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9 Classic Tech Commercials

Written by Peter Bolte on July 14, 2017 in tech, technology, commercials, retro

Before things can be called retro throwbacks, they must have been original at one point. Here are some blasts from the past that showcase 9 of the most innovative tech products of their time.

1. Nintendo When the original Nintendo Entertainment System came out in North America in 1985, it rebooted the whole home gaming industry. The first package on the shelves even included Rob “the extraordinary video robot” who would sit with you as you played games. Wow!

2. Atari Before his career skyrocketed on Saturday Night Live, Phil Hartman made a few cameos on commercials. Here’s one promoting Ice Hockey by Activision for the Atari 2600 circa 1981.

3. Sony Walkman In this spot, Sony was able to get Mr. Choromatsu during the height of his career to star in and advertise the groundbreaking Walkman cassette tape player in 1987.

4. AOL This is a very serious commercial for AOL in 1995. It stars David Cross from HBO’s Mr. Show–or some of you would know him as the lovable Tobias on Arrested Development.

5. Another AOL I wonder if there is a single place where a person can send something to their mother for their birthday, book plane tickets for a vacation, and also do research for a grade school science project? Hmmmm….

6. Apple Not to date me, but this was the first computer that I was introduced to, the Apple IIc computer. This commercial speaks for itself.

7. The Commodore Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise gives his approval for the Vic-20 Commodore home computer that you too can put in your home for just $300 (around $750 in today’s money). What a steal!

8. Motorola Before there was the iPhone or Galaxy, there was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. When it came out in 1983, Motorola was at the top of the "cellular revolution".

9. Macintosh This $1.5 million commercial directed by Ridley Scott was first aired during the 1984 Super Bowl. Two days later, Steve Jobs gave the first of his famous Mac keynote speeches that would become the signature of Apple and its products.

Although these may seem quite dated now, there was a time when each of these things were some of the most coveted products of their era. Technology is always making steady advancements and I’m curious to see what the products we use and fawn over today will look like in 20 to 30 years.

All of these products use some form of code and if you’re interested in learning the skills needed to develop the next groundbreaking product of your generation, take a few moments to read about our programs.