It remains one of the most famous television advertisements broadcast, capturing the spirit of its age.
Chased by riot police, a blonde, female runner sprints through a lifeless, monochrome crowd carrying a sledgehammer. She runs towards a giant screen on which Big Brother is intoning a monotonous speech. The runner winds up the hammer and hurls it at the screen, causing it to explode. “You’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984,” a portentous voice proclaims.
The mesmerising advertisement, directed by Ridley Scott of Blade Runner fame, announced the launch of the Apple Macintosh personal computer. It seemed to encapsulate Silicon Valley’s counterculture and caused a media sensation at the time. “Our idea was that Big Brother represented the control of technology by the few,” Lee Clow, the ad’s creative director, said later.