Just 66 “I’m a Mac” ads aired out of 323 that were filmed. Star Justin Long says Steve Jobs always rejected the ones that had too much humor.
Justin Long, who co-starred in all of Apple’s famous “I’m a Mac” ads with John Hodgman, has revealed that Steve Jobs rejected ones that were too funny. While Long filmed 323 of them, he says there was a pattern to which ones failed to be used.
“I noticed that some of the funniest ones would never air,” Long told Entertainment Weekly. “One in particular, I remember, Zach Galifianakis played, like, a drunken Santa Claus. I was dying to see that one [but] they said, basically, that Steve Jobs preferred when they weren’t super funny.”
The ads, which ran from 2006 to 2009, all promoted Macs by pointing out that Windows PCs were significantly flawed. Jobs reportedly wanted that to always be the message that viewers took away. “He thought [being too funny] would detract from the point of the commerical,” continued Long. “He thought if people were too focused on the humor in it, they would lose sight of the product.”
“Virus” was the first “I’m a Mac” ad to be written
Previously, Long, co-star John Hodgman and makers of the campaign from TBWAChiatDay including creative director Jason Sperling, have spoken about the ads and Jobs’s detailed focus on them.
“Steve demanded perfection,” Sperling said. “Just looking at a reflection on a screen at the 17-second mark, he’d tell the team, ‘Stop, why didn’t you do better with your lighting?’ He was quite punishing if you didn’t do it right.”
Alongside his film career, Long has also now starred in an ad campaign for Huawei.