The “1984” commercial launched Apple’s Macintosh personal computer in the United States in January, 1984. The 45-second ad, which aired during a break in the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, was declared the best ad of the last 50 years in 1995. Directed by Alien and Blade Runner director Ridley Scott, the advertisement cost $1.6 million to produce and was aired only once.
Invite students to learn more about advertising, especially commercial advertising:
- Critical Media Literacy: Commercial Advertising
- Decoding the Dystopian Characteristics of Macintosh’s “1984” Commercial
- A Healthy Dose of Super Bowl Ads?
- Identifying and Understanding the Fallacies Used in Advertising
- Persuasive Techniques in Advertising
- Super (Advertising) Bowl!
- Television Commercials; Moving Image Collections
After visiting one or more of the resources on advertising, invite students create original advertisements. Have students review the advertising techniques they’ve studied (propaganda, advertising fallacies). Next, have students identify a subject for their ad, such as a favorite television program, streaming show, or product; an upcoming event; or a political candidate. Then, ask small groups to create advertisements designed to persuade others to use a product, hold a viewpoint, or participate in an activity.
And for maximum learning and enjoyment, make time for students to share their work!