Motorola '1984' Super Bowl Ad: Was it as Good as Apple's Original?

The commercial for the upcoming Xoom tablet got a lot of buzz during the Super Bowl yesterday, in part because Motorola had the balls to take on one of the most famous television ads of all time.

Motorola's ad, which features a lone individual among a mass of unthinking iDrones, is a direct tweak on Apple's domination of the tablet market—a position some might call ironic, given Apple's "Think Different" campaign and their iconic '1984' ad nearly twenty years ago.

Apple's original 1984 commercial also ran during the Super Bowl (third quarter, Super Bowl XVIII), introducing the world to the Macintosh computer through a heroine smashing an Orwellian screen, representing the Macintosh's ability to save humanity from computer conformity. Directed by Ridley Scott, the ad won all kinds of awards and is widely considered to be one of the most successful American television commercials in history.


The Motorola ad shows a similar theme, even giving us a quick glance of what our hero is reading on his Xoom (1984, natch. Although the fine print does say All screen images simulated). In this case, though, it's Apple who has become Big Brother—with an important shift in the tone. It's clever in that you get a sense that the cultlike atmosphere of the ubiquitous white earbuds is by choice, one that's simple to walk away from if you so desire.

Here is video of both ads, 1984 first:


As someone currently typing this article on a Macbook, with an iPad, an iPhone, and an iPod nearby, I think Motorola's commercial was brilliant. A perfect jab at a company who produces amazing products that I will likely continue to buy, but is not above criticism or lampooning.

Will it go down in history as revered as the original 1984 ad? Not likely. Still, give that ad company a biscuit, because good job.

What do you think of Motorola's Xoom ad?

Image via YouTube

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