Mental Floss on how Apple's advertising went from making history to becoming history:
'A year later, Apple again employed Chiat\Day to make a blockbuster ad for their Macintosh Office product line, which was basically a file server, networking gear, and a laser printer. Directed by Ridley Scott’s brother Tony, the new ad was called “Lemmings,” and featured blindfolded businesspeople whistling an out-of-tune version of Snow White‘s “Heigh-Ho” as they followed each other off a cliff (referencing the myth of lemming suicide).
Jobs and Sculley didn’t like the ad, but Chiat\Day convinced them to run it, pointing out that the board hadn’t liked the last ad either. But unlike the rousing, empowering message of the “1984″ ad, “Lemmings” directly insulted business customers who had already bought IBM computers. It was also weirdly boring — when it was aired at the Super Bowl (with Jobs and Sculley in attendance), nobody really reacted. The ad was a flop, and Apple even proposed running a printed apology in the Wall Street Journal. Jay Chiat shot back, saying that if Apple apologized, Chiat would buy an ad on the next page, apologizing for the apology. It was a mess:'
You can watch the Lemmings commercial here.