Apple iMac poster
The colors of the translucent cases of the iMac (blueberry, grape, lime, strawberry, and tangerine) were often described as “flavors.” Steve Jobs commented, “We knew we had to name them after things you eat, because you just want to walk up and lick them."
As computers went mainstream, so did computer advertising. Early promotions targeted specialty shops and magazines. But greater acceptance and more varied customers opened a mass market. And that required mass media.
On television, John Cleese touting Compaq and William Shatner for Commodore joined IBM’s Chaplin-like character. Apple became known for high profile campaigns, beginning with its famed 1984 Super Bowl commercial.
Osborne 1 advertisement
While most ads for portables focused on the portability, this Osborne ad emphasized the amount of “free” software that came with it.View Artifact Detail
Ashton-Tate began as a mail-order software distributor, but became a major player in PC software with its dBase II database system. George Tate was a legitimate company founder, but Ashton was an invented name — and there never was a dBase I.View Artifact Detail
Microsoft SuperTeam t-shirt
The history of computers is written on its T-shirts. “It’s not just a job, it’s a wardrobe” has long been a mantra among programmers. Microsoft gave this SuperTeam t-shirt to employees in Washington and North Carolina.View Artifact Detail
Frisbees, mouse pads, floppy disks, T-shirts, baseball caps, pens and coffee cups have been joined by USB memory sticks and WiFi network sniffers as popular trade show giveaways.View Artifact Detail
Windows 95 t-shirt
Microsoft reportedly spent $300M on the launch of Windows 95, including millions for the right to use the Rolling Stones song, “Start Me Up.” This shirt was given to the support team helping with installations at computer stores.View Artifact Detail
Created by man. The affordable computer.
Early microcomputer ads promoted the machines as inexpensive alternatives to costly minicomputers.View Artifact Detail