The commercial aired on January 22, 1984, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII (Los Angeles Raiders beat the Washington Redskins).
The ad, which went on to win numerous awards, is based on George Orwells book “1984,” in which society is controlled by Big Brother and his Thought Police, forcing everyone to conform to governmental dictates. In the commercial, a rebel hurls a hammer at a huge screen featuring Big Brother droning on about information directives.. The ad was assumed to be a metaphor for the little guy (Apple) standing up to the big guy (IBM).
The Macintosh Superbowl ad has consistently been lauded as a classic, winning critical acclaim over time. It is now considered a watershed event and an advertising masterpiece. The ad is widely regarded as one of the most memorable and successful American television commercials of all time.
Read more about the first Macintosh, and check out the video: