Techno Parody

March 5, 2015 1:53 pm

Has Apple become a parody of itself?

I was recently shown a commercial from the the Superbowl Half-Time show from 1984. It was an Apple Macintosh Computers commercial depicting a harsh, cold and indoctrinated dystopian world, with everybody seemingly obeying the voice/face on the screen. In comes a colourful woman and smashes the oppressor, freeing the populace from his vice like grip. It is only right to presume that Apple was clearly dressing up its competitors as the evil Big Brother character from George Orwell’s famous future fatal novel, hoping to show people that they were an entirely different type of company.

Check out the commercial below.

Walking along Liverpool street a few days later, I saw this:


The comparisons I drew were between Apple’s depiction of the “1984” nightmare society and the way that they have filled their own proverbial shoes. Staring up at that billboard, with the iPhone 6 gleaming like the obelisk from “2001: A Space Odyssey”, I felt that the cycle was complete. As company’s, bands, businessmen, and individuals become successful, they often imitate that which they once fought against. The “Kings of Leon” were a less-than-well-known rock band before “Sex is on Fire” was released, reinforcing to their fans at concerts that ‘We didn’t sell out!’. It seems that in this case, Apple have reached the stage where they have crushed the competition by crafting their own unique market of slick, polished technology.

Upon arriving on the platform at Liverpool street station, I saw this:

This ad campaign from Google’s Android is almost a direct strike at Apple and iPhone, urging people to be “Together, not the same”, exactly what Apple were doing with their 1984 ad. All of the colourful, interesting Android characters are shown standing out on a grey background, which is presumably “The World Gone Simple”. It is amazing to see how these two giants are mimicking the companies that they competing against; Apple now taking over as the monolithic giant to be bowed down to, and Android sneaking in with cheeky digs at the conformity of modern society and technology.

There is no right and wrong here, just a very intriguing scenario that these kinds of companies are playing out. Once you get so big, what else can you do to keep that ‘down to earth’ vibe?

Barney Soanes.

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