The Apple Commercials of the 1980s

I was a member of the Quiz Bowl team in High School. County champs baby! A great perk of the team? We got to leave school early and travel to other exotic high schools. Two things struck me on traveling from school to school. School bus travel is very dangerous and the computers at my school were really lame. All of these other schools had Apples, my school had Commodore PETs.

Now I am a big fan of the Commodore, but when you compare the IIe to the PET their really isn’t much of a contest. I would see commercials for Apple on TV and it seemed like a world away — Some exotic computer that only kids in movies or TV shows had in their bedrooms. So it was shocking to see that almost every other school had them.


I was a Commodore user right up until I went to college, where I was introduced to the wider world of PC computing. Still the Apple commercials of the 1980s, and their promise of a “cooler” computing experience, will always haunt me. Here are a few of my favorites:

Nightmare on Mac Street

Test Drive a Macintosh

Bring Your Mac to Work

Apple for the Homemaker

Kind of Creepy Local Commercial for Lisa

Macintosh SE

The Computer for the Rest of Us


Watching these commercials again makes me think I should upgrade from my Diamond Rio and get an iPod.


The Retroist

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

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