|Contrary to our report last Monday, Apple has officially announced it will air a Super Bowl ad on next week's Super Bowl. Last Monday, the Mac Observer reported that Advertising Age had said that Apple had decided to pull its Super Bowl ad and had asked Fox to sell the space. For those who are familiar with Advertising Age, the magazine is a well respected trade journal for the advertising industry.
Today, Apple announced that it would be showing the HAL ad that was first shown at MacWorld Expo and then placed on Apple's web site. The HAL spot uses the voice of HAL from 2001: A Space Odessy and imagery that is reminiscent of the movie. HAL delivers the message that only Macintosh was fully compliant with Y2K when the Millennium hit. Apple said that over 250,000 people have downloaded the ad since it was placed on the site and that Mac users begin pleading for Apple to release the spot on broadcast TV. According Apple:
"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."
Steve Jobs also said in a press release that he felt HAL to be the perfect spokesperson on the Y2K issue. According to Mr. Jobs:
"HAL is the perfect spokesperson to address the Y2K issue because he lives in the year 2001 and can speak from experience. Plus, HAL is the world's foremost expert on things that can go wrong with computers."
The ad will show in the first break of the Super Bowl immediately following the kickoff. The estimated viewership for the event is over 100 million.
The Mac Observer Spin: Doh! Seems like either Apple changed their plans or Advertising Age had it wrong. Our guess is that Apple changed its plans again after deciding to sell the space, possible after not being able to find a buyer at this late date. Whatever the case it is worth being wrong about the Super Bowl ad as Apple will gain some tremendous mileage from the ad. Apple has the opportunity to score major points with a public that is becoming more and more tense about the Y2K issue as it approaches. Some facts from Apple's Y2K web page:
"According to Information Week, the tab for the Year 2000 software fix alone will hit $600 billion. That's enough to buy 500,417,014 iMacs at $1199 each (although if you place such a large order, you should probably demand a discount).
That's enough iMacs to circle the globe four times. (And you'd better get those ships and trains and 18-wheelers ready: at 38.1 lbs per iMac, you're talking about hauling away a total weight of around eight million tons.)
That $600 billion is enough to buy iMacs for every man, woman and child in the United Statesplus everyone in Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Greece and Guatemala. (And you'd still have more than 3,000,000 iMacs left over to pass around as tips for your army of delivery people, each of whom will have to make more than 150 door-to-door trips.)"
Those are some hard hitting numbers that put things in terms that more people can understand. Most of that cost is not the personal computer market, but is in main frame applications and embedded chips, though most older PCs are not Y2K compliant and their are some being sold today that may encounter problems (though almost all shipping PCs are in fact compliant).
Good call to run this ad in the Super Bowl Apple!