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How USA Today’s Ad Meter Broke Super Bowl Advertising

When Ridley Scott created Apple’s iconic “1984,” the company’s board didn’t want it to air. Newly hired CEO John Sculley, veteran of many a Super Bowl ad as CEO of Pepsi-Cola Co., agreed with the consensus: It’s a waste to run an ad that doesn’t even show the product. Apple ended up selling off some of its planned Super Bowl ad time and ran “1984″ in the 60-second slot it couldn’t unload. The rest, as they say, is history. The Macintosh did change the world as Steve Jobs said it would, and Apple is the most valuable company on the planet. The commercial also ushered in an era in Super Bowl advertising that we still inhabit: the ad as entertainment. That we expect ads during the Super Bowl to be as entertaining as the game itself can largely be traced back to “1984.” But if that were the end of the story, we’d all still be watching high-concept minimovies directed by auteurs that made us think or feel different

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