“Who the fuck is Steve Jobs?” Ridley Scott reflects on his legendary Apple spot that forever changed the world of advertising

“Who the fuck is Steve Jobs?”  Ridley Scott reflects on his legendary Apple spot that forever changed the world of advertising

Ridley Scott is remembered for having directed such emblematic films as ‘Alien, the eighth passenger’, ‘Blade Runner’ or ‘Gladiator’, but to his credit is also the legendary announcement of Manzana with which he introduced the world macintosh in 1984 and that changed the world of advertising forever.

Advertising in the form of art

In fact, the director of ‘The Last Duel’ he shot more than 2,000 spots throughout his career in that medium, which helped him better manage budgets and shooting times. When he got the offer to do the Apple ad, Scott thought it was something to do with The Beatles, to which they replied “No no no. Apple is this guy named Steve Jobs“, to which he replied “Who the fuck is Steve Jobs?“.

With the confusion cleared up, Scott took a look at the script and was impressed with what he found there. Here’s how he recalls the experience in a recent chat with The Hollywood Reporter:

My God. They’re not saying what it is, they’re not going to show what it is. They’re not even saying what it is. It was advertising as an art form. It was devastatingly effective.

Scott himself commented a few years ago that “people back then said that commercial breaks were better than programs“, and that he always approached each spot like a small movie. In addition to the obvious reference to the novel ‘1984’, he once again took ‘Metropolis’, the classic from Fritz Lang in which he had already been inspired for ‘Blade Runner’ and even made an important suggestion to strengthen the message that he wanted to convey:

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A baseball bat is too American. If you give a mallet to throw at the screen, it would be a more universal symbol.

The result is still remembered today -and that was about to not see the light-, but Scott he is not at all happy with the path that the advertising medium has taken in recent years: “Today advertising is changing dramatically. And the problem is that it went to this“(then points to his iPhone)”which is great and the enemy at the same time. Now it’s in parts, where you’re trying to find an item and there are 19 little bits of it. It is effective? I really doubt it“.