1984 + Lemmings = Santorum
March 1, 2012 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Rick Santorum released an anti-Romney ad in January that borrows ahem liberally from Apple's famous 1984 ad. Weirdly, it also copies Apple's second Super Bowl advertisement, Lemmings, which was viewed as insulting to its audience and became a legendary failure. (Via Ken Segall, a former creative director at Apple who writes, "Note to Rick: if you’re going to copy Apple’s marketing success, try not to copy its failure as well.")
posted by Rory Marinich (73 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why did that one guy take off his shirt? I'm so confused.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:35 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Thoughtcrime.
posted by Fizz at 7:38 AM on March 1, 2012


Why did that one guy take off his shirt? I'm so confused.

It was like equilibrium, man. Plus it had to be hot as hell in a sweatshirt, sweater vest and then that pullover.
posted by cashman at 7:39 AM on March 1, 2012


Also, it seems that everyone in that 1984 procession line of death is white. I'm wondering where all the brown people are in the future?
posted by Fizz at 7:41 AM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


Honest question: has Santorum ever said what he would have wanted done other than a bailout, or is this just rhetorical posturing, where he's almost bragging that he wasn't actually in power in 2008?
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:41 AM on March 1, 2012


Fizz, I noticed the same thing--I don't see a single non-white person in that entire thing. Odd.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:43 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


All the brown people were at the front of the line. Too late, lady!
posted by echo target at 7:45 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


The layers of irony of the Establishment talking about "The Establishment" using Orwell's 1984, it's just too much for my brain. I'm turning it off for the rest of the day.
posted by Fizz at 7:46 AM on March 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'm wondering where all the brown people are in the future?

We're fuzzily in the back, I think. Pause it at 1:13. It might be a darker skinned fellow. But if we're going to talk about Santorum ads, we've got to mention the poop shooting one.
posted by cashman at 7:47 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Why did that one guy take off his shirt? I'm so confused.

I think it's supposed to be that he takes off the colorless slave outfit and shows his colorful maroon sweater instead? Because maroon is clearly the color of true expressive Americans.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:48 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


May that ad let Santorum capture as much of the market as the 1984 ad captured for Apple.
posted by drezdn at 7:48 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


James Fallows | The Atlantic:
Many, many people have written in astonishment that the Santorum ad contains only white faces -- "not even an Asian!" as one person wryly noted. Some other time, we'll look at the larger point about the GOP base that this ad illustrates. Over time the party is willfully shouldering aside:
  -- young people generally ("Same-sex marriage? Never!" "Climate change? A big fraud!")
  -- Latinos ("build a fence!")
  -- Asians ("yellow girl")
  -- blacks (former editor of the Harvard Law Review is the "food stamp president")
  -- gays (see above)
  -- women generally (drawing the rhetorical line not at abortion, a genuine first-order moral question, but contraception -- seemingly settled law and social practice since 1965)
  -- the "creative class" ("college is for snobs!")
Given the gerrymandered nature of our national legislative system, this approach -- a base of older, white, largely Southern males -- can lead to outsized power in the Senate in the long run. But it's not a formula for winning the presidency. The GOP discovered this at the statewide level with its problems in California since the Pete Wilson "Prop 187" anti-immigrant era. This is the point of Jonathan Chait's excellent analysis in New York magazine about the Republicans' embrace of demographic decline.
posted by ericb at 7:54 AM on March 1, 2012 [18 favorites]


Santorum aside, having had a father that worked for IBM for 35 years, and having grown up in a 100% IBM town, I always thought that Lemmings ad was perfect and awesome. Which is probably why it failed....too close to the truth.
posted by spicynuts at 7:55 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Many, many people have written in astonishment that the Santorum ad contains only white faces -- "not even an Asian!" as one person wryly noted. Some other time, we'll look at the larger point about the GOP base that this ad illustrates. Over time the party is willfully shouldering aside:
-- young people generally ("Same-sex marriage? Never!" "Climate change? A big fraud!")
-- Latinos ("build a fence!")
-- Asians ("yellow girl")
-- blacks (former editor of the Harvard Law Review is the "food stamp president")
-- gays (see above)
-- women generally (drawing the rhetorical line not at abortion, a genuine first-order moral question, but contraception -- seemingly settled law and social practice since 1965)
-- the "creative class" ("college is for snobs!")
--humans
Fixed.
posted by Fizz at 7:56 AM on March 1, 2012


::coughs into megaphone, accidentally presses horn button, holds up to mouth::
THE ESTABLISHMENT, WHO DRIVES SEVERAL CADILLACS AND FELLS TREES WHICH ARE OF IMPROPER HEIGHT, WANTS YOU TO VOTE NOW. DON'T FALL FOR IT, AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T VOTE.

At least, that's my read of that first ad. Do you really want the opponent's message to be "You Will Vote Now?" Because according to the miniature, green, waddling-in-formation light his followers have been painted , it stands to reason as if reason applied to anything Santorum they are going to be diametrically opposed to whatever the opponent says. Ergo, no voting.

Furthermore, is it better to have your mindless drones salivating especially this guy over you on a flat-panel monitor (which in itself does NOT really promote your humanity/compassion) than to have them marching, which somehow connotes working?

Thanks for the daily does of Rick Sanctimony, something I awake each day hoping not to have to dwell upon.
posted by obscurator at 7:57 AM on March 1, 2012


It's like I've always said, Apple fanboys are the Republicans of computerdom. It's no surprise that paranoid elitists with a persecution complex would find inspiration in each others agitprop.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 8:03 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


I never did like the 1984 campaign.

However, Think Different was just beautiful. I think Santorum needs to read this (as well as his followers).


Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

posted by stormpooper at 8:07 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


And they have no respect for the status quo.

Yeah, the status quo involves being naive here having somewhat of a regard for your fellow humans...so I'd say Santorum is doing a bang-on job of heeding the ad's advice.
posted by obscurator at 8:13 AM on March 1, 2012


I'd either never known or entirely forgotten about the Macintosh Office.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:18 AM on March 1, 2012


-- the "creative class" ("college is for snobs!")

This goes back pretty far. We were watching a documentary on Nixon last night, and in his farewell speech he states that "I am not educated, but I do read books." My girlfriend and I both turn to one another incredulously, pull it up on Wikipedia and apparently "not educated" means "full scholarship to Duke University School of Law." Considering his father ran a grocery store and gas station, it's safe to say he wasn't a legacy kid.
posted by griphus at 8:21 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also, it seems that everyone in that 1984 procession line of death is white. I'm wondering where all the brown people are in the future?

There are no brown people in Rick Santorum's vision of the future. They've all been bleached, as per Psalms 51:2.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:29 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's like I've always said, Apple fanboys are the Republicans of computerdom.

What? That's an extremely stupid thing to say.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:32 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Ron Paul lemmings ad for comparison
posted by Blasdelb at 8:33 AM on March 1, 2012


Heartbroken Santorum Condemns Gay Marriage For Two-Timing Jerks Like Nick
An emotional Rick Santorum stepped up his anti-gay rhetoric this week, saying jerks like Philadelphia's Nicholas Wiseman should not be allowed to marry a man they barely know when there's someone out there who truly cares for them.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:36 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


This goes back pretty far. We were watching a documentary on Nixon last night, and in his farewell speech he states that "I am not educated, but I do read books."

griphus, have you read Nixonland? It features a fascinating analysis of just this point.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:38 AM on March 1, 2012


Apple fanboys are the Republicans of computerdom.

If anything, it's the opposite. I've met such rabid hate from windows people who have never used a mac, that it's a perfect parallel to republicans who hate people they don't know. (i use and have used damn near every system, apple, pc, sgi, linux, and way back to the commodore vic 20, i just prefer the mac.) Also looking at the designs (hardware and interface) of apple (good) to the lame copies (windows and others, bad) it reminds me of comparing good satire to when republicans try to be funny with it (glen beck and his horrid attempt).
posted by usagizero at 8:53 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


1. That is a truly terrible ad.
2. It kind of makes me what to vote for Romney.*

*Assuming that I could actually vote in the Republican primaries.
posted by asnider at 8:57 AM on March 1, 2012


Apple fanboys are the Republicans of computerdom.

My word! I use Linux and I've just realised that I'm essentially a Green.

Surely this though:

Apple/Republicans: locked down and locked out; it's a small set of guys in a central room deciding what you can do with it. Hate the other two groups hugely, and a very very passionate base.

Windows/Democrats: fairly free in usage and what you can do with it, but not when it comes to protecting the interests of media conglomerates. Used but not hugely loved.

Linux/Greens: Free and intellectually a good idea, but a minimum of the market even if most of the Windows people appreciate the principles and wish it were possible to do what they needed to do with Linux instead. Ironically this is only true because the mass stay with Windows.
posted by jaduncan at 9:00 AM on March 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


The Apple ad worked because it piggybacked on the same imagery and ideas as the film by Michael Radford. People who heard about or saw the film picked up on the fictional metaphors. That was 28 years ago.
posted by JJ86 at 9:04 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lemmings (1985) was a good ad and it didn't fail unless it has to take all the blame for the business decisions that Apple was making at the time.
posted by michaelh at 9:10 AM on March 1, 2012


Heartbroken Santorum Condemns Gay Marriage For Two-Timing Jerks Like Nick
posted by Apropos of Something at 9:18 AM on March 1, 2012


Apple fanboys are the Republicans of computerdom.

If anything, it's the opposite. I've met such rabid hate from windows people who have never used a mac, that it's a perfect parallel to republicans who hate people they don't know.


You haven't made an analogy. There are people in both major parties who a viciously anti-other party. It's not about blind hate; it's about blind love.

As a user of all 3 major desktop OSs, I consider Apple followers more akin to Republican not because both groups are immediately anti-everyone else, but because they will fawn over anything their party (or company) tells them to, even if it's contrary to what they pretended to love a week ago.

Example:
Nation-building is the worst thing the U.S. can do, until a Republican does it, then it great! (Apple parallel: Intel was the worst chip company on earth and only a shitty computer would use an Intel chip, until Apple went Intel, then it was genius!)

There are tons of other example even outside of Macs (the latest iOS update was basically Apple adopting a bunch of the Android -- that shitty also-ran -- features, sometime wholesale (notifications), sometimes with improvement (Siri)).

You'll see more of this in 2012. I've been told repeatedly that only an idiot would use a phone that's 4 inches or larger, and that no one would ever need LTE. Apple will release both this year, and those same fans will gush over how great they are. Ditto for tablet sizes.

Finally, Microsoft fans accept (out of necessity!) that their products are not perfect. They'll talk all day long about things they'd like to see changed, and the customizations they've made to workaround problems. Similarly, you'll be hard-pressed to find a Democrat who absolutely adores everything the Democratic party does, because the Democrats have a much larger tent, and accept people with opposing viewpoints.

Apple makes great hardware and great software, and I happily use both. But when people start turning their enjoyment of products into a bizarre religion, there's a problem.

Also looking at the designs (hardware and interface) of apple (good) to the lame copies (windows and others, bad)...


You had a point, but couldn't resist a Coulter-like dig at the end. Thanks for proving the point.
posted by coolguymichael at 9:20 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Blasdelb: Obviously, I need to read the whole thread before posting with glee. My apologies.
posted by Apropos of Something at 9:20 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


However, Think Different was just beautiful. I think Santorum needs to read this (as well as his followers).

If you think conservatives don't like the Think Different copy, you haven't met many.
posted by michaelh at 9:21 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been told repeatedly that only an idiot would use a phone that's 4 inches or larger, and that no one would ever need LTE. Apple will release both this year, and those same fans will gush over how great they are.

Want to bet on Apple releasing that larger phone? I'll put down five hundred dollars right now, and you can buy me an iPad.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:25 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also: while I do think the Apple/Republican comparison asinine, the reason I find it shitty is not that I find it inaccurate (though I do) but that I think it's a dick move to compare people who prefer a closed computing experience to people who would vote down abortion rights and gay marriage, think the United States should be a Christian nation, hate foreigners, and want to abolish government.

I think people should be allowed to like Apple products without being called a filthy name.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:38 AM on March 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


Republican : Apple :: Democrat : Windows?

Perhaps a tribal singluarity can be reached if we explore how the parties analogize to Chevy/Ford or Bud/Miller or Yankees/Sox or....hell. This is just silly.
posted by Fezboy! at 9:43 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's like I've always said, Apple fanboys are the Republicans of computerdom.

Your trolling is cheap, predictable and lazy, and given how much of that bubbles to the surface in these sorts of threads, should be made into a renewable energy source as soon as possible. With all this hot air about how much Apple users suck, I'm sure Metafilter can do much, much better than Pickens' $1-a-gallon.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:44 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


LOL..you just can't resist, can you Blazecock?
posted by spicynuts at 9:47 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh goody. Yet another apple vs. windows fanboi fight. This time inexplicably conflated with republicans vs. democrats.
posted by double block and bleed at 9:54 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


*lights pipe*

You know, *puff puff* it's like I've always said: Apple fan-boys are just the Slavonia-Baranja Croatian Party (founded in early 1990s, which, from 1995 to 2003, was represented in the Croatian Parliament, but which in 2008 merged with Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja a.k.a. Hrvatski demokratski savez Slavonije i Baranje) of computerdom *puff puff*.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:59 AM on March 1, 2012 [28 favorites]


So, when's this thread take a derail to being about how Obama hasn't really done much for the country these past 3 years?
posted by ericb at 10:00 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Then again, I've always said *puff* that Apple fan boys are the Adeyabeba Ethiopia Association, an independent non-profit organization founded to promote common good among Ethiopians living in Japan and the people of Japan on the basis of voluntary service, of *puff, puff* computerdom.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:04 AM on March 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


ericb, in the time since Obama's taken office we've gone from 3G to 4S. But Obama's still got a plastic back. Where's his antennaband? If I push button does he hear my voice accurately? Does he leave me a geofenced reminder?
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:06 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Funny story, actually: chap once said to me, "Clive," he said, *puff puff* "I just met the Labrador Native Women's Association of 15 Grenfell Street, Happy Valley Goose B, Newfoundland and Labrador of computerdom, and do you know who they were?"

And I answered, "Apple fan boys?" and, by Jupiter, *puff puff* I was bloody well spot on.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:09 AM on March 1, 2012 [16 favorites]


Apple: Think Different
posted by exogenous at 10:13 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama is more like an Android phone: accomplishes more than you think, more powerful than appearances indicate, more popular than you might expect yet everyone's always talking about the other guy. Obama, like the Android OS, wins by being flexible.

Romney's like Nokia; what OS will he be going with today lol?
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:21 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Closed computing experience? More like closed enfranchisement experience, amiright?

Really, though, it is funny to see the parallels in this very thread. The assumption that all critics of Apple are themselves great fans of Microsoft is my favorite, as if they are all secret communist Muslim .Net programmers taking orders from George Soros and Bill Gates.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 10:26 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Surely you'd have to agree, my good sir, that that Linux is just the Makhnovia (Махновщина) circa 1918-1921, of computerdom? Flowering briefly only to be crushed by the Red Army Apple and Microsoft imposed DRM restrictions and Trusted Computing?
posted by double block and bleed at 10:28 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was about to edit that to Yet another apple vs. (windows | android) fanboi fight, but I hit post too soon.
posted by double block and bleed at 10:31 AM on March 1, 2012


We were watching a documentary on Nixon last night, and in his farewell speech he states that "I am not educated, but I do read books."

It's gotten even worse since then. George W. Bush tried to make it look like he hardly read at all.
posted by jonp72 at 10:33 AM on March 1, 2012


"Fanboy" is such an odd word and concept to mean "person who likes one sort of widget over another sort of widget." I feel like I don't ever hear the word applied to anything except what kind of computers people like.
posted by Apropos of Something at 10:34 AM on March 1, 2012


I see PC fans as real People's front of Judea types. Apple users are more Judean People's Front .
posted by drezdn at 10:37 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Fanboy" is a general geek culture term that has its origins, IIRC, in scifi and comics.
posted by griphus at 10:46 AM on March 1, 2012


To stretch a metaphor:

Apple = Vorlons (We know what best for you, do it our way or be left behind)

Microsoft = Shadows (Everybody fight and we'll scoop up the winners for our side)

Linux = Humans (We all make our own path, now get the Hell out of our galaxy!)
posted by CyberSlug Labs at 10:50 AM on March 1, 2012


Perhaps a tribal singluarity can be reached if we explore how the parties analogize to Chevy/Ford or Bud/Miller or Yankees/Sox or....hell. This is just silly.

Silly people gotta silly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:53 AM on March 1, 2012


If we're going to do this...

Microsoft: Yankees- History of success, but haven't dominated like they used to.

Apple: Red Sox (pre-2011): incredibly loyal fan base that finally won it all.

Both are ignored/hated/ambivilanted by a surprisingly large amount of the country.
posted by drezdn at 11:04 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I'm Rick Santorum and I have been told by my handlers to approve this message."
posted by Danf at 11:17 AM on March 1, 2012


oh hey guys what about this: Apple is more like Windows because it's a suite of technological products and Republicans are more like Democrats because they're extant American political parties!

and Santorum is kind of like that guy who won best adapted screenplay with Alex Payne and Jim Rash--not because they have anything of note in common, but because they're superficially similar!
posted by psoas at 11:37 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


"I'm Rick Santorum and I have been told by my handlers to approve this message."

You'd be surprised for all his momentum how thin his organization is.

Over the past few weeks, his campaign received a major upgrade — its headquarters grew from being a post office box in Pennsylvania to a bricks and mortar building in Virginia.

If there was a God and this God actually doesn't want us to be happy, Rick would get the GOP nomination, however his campaign would be overwhelmed trying to ramp up for national campaign between August 30th and November 2nd.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 11:39 AM on March 1, 2012


I see PC fans as real People's front of Judea types. Apple users are more Judean People's Front .

Which makes Linux users the Popular People's Front, right? Splitters!
posted by Jughead at 11:58 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rick Santorum's Frat Brothers Perplexed By Claims Of Cultural Oppression.
posted by ericb at 1:23 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apple fanboys are the Republicans of computerdom. I use office and the internet and I don't care how
posted by mattoxic at 1:32 PM on March 1, 2012


Rush Limbaugh uses Macs.

Rush Limbaugh is a Republican.

Therefore, Mac users are Republicans.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:25 PM on March 1, 2012


QED
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:25 PM on March 1, 2012


Anyway, does this make iOS the Tea Party? And Android Occupy Wall Street?
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:26 PM on March 1, 2012


Many, many people have written in astonishment that the Santorum ad contains only white faces

By the way, having now done that sort of work as a background actor, I can same with some certainty that this wasn't an accident or oversight. Casting directors are incredibly precise about who they want in the frame. If there are no people of color, it's because that was an explicit direction given to the casting director.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:36 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


mccarty.tim, keep pulling the sweater. Eventually, this whole thing will unravel.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:18 PM on March 1, 2012


Anyway, does this make iOS the Tea Party? And Android Occupy Wall Street?

And what does this make Nooks? A branch of OWS?
posted by drezdn at 4:28 PM on March 1, 2012


OWS without Borders
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:09 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Honest question: has Santorum ever said what he would have wanted done other than a bailout, or is this just rhetorical posturing, where he's almost bragging that he wasn't actually in power in 2008?

Hey! Like Obama and the Iraq war!
posted by xmutex at 7:12 PM on March 1, 2012


Hey! Like Obama and the Iraq war!

A perfectly decent point.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:17 PM on March 1, 2012


In other news: Rick Santorum Knocks Government Role For Schools But Took Tax Dollars For His Kids' Home Schooling.
posted by ericb at 7:44 AM on March 2, 2012


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