You may need heard that the largest soccer recreation of the 12 months occurring this Sunday—that’s “American soccer” for these within the U.Ok. However it’s not simply concerning the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs: The Tremendous Bowl is the most-watched sporting occasion within the U.S. as a lot for the commercials as for the sport.
As tech publications like this one wish to level out, Apple made what is maybe probably the most memorable business in Tremendous Bowl historical past method again in 1984. This typically results in the thought that Apple and the Tremendous Bowl go hand-in-hand, however really, Apple’s historical past with the sport is kind of quick. However nonetheless, yearly we hope Apple makes use of the largest stage to showcase or tease a brand new product. And yearly we’re upset.
However Tremendous Bowl LVII may very well be totally different. After a 10-year run by Pepsi, Apple Music is sponsoring the Tremendous Bowl halftime present, which is that includes Rihanna’s first main stay look since 2016. Suffice it to say, it will likely be watched by some 100 million folks, one of many largest audiences Apple has ever had. It’s the primary time Apple is sponsoring the present, so we don’t actually know what to anticipate. Will Rihanna be sporting AirPods? Will MacBooks grace the stage? And most significantly, will Apple run an advert in the course of the massive recreation?
Earlier than we get to Sunday, right here’s a historical past of Apple’s Tremendous Bowl advertisements.
Apple’s 1984 advert is usually referred to as the biggest business in Tremendous Bowl historical past. Directed by Ridley Scott of “Alien” and “Blade Runner” fame, the 60-second advert solely aired solely as soon as, as the primary business going into halftime of Tremendous Bowl XVIII. Its theme was based mostly on George Orwell’s novel, 1984, and the business’s bleak, dystopian imagery struck a chord throughout an period of populist conservatism and the Chilly Battle. It was designed to generate hype for the announcement of the Macintosh on January 24, 1984, and it definitely achieved its purpose.
Scott’s route left an enduring impression on common tradition, a lot in order that “Apple” and “Tremendous Bowl” are synonymous–despite the fact that this advert didn’t characteristic a single Apple product.
In 1985, Apple–effectively conscious of how efficient 1984 was–aired a second advert throughout Tremendous Bowl XIX. Titled Lemmings, the business was directed by Tony Scott, brother of Ridley, and includes a related tone to promote a brand new software program suite referred to as Macintosh Workplace, which was designed to attach a Macintosh to a printer and a file server.
The advert tried to seize the tone of 1984 and it positively left an impression on viewers—simply not the one Apple meant. With an enormous hype marketing campaign that included seat cushions in the course of the massive recreation and full-page newspaper advertisements warning viewers to skip their fourth-quarter rest room break—Lemmings didn’t sit effectively with viewers. Folks watching discovered the advert miserable and insulting, and nowhere close to as attractive as 1984.
After the Lemmings debacle, 15 years glided by earlier than Apple determined to debut a brand new business in the course of the Tremendous Bowl. The advert starred HAL from 2001: A Area Odyssey, and with Stanley Kubrick’s blessing, was a part of a theme with the AI antagonist that included the Macworld San Francisco and WWDC keynotes. The advert got here throughout a time when there was rising concern that computer systems would cease working int he new 12 months due to the Y2K bug, and chaos would ensue.
Apple used the advert to advertise the Mac’s immunity to the Y2K bug because of its means to know years as much as 29,940. Regardless that the Y2K bug turned out to be a lot ado about nothing, Apple’s third and last Tremendous Bowl advert wasn’t all that well-received on the time however grew to become a cult hit amongst followers.
I Fought the Legislation (2003)
Whereas not technically an Apple advert, Pepsi’s 2004 business to announce its partnership with iTunes definitely felt like one. That includes a Inexperienced Day cowl of Sonny Curtis’s “I Fought the Legislation,” the advert featured 16 youngsters who had been sued by the RIAA for illegally downloading music from the web throughout Napster’s recognition. Satirically, it’s the one Tremendous Bowl advert right here to really characteristic an Apple product–not an iPod however an iMac G4. The advert and the promotional marketing campaign had been a success and helped propel the iTunes Retailer to new heights.
It’s been 24 years because the HAL business, and Apple is coming again to the Tremendous Bowl–however this time it’s as the key sponsor of the Tremendous Bowl’s present inside a present, the halftime presentation. Apple calls it the Apple Music Tremendous Bowl LVII Halftime Present that includes Rihanna, who hasn’t carried out stay in public since 2018.
Apple has been hyping its presence at Tremendous Bowl LVII all month inside Apple Music’s Rihanna’s Street to Halftime part, which incorporates:
- Halftime Hype Radio: 10-part collection that appears again at previous halftime exhibits.
- Rihanna Revisited Radio: Eight-part collection that displays on Rihanna’s music catalog.
- Reside from Tremendous Bowl LVII: Every day stay broadcasts that “seize the joy” of the sport and the halftime present.
- NFL group and participant playlists.
- An interview with Rihanna on Apple Music Radio.
There’s additionally a rumor that Apple is making a behind-the-scenes documentary that can air on Apple Music. And the efficiency will probably be out there to stream following the present.
However will there be a brand new Apple advert in the course of the massive recreation as effectively? Up to now there aren’t any rumors that Apple is working a business, however Apple would in all probability wish to hold such a factor below wraps. Plus, it’s widespread for the halftime present sponsor to run an advert in the course of the Tremendous Bowl—Pepsi, Bridgestone, Dash, AOL, and others all had separate advertisements along with the sponsorship. And Apple has been working fixed advertisements for Undo Ship in Messages and Apple TV+ in the course of the 2023 Playoffs, so a Tremendous Bowl spot is unquestionably attainable.
And the timing is correct—Ridley Scott’s upcoming movie Napoleon shall be airing on Apple TV+ later this 12 months. So perhaps Apple obtained him to direct a follow-up to 1984? We’ll discover out on Sunday.