How the Best Super Bowl Commercial Was Almost Cancelled by Apple

By Casey Chan on at

You know Apple's 1984 commercial. You've seen Apple's 1984 commercial. Heck, it's widely accepted that the 1984 commercial is one of the best ads of all time. But did you know it was almost cancelled by Apple before it ever aired?

Of course, it wasn't almost cancelled by Steve Jobs, who loved the ad. It was almost cancelled by the suits sitting on Apple's board. Former Apple board member Mike Markkula actually wanted to fire ChiatDay (the ad agency who handled Apple marketing at the time) because the commercial was so bad and CEO-at-the-time John Sculley told ChiatDay to just sell the Super Bowl airtime Apple purchased instead of using it for the commercial. EVERYONE ON THAT BOARD HATED IT.

ChiatDay only ended up selling 1 of the 2 airtime slots they had (refusing to sell the other and lying to Apple that it was too late to sell). So Apple begrudgingly held on, it had paid for everything already, after all.

The best part of the story is when Woz heard that the commercial was in trouble, he told Jobs that he would pay half the $800,000 it cost for the airtime to save the commercial if Jobs would pay the other half. The lesson, as always, Woz is the awesome. Read more about Apple's 1984 Super Bowl commercial at Mental Floss. [Mental Floss]