Today in Tech History: January 20

Today in Tech History: Apple's infamous Lemmings commercial airs during Super Bowl XIX on January 20, 1985.

The Lemmings ad was for Apple's Macintosh Office. As you can see above, it featured a line of blindfolded business men and women whistling "Heigh-Ho" from Snow White and walking off a cliff to their doom until finally the last guy left takes off his blindfold. Then you hear a voice tell you that you can look into Macintosh Office or go on with business as usual.

The ad was called the 'Lemmings' ad because of an urban legend that lemmings commit mass suicide. Unfortunately, the ad was widely considered insulting to customers and was even referred to as "the Super Bowl ad that almost killed Apple" by Forbes. The ad followed Apple's well liked 1984 Super Bowl XVIII commercial, which introduced the Apple Macintosh the year before. Following the failure of Lemmings, Apple did not air another Super Bowl commercial again until 1999.

On a side note, the winner of Super Bowl XIX just happens to be our local (and awesome) San Francisco 49ers! Unfortunately, they just narrowly missed a chance to go to this season's Super Bowl. Maybe next year...go Niners!

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Posted January 20, 2014 by Robyn Norgan