.

The ad men were nervous – especially when Jay Chiat, an executive at Apple’s ad agency, was tearing up every idea before they were finished.

But it turns out that Jobs loved the idea when they showed it to him. “The first thing was Steve just saying oh s—. This is amazing,” Sculley told Business Insider’s podcast, Household Name.

Here is a verion of that storyboard, courtesy of Steve Hayden, and drawn by Hank Hinton, who worked on the ad:

Apple 1984 storyboardCourtesy of Steve Hayden

Business Insider’s podcast Household Name will reveal this and lots of other new details about Apple’s iconic advertisement in the full episode airing Wednesday, including the unique ways that Apple found extras for the spot as well as why Jobs was sceptical about airing an ad during the Super Bowl.

The full episode comes out Wednesday. Click here to subscribe to Household Name.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.