Well, it was 30 years ago this week. January 22, 1984 to be exact. I was watching Super Bowl XVIII, Redskins vs. Raiders. It was a good ‘ol fashioned ass-whippin’. The Raiders defeated the Redskins by the score of 38–9. Not much of a game. But the game changed my life. Well, not the game, but a commercial that ran in the game. It was Apple’s classic 1984 commercial for Macintosh. It blew me away. It’s one of the reasons I’m in the advertising business.
The very next day I was in the computer store, ordering my Mac. The original Mac was a funny looking tan computer and monitor in one, with a black and white monitor, no hard drive, and a thing called a mouse. Cute. It cost $2500. The price didn’t matter to me, something about it spoke to my creative side.
I loved my Mac. I bought virtually every new model they came out with. Eventually I started a little ad agency in Connecticut called Media Concepts. We purchased and installed one of the very first Apple desktop publishing systems in the Northeast. Suddenly we were designing and producing ads digitally. We had to explain to the type houses and eventually to the newspapers that we could give them ads on a floppy disc, no paper involved. I remember driving discs containing our client’s ads into Manhattan to give them to the production guys at the New York Times, and explaining to them how they could weave our digital ads into their antiquated production system. We were pushing these union guys, and they pushed back. But a couple were interested in what we were doing and together we made it work. It was a thrill to see our digital ads in print in the next day’s paper.
Years passed and Bob Abbate Marketing was born. We’re 100% Mac. Been that way since day one. Not a PC in the entire joint.
Me and by buddy Mac have come a long way together. Today, virtually all our creative is done on a Mac. Every idea, concept, newspaper ad, logo design, radio commercial, TV spot, and proposal.
Some say that advertising doesn’t work. That commercial I saw back in 1984 worked. It changed my life. Thanks Mac, and happy birthday. Oh, that Mac I bought back in 1984… I still have it, even though it was retired long ago.