By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 3:07 pm
As TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid has reported, DoubleTwist–a media manager application that, among other things, serves as a bridge between iTunes and non-Apple devices–is promoting a new version that debuts on October 6th with an ad that looks…eerily familiar:
Yup, the ad is an animated remake of Apple’s legendary “1984” commercial, directed by Ridley Scott, which introduced the Mac–except this time the scary overlord (who seemed to represent IBM the first time around) bears a striking resemblance to Steve Jobs:
DoubleTwist isn’t saying what the new feature is, but in general, the company’s product is on the side of the angels–it lets people who don’t own Apple devices participate in the iTunes ecology in a way that makes way more sense than Palm’s USB spoofing. DoubleTwist founder Jon “DVD Jon” Lech Johansen is a kind of a genius, and I’m curious what the company has up its sleeve.
That said, I don’t think much of the ad. It doesn’t take much creativity to remake somebody else’s commercial, and this particular remake is less than artful. Then again, I also think that of Apple’s version. It may be universally regarded as one of the greatest TV ads of all time, but the Orwellian overtones were as hyperbolic in 1984 as they are in 2009. And what potential customer wants to watch a commercial that depicts him or her as a compliant zombie? (I’d like to see Apple open up iTunes myself, but I don’t feel like I’m part of an army of lobotomized drones when I use it–nor do I think that Steve Jobs is any more of a terrifying Big Brother than whoever was running IBM in 1984.)
On the other hand, DoubleTwist’s first anti-Apple prank–getting a huge ad seemingly displayed on the outside wall of one of Apple’s flagship stores–is one of the greatest practical jokes ever played by anyone on anyone. May whatever DoubleTwist releases next week live up to the imagination it showed with that bit of guerilla marketing…