An Oral History of the ‘Get a Mac’ Ad Campaign

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Apple’s “Get a Mac” commercials, Campaign US put together an excellent oral history from the people who made them. Here’s a bit on Steve Jobs’s involvement, after the campaign had become a hit:

Jason Sperling: We wouldn’t go to Steve and say, “Here are the scripts we’re thinking of shooting.” We would tell him the topic we were thinking about, or find out what topic he was thinking about, and then we would develop based on that.

Danielle Kays: They wouldn’t directly reference Steve Jobs in our conversations. They might say, “Oh, he didn’t like that shade of blue on the shirt,” or, “He doesn’t like flowers on a woman’s shirt.” I was led to believe it could be that small a detail that a commercial wouldn’t air.

Phil Morrison (director): I might say, “Oh, what if we had this character wearing blank,” and they’d say, “Well, you know, we learned that Steve doesn’t really like it when characters wear blank.” That’s how I would learn of those notes.

Alicia Dotter (copywriter): You’d shoot 20 to get three. That was always a tough thing to do. Sometimes you get three and sometimes you wouldn’t get any. Sometimes they would just be like, “No. None of them.”

Phil Morrison: That’s never how it works on a commercial shoot. Usually if a spot doesn’t air, something went horribly wrong.

There’s also a podcast episode, with Justin Long and John Hodgman. (Overcast users: here’s a link to subscribe in Overcast. It’s tricky to get Soundcloud-hosted podcasts into a podcast player.)

Wednesday, 14 December 2016