Republican Santorum Channels Apple’s ‘1984’ & ‘Lemmings’ Ads

| Analysis

Rick Santorum, Republican candidate for U.S. president, has released a new commercial that borrows, though some may consider that verb to be charitable, from both Apple’s 1984 and Lemmings commercials. The ad casts fellow Republican Mitt Romney in the role of IBM/Big Brother and a Rick Santorum supporter in the role of the proverbial hammer tosser/sign-holder who stops the line of zombie drones marching to cast their vote.

Screen from Rick Santorum Ad

Frame from Rick Santorum Political Ad (Full Ad Embedded Below)

All of the imagery described above harkens back to Apple’s 1984 commercial, an ad that Apple aired during the 1984 Super Bowl that has consistently been named among the best, if not the best, commercial since then.

Interestingly, though, the ad also throws in a few seconds from Apple’s Lemmings ad, a commercial that ran in 1985 and has universally been condemned as a flop. In that ad, a line of blindfolded businessmen marches off a cliff until one fellow pulls off the blindfold, thinks differently, stops, and presumably uses a Mac at his business.

Mr. Santorum’s ad has a similar, but brief moment where blindfolded voters march off a back alley drop-off until one fellow pulls off the blindfold, thinks different, and stops, presumably to vote for Mr. Santorum. The ad then returns to the 1984 imagery.

Rick Santorum Political Ad

Many on the political right in the U.S. have attempted to claim Steve Jobs since the Apple cofounder passed away, this despite the fact that Mr. Jobs was a known supporter of the center-left Democrat party. He offered to consult for John Kerry during the 2004 election and brought former U.S. vide president Al Gore onto Apple’s board of directors. He also offered to make commercials for Barack Obama, according to Walter Isaacson’s biography, Steve Jobs.

Mr. Jobs also donated to the Democratic Party in the past, having donated $50,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2000 and $26,700 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006. He donated $1,000 to former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel when Mr. Emanuel ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004.

In addition, one of Apple’s only known political donations was given to a group fighting Prop. 8 in California while Steve Jobs was CEO. Prop. 8 was a voter initiative to make gay marriage illegal in California. Apple donated US$100,000 to a group fighting that initiative. Mr. Santorum has campaigned strongly on a religious platform that includes a very strong anti-homosexual plank.

Under Mr. Jobs’s stewardship, Apple also pulled out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to protest that group’s environmental policies and lobbying efforts to fight efforts to curb global warning. The Chamber’s position is slightly to the left of Mr. Santorum’s, who doesn’t believe in man-made global warming and has recently accused the Obama administration of following a “phony theology” based on environmentalism.

At the same time, Mr. Jobs reportedly told President Obama that it was too hard to make factories in the U.S., a thread that resonates with conservatives. That could be why former Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry evoked Steve Jobs’s name as a reason for deregulating America. His message was that he wanted to bring Mr. Jobs back to the U.S., and we’ll leave you to make of that what you will. The Tea Party, a far right splinter group of the Republican Party, also claimed Mr. Jobs as a closet Republican.

This is the first time to our knowledge, however, that a political campaign has tried to harness Apple’s advertising imagery in a commercial. Various interests have tapped into Apple’s “I’m a Mac” campaign, but Mr. Santorum’s ad skirts homage and goes straight to remake when it comes to 1984 (with a side of Lemmings).

Comments

warrensalem

If ya vote for Santorum you should throw yourself off a cliff. I mean really, can’t that idiot do anything original?? Talk about a lemming

palenoue

Here’s the political commercial that should be played often during any campaign season:

http://vimeo.com/6111422

furbies

Are the US Republican race contenders so desperate ?

It’s no wonder that from the other side of the world it looks like a sad, sick & twisted joke!

Lee Dronick

Here is a link to the ad on YouTube

Lee Dronick

I don’t like him or his ideology, but I give him thumbs up for the creativity. Well thumbs up to whomever did the ad. Some nice touches in the ad.

The Anya Major character is carrying a cardboard sign that becomes a video screen

At marker 1:26 a guy takes off his gray sweatshirt to show a sleeveless sweater underneath. Rick Santorum wears them and it has become his symbol article of clothing.

MyRightEye

A PLAN FOR EVERYONE.

Yes, a plan to control the thoughts and private lives and bodies of everyone and to draft all our sons to go fight his religious wars. Dead right. If you vote for this fascist, you DESERVE the Hitler 2.0 government he will create.

Polls show that he has no chance against Obama though. Only Romney and Ron Paul, can win against Obama, and Ron Paul wins by a larger margin and is the safer bet. Ron Paul is the diametric opposite to Santorum. Learn about Ron Paul first hand and see how your biases are wrong at http://RonPaulFLIX.com

iVoid

It seems more and more people WANT Big Brother. So his ads may backfire.

MyRightEye

Problem is, he is the epitome of Big Brother. The ad is total BS. He wants to make ALL birth control, including condoms, illegal.

Bryan Chaffin

Problem is, he is the epitome of Big Brother. The ad is total BS. He wants to make ALL birth control, including condoms, illegal.

That does seem to run contrary to conservative ideals relating to freedom and the role of government, no?

That said, it’s not so much a fascist position as it is a wish for a theocracy. Certainly he also has a few fascist elements in his platform, but his stances on birth control, abortion, and homosexuality are better described as theocratical, IMO.

Still, and I do prefer to keep our discussions in the comments to Apple, Steve Jobs, or 1984/Lemmings-related issues, I think you have a fair point that anyone wishing to forbid certain behaviors shouldn’t pose as a defender against Big Brother.

Now, all THAT said, I believe Santorum has been very careful not to say that he would make contraception illegal.

skipaq

More politics. It is amazing how inaccurate people’s perception of the political process here is. The comments are laughable for the most part and I am not a Santorum supporter.

LOL

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone ... Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone”
? Steve Jobs

Maybe Apple and Rich Santorum have more in common than you think.

Bryan Chaffin

That’s a great point, LOL.

However, there is a difference between keeping porn out of your commercial App Store and wanting to make it illegal (not that Santorum has said he would try to do so).

Still, it’s a great point. It illustrates nicely that few people fall into a single, neat category.

skipaq

@LOL, taking your point and using the logic behind some of these comments we must conclude that SJ was a fascist. Santorum has not said he would try to make contraception illegal. He has actually said the he would not support legislation to make such illegal.

As to his use of the ad’s theme; there is some relevance to the “anointed” candidate status that many claim for Romney. He is making the point that establishment group think be shattered. Nothing wrong in the way he uses that theme.

Lee Dronick

However, there is a difference between keeping porn out of your commercial App Store

First we need to define porn. Anyway apps are one thing, ebooks are another. Go to the iBook Store and enter erotica in the search window.

Getting back on topic, I still feel that the ad was clever.

MyRightEye

some of these comments we must conclude that SJ was a fascist

Some of these comments show how civically illiterate people are today.

Government (does not equal) Business. Or, at least it shouldn’t. THough sadly it often does today, FDA in bed with Big Pharma.

Apple stopping porn = Free Market working. Don’t like it, buy an Android or some other device.

Santorum stopping porn = Tyranny. Don’t like it, get put in a cage.

Think Difference.

skipaq

Some of these comments show how civically illiterate people are today.

What you, as well as some others, are doing is misrepresenting known positions of a candidate. That is more in line with being “civically illiterate” than anything I said. I am not a Santorum supporter; but I won’t publicly misrepresent his positions. Your are bullying. Or to put it in your words; your being tyrannical.

Santorum’s use of the ad is clever, @Lee. More important is his right to free speech in the political process. Tone down the name calling!

MacEye

Ya know, it’s really too bad that this site has to become a forum for obvious political views instead of an objective news outlet for the best technology in the business.

Bryan Chaffin

Ya know, it?s really too bad that this site has to become a forum for obvious political views instead of an objective news outlet for the best technology in the business.

Politics and technology cross each other all the time. From Microsof and trustbusting, to privacy, to patent policy and regulation, to Steve Jobs advising Barack Obama and Rick Santorum modeling its advertising on a classic Apple commercial.

These things happen, and when they do, they get covered along with the rest of the Apple world.

In addition, I believe I presented this story in as objective a manner as I could.

I’ve never understood people complaining about politics getting covered at TMO when it’s a story that so obviously crosses over.

MacEye

“In addition, I believe I presented this story in as objective a manner as I could.”

All due respect Bryan (and I really do mean that), but I think the key words here are “as I could” considering your political views are rather obvious.?

The use of objective journalism could or would have simply reported the use of the ad by the the candidate as well as the camparisons between the current and previous ads, without going to such length to point out Steve Jobs’ differing political affiliation.

Bryan Chaffin

Over the years, I’ve been accused of being a capitalist, a leftist, a communist, a socialist, a fascist, a conservative, a liberal, a tool of Big Media, and a few other characterizations I’ve no doubt forgotten about. This has usually been in the context of covering some intersection of politics and technology (a mix of news pieces and columns/editorials), though the last one was in the context of a piece I did railing about piracy.

I politely offer this as context for your own assessment of my obvious political views. smile

The use of objective journalism could or would have simply reported the use of the ad by the candidate as well as the camparisons between the current and previous ads, without going to such length to point out Steve Jobs? differing political affiliation.

I utterly disagree with the idea that objective journalism precludes offering the kind of context I included. While the article was published as “Analysis,” rather than a straight news piece, the reality is that everything I talked about in this analysis are facts, not opinions.

Indeed, not pointing out how most of Steve Jobs’s very few known political actions are at odds with Mr. Santorum’s politics isn’t objective journalism, it’s sloppy journalism. Perhaps even cowardly. Pointing out those differences and not mentioning the other politicians who have done something similar is just lazy.

I’ve spent my career at TMO offering context for what is going on in the Apple universe, and that’s largely because I find context so interesting. In general, I write the kind of articles I want to read.

That’s what I did with this one. I think that in the context of this fascinating ad from the Santorum campaign, how Steve Jobs has figured in recent politics is pertinent and interesting.

You’re welcome to disagree, of course, and I fully support anyone who does! smile

Also, and this is important to me, I appreciate the civil tone to your criticism. Without exception, every single one of the above mentioned characterizations of my politics has been filled with invective. That’s usually because the people accusing me of being this or that disagree with whatever opinion I’ve expressed or that they believe I represent. While I disagree with the content of your criticism, I appreciate the way it was delivered. Thanks for being a part of our site. smile

MacEye

I must say, Bryan, I really appreciate your response and have enjoyed this discourse. Though there still may be some difference in view here, I will respectfully close my thoughts with this:

My take has less to do with the previous “accusations” of others as it has to do with the content of the column - which, by the way, led to the usual politically fueled comments.?

I won’t make it a point of following in the footsteps of those who make such accusations. But perhaps it would be better said of what it is NOT - and that is a proponent of the so called “right.” =] And besides, there seems to be little difference between parties these days other than a guised “label” to distinguish one from the other.

Regardless, TMO is a quality publication ?and will continue to be one of my regular stops - no matter my occasional “concerns.”

For me, a great deal of respect has been gained from this discussion. =] It is my hope that I haven’t made an ass of ?myself (or a pain in thereof) by sharing my point of view.?

mrmwebmax

+

Does anyone find it more than ironic that a discussion of politics here has much more civility than a discussion of iOS vs. Android??? smile

Lee Dronick

Does anyone find it more than ironic that a discussion of politics here has much more civility than a discussion of iOS vs. Android

There is more at stake in the iOS v Android war smile

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