Media: Apple's HAL Y2k Commercial to Air on Super Bowl : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I believe this may be the first mainstream media commercial that deals directly with Y2k and is from a large corporation with strong brand identity. Also this commercial will air to a massive audience.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- For Immediate Release

Apple's HAL Commercial to Air on Super Bowl

Famous Computer Reveals Macintosh is Free from Y2K Bug

CUPERTINO, CaliforniaPDJan. 25, 1999PDApple Computer, Inc. and its advertising agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, have created a 60-second television commercial to announce that the MacintoshRg does not suffer from the Y2K problem that is plaguing the rest of the world's computers. In Apple's creative tradition, the message is delivered by HAL, the computer from Stanley Kubrick's classic motion picture, "2001: A Space Odyssey."

"HAL is the perfect spokesperson to address the Y2K issue because he lives in the year 2001 and can speak from experience," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. "Plus, HAL is the world's foremost expert on things that can go wrong with computers."

Jobs debuted the HAL commercial during his keynote speech at Macworld Expo in San Francisco on January 5, 1999. Apple also provided the commercial on its web site ( for downloading, and over 250,000 copies of the commercial have been downloaded since January 5.

Beginning immediately after HAL's debut, Apple began receiving hundreds and then thousands of emails from people pleading for HAL to appear on national broadcast television. Based on this phenomenal viewer response, Apple has decided to show HAL on this year's Super Bowl, which is expected to draw an audience exceeding 100 million viewers. HAL will appear during the first commercial break immediately following the kickoff.

Apple Computer, Inc. ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II, and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Apple is now recommitted to its original mission to bring the best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, engineers, businesspersons and consumers in over 140 countries around the world. ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Although I am a Mac owner and user I also understand the complexity of the issues with respect to Y2k. This commercial takes those issues straight on by bluntly saying there will be severe global economic problems associated with Y2k.

Apple certainly has a market here in that their systems and OS are compliant. They don't speak to issues regarding non-compliant software however. Even so, I'm glad they have taken the lead in pressing home, right into many homes, the message HAL has to offer regarding Y2k.

Is there another computer embedded within the depths of American psyche that has painted a more perfect picture of what might happen if systems misbehaved? As a creative individual working in Advertising I salute both Apple and especially Chiat/Day for their message and their professional skill.

It's kind of cool to see how quickly and easily we "creative types" "get it".

Should be interesting to see how other people react.

Mike ===================================

-- Michael Taylor (, January 25, 1999


Michael, How will they react? That's an easy one. They won't care. Thought process: "Recliner? Check. Remote control? Check. Budweiser? Check. 401(k) still kickin' butt? Check. I'm not going to run around like an idiot because of some computer problem. Get a life." This thought process will occur simultaneously in over 99% of viewers.

-- Puddintame (, January 25, 1999.

Ah but Puddintame, as they sip their brewski's they might just wonder if there's more to that Y2K thang ...?

It's a start. My hat, if I wore one, would be off, to Apple's courage to go ... where no major corporation has gone before. Again.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 25, 1999.

FYI: A recent TIME poll says 33% of Americans will stock up on food and water in anticipation of Y2K. My guess is that a few more people will wake up because of this commercial.

-- Abe Voegtle (, January 25, 1999.

Apple plants some seeds of doubt about the so-called "non-event"...

"Did I hear that computer say 'global economic disaster'?"...

Just a few seeds, of course, and others will need to water and tend them, but perhaps that many more will be prepared by year's end...

-- Mac (, January 26, 1999.

Open the pod doors Hal. Sorry Dave.

-- Rusty2k (, January 26, 1999.

So next year's Super Bowl is in Atlanta - brought that up last night at a legislator's briefing for Y2K - got several "oh s**t" looks from several assorted attendees.

So, the question becomes, what commercial will they broadcast (and how) in late Jan 2000?

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, January 26, 1999.

lol Mr. Cook...

How about "THINK DIFFERENT!!! Buy a Mac and save the world!!!"

Honestly, I wonder if production will even be able to continue in the desktop computer market *if* both economic problems and Y2k begin to overwhelm suppliers, etc. overseas.

Mike =====================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (, January 26, 1999.

So, Michael, does that mean there will be a black market for non- toasted Macs beyond 2000?

Heard something about their latest laptop being released with a BayGen handcrank power back-up supply. Know anything about it? Also like the solar array one can get to power a laptop from Real Goods.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 26, 1999.

I worked for Apple in Cupertino for 7 years. Best software engineers in the world. Management sucked however.


-- Runway Cat (, January 26, 1999.

Apples 1984 ad recieved more airtime after the superbowl then the superbowl. Today when they air that ad, it'll be the first time that many Americans will have heard y2k mentioned without the mention of planes falling from the sky.. they will be hearing from a corporation that this y2k thingy is real.. public awareness will be increasing a great deal today, I can only hope the ad is as controversial as the 1984 one was, if so it'll get LOTS of airtime after.

-- Whitney (, January 31, 1999.

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