Elliott contacted the agency responsible for the ad, New York’s OgilvyOne, who confirmed the conscious emulation of the Macintosh look and feel. Elliott quoted the agency’s creative director, Mach Arom, saying, “The design — or arguably, the anti-design — was meant to create a noticeable alternative to the promotional, whiz-bang advertising one usually finds on the Web.” He goes on to say that, “In terms of the computer interface as inspiration for the art direction, we designed the ads to live in the world parents are familiar with.”
My reaction was, “Wow.”
The ad does not in fact evoke “early Macintosh computers,” but rather what you might call middle-era Macs. Specifically, it apes the ‘platinum’ look and feel that debuted with Mac OS 8 about six years ago, and over a dozen years after the Mac was introduced.
Of course, that’s splitting hairs. Whether these ads recall an interface from six years ago or eighteen years ago doesn’t much matter to most advertising audiences — if it’s before 1999, it’s all ancient history. What’s notable about this ad is that it’s another of those “Whoa, what?” moments that periodically remind me that I am over thirty years old now. Though the days when the user interface for my computer actually looked like this ad don’t really seem so long ago, they are in fact receding further every minute.