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Where's the Next '1984'?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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This past weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the release of the Mac and the famous '1984' ad. 

The ad that changed how advertising people thought about advertising.

It was a production. It was poignant. It targeted competition. It represented the freedom of information and a product.

To be sure, it was a good spot. And it has every right to be heralded as such.

But let's move forward. Will there be another spot that captures consumer attention like that? 

Better yet, is there a product on the way that will demand that kind of shift in thinking? We are of the mindset that great advertising is only the byproduct of a great product. The organization must have put the time and energy into creating and designing something consumers are going to rave about. Then attention should be shifted to how to let the audiences know.

Our marketing and advertising colleagues have been under attack due to their "ineffectiveness" in improving the bottom line. 

But what do they have to work with?

One of our industry's passed greats has been quoted as saying, "All the advertising in the world won't sell a bad product." The word "bad" can mean several things. Bad in the sense that it is truly an inferior product. Or, bad in the sense that it is not answering the need or want the consumer had in the first place. In both cases, the product itself is the problem, not the marketing of it.

People tend to forget that the Mac was bringing into the market things consumers and tech professionals had never seen before. Rightly, then, the advertising of a breakthrough product should reflect its novelty.

So today, in a consumption-driven society, it is incredibly difficult to create mind-blowing creative with less-than-breakthrough offerings.

When will we see the next '1984' ad? When brands bring to the market products that are worth being excited about. Products that will change the way our society looks at an issue.

Until then.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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