Common • Tuesday Photo Challenge is my submission into Dutch goes the Photo challenge of the week. As usual, it is as brutally imaginative as it is common: ‘Whether it is the every day, common object or the things that you have in common, or crossing the town common… This is a word that allows for plenty of creative directions to be taken, so feel free to take the one that speaks to you!’
A revolution that turned into common-ness
This photo is of the very first Macintosh that was introduced slightly over 35 years ago (!) and that rocked the world for the three-and-a-half decade that followed.
I remember vividly how my brother one evening lugged home an IBM workstation, to which my father said ‘putting handles on a washing machine doesn’t mean it’s portable.’ But the most intimidating thing was when it had finally booted up; green command-lines on a black screen.
Then, roughly half a year later, a friend showed me, on his Sony Betamax machine, the 1984 commercial from Apple. The impact that one commercial had on me as a young man who just started out as a junior copywriter in a leading advertising agency was immense. I had never heard of someone who had the balls to spend the vast majority of his ad-budget on production costs and the cost of airing it just once (during the Superbowl). All of a sudden I realised two things: I wanted, come hell or high water, to make it to the podium of the Cannes Festival. The second was that I dearly wanted one of those insanely great machines.
Insanely great on its way to overpriced common-ness?
Call a Mac overpriced common-ness may sound bordering blasphemy, but the same friend who introduced me to the Mac called his new iMac exactly that. Overpriced and common. And to a certain level he’s dead-right. Apple is hugely expensive and seems to have become the norm that has however been successfully emulated by many Windows machines. The only point-of-difference that still makes the price worthwhile is its super-intuitive OS.
And as a fellow copywriter snarled at the finance director who threatened to substitute her Apple for a much more cost-efficient Windows machine: ‘the only way you can take away my Mac is when you’ve succeeded prying its mouse from my cold, dead fingers.’
Obviously I had no part in taking either of these photos which were probably sourced by Apple’s marketing PR dept. around the launch January 24, 1984. I just lifted them from the web. Which meant I had to do some (extensive) post prod in Apple Photos, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to make them look half-decent.