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What the first Macintosh ads looked like


Today marks the 30th anniversary of Steve Jobs introducing the Mac to the world. Given how prevalent computers are these days -- most of us carry one around in our pockets, after all -- it's easy to forget just how transformative the Mac was. Touted as the computer for the "rest of us," the Mac made computing accessible to and inviting for the masses.

Because the Mac ushered in a new era of computing, early ads for the Mac had to explain basic computing concepts that today need no explanation -- like the mouse and the notion of a desktop.

In December of 1983, Apple published an extensive multi-page ad for the Mac in widely circulated magazines like Time. And by extensive, I mean 18 pages worth of advertising materials. A few months later, during the fall of 1984, Apple upped the ante when it paid for all the advertising space in a special election issue of Newsweek -- 39 pages in all.

So just what did some of the first Macintosh ads look like? Thankfully, the aptly named website MacMothership has a collection of vintage Mac ads as far as the eye can see. Below are four pages of original Mac advertising that appeared as part of the aforementioned 18-page spread in December, 1983.

Even back then, Apple appreciated the importance of keeping product names simple. The advert reads in part:

And when the engineers were finally finished, they introduced us to a personal computer so personable, it can practically shake hands.

And so easy to use, most people already know how.

They didn't call it the QZ190, or the Zipchip 5000.

They called it Macintosh.

And now we'd like to introduce it to you.

And here, Apple introduces the public to the concept of a mouse. While the mouse was originally introduced in the 1960s, it only entered the mainstream once Apple released the Mac.

Here, Apple shows us what's inside the original Mac. The translucent effect in this ad would eventually become a feature many years later when Apple introduced the original iMac.

And lastly, this ad excerpt illustrates the advantages of the Mac's GUI over an IBM PC.

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