Watch: Steve Jobs As FDR in Apple's '1944' Promotional Video

Watch: Steve Jobs As FDR in Apple's '1944' Promotional Video

May 08, 2012

Steve Jobs as FDR

Pretty much everyone remembers Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl commercial – the introduction of the company’s Macintosh computer – but did you know that Apple commissioned an in-house follow-up piece entitled 1944? Even more amazing, that short film featured none other than Steve Jobs playing the part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Read on for the full story.

The nearly nine-minute long production was designed as a motivational tool to convince Apple employees to take the technology fight to rival company IBM. Michael Markman, one of the minds behind the campaign, writes that the idea came to him and Glenn Lambert as they were told of the company’s current situation by head of Mac marketing, Mike Murray. Murray explained that year one of the Macintosh had established a “beach head’, but had very little penetration in the business world. The goal of the second year of the Mac was to break through that barrier.

Naturally, this lead to Markman and Lambert thinking of Normandy and World War II – and they began spitballing ideas on the spot. Murray was thrilled by the concept and, in an unusual move, wanted to pitch the idea to Jobs immediately. The trio marched into Jobs’ office and began their hard sell. According to Markman, Jobs was excited by the idea – but it was the mention of the executive playing the visionary president that sealed the deal. Markman says “In the binary universe of Steve Jobs, something is either a zero or a one. This was a one. Instantly. Definitively.” The only catch was that Jobs insisted on not only acting the part of the former President, but also doing his voice. Since no one could tell Steve Jobs he couldn't do something, it was a done deal.

1944 vanished not long after its completion, but thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can see a teaser version for yourself below, then head here for the full short. Jobs makes a passable FDR – in a community theater sort of way – but we think he made the right choice in choosing to become a technology icon over a career in the movies.

[via The Verge]

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