"According to [Ken Segall, creative director of the Apple account for the TBWA/Chiat/Day advertising agenc], it wasn't until last summer that Apple decided to return to the big game: "Steve Jobs had suggested in the springtime that we come up with an ad about the Y2K issue, and we had kicked that around for a couple of months without, frankly, much great success.
"Then this idea of using HAL came up in the early summer, and we had an ad together within 48 hours and showed it to Steve. And he said, 'Why don't we think about this for the Super Bowl?'"
Segall said, however, that after buying the time, Apple and its ad agency began to second-guess themselves: "We kept asking ourselves, 'Is this really what we want to run?' "
Finally, this month, Apple asked Fox to resell its spot and -- as late as Friday -- the company was telling reporters that it would be not be represented on the telecast.
What changed minds about airing the spot was the reaction to the commercial itself. HAL's eerily calm voice asks, "Dave, do you remember 2000, when computers began to misbehave?" In the end, HAL says: "You like your Macintosh better than me, don't you, Dave? Dave? Can you hear me, Dave?"
The relatively simple ad -- it cost $250,000 to produce -- got a huge response at Macworld. Then over the next couple of weeks, an online version of the commercial was downloaded more than 250,000 times.
"In the end, it got to be an easy decision to make because of the firestorm of reaction from people," Segall said."