Apple Macintosh – best ever print ads

Billboard by Mac advertising macintosh

With Macintosh fans celebrating today’s 30th anniversary of Apple’s groundbreaking computer, Solopress fondly look back at the Mac’s best ever print ads…

Firmly established as the graphic designer’s personal computer of choice, the Apple Macintosh has unsurprisingly always made a big splash in the world of print advertising too. Even today, Apple Inc. doesn’t rely on the likes of Facebook or Twitter to promote the company’s latest hotware.

Test drive a Macintosh.

Test drive a Macintosh print ads

Take home a Macintosh print advert

Images Source: Marketing Directo and Reddit

Here are two of the early Macintosh print ads, tempting people into actually trying Apple’s new home and business computer for the first time. The first ad employs bold imagery to set the scene and grab the viewer’s attention. This was then expanded upon by a more detailed, persuasive column of PR blurb in the second ad – pitching Apple’s clever gimmick of a ‘desktop computer test drive’ to prospective punters. It’s easy to forget that the Mac was a truly revolutionary experience for many microcomputer vets in 1984, let alone the general public. Prior to the Mac, computers didn’t even usually have a mouse to control them.

I think, therefore iMac.

I think therefore iMac billboard ad

Image Source: Advertolog

This 1999 billboard advert for the Apple iMac by ad agency TBWA is a playful dig at Ogilvy & Mather’s ‘I think, therefore IBM.’ advertising slogan from 1988. This advertising agency has enjoyed a long and successful collaboration with Apple over the years. The Los Angeles offices of TBWA\Chiat\Day also created the famous ‘Think different.’ ad slogan for Apple back in 1997 (see below for more details).

PC vs. Mac

Peep Show Mac vs PC print ad

Image Source: Reddit

Peep Show comedy actors David Mitchell and Robert Webb appeared in the British versions of Apple’s popular and long-running PC vs. Mac print, TV and cinema advertising campaign.

Chic. Not geek.

Chic Not geek print advertising

Image Source: Mac Life

iMac was the beginning of Apple’s product and marketing strategy to move away from the hardcore Macintosh users and court the masses for those really big buck$. This, of course, culminated in the development and release of the iPod, iTunes, iPhone and iPad – and Apple’s multi-billion-dollar domination of the music player, apps, smartphone and tablet markets over the past decade.

Think different.

Albert Einstein Think Different poster

Image Source: This is not ADVERTISING

The critically-acclaimed Think Different  series of print advertisements and promotional posters, once again devised by TBWA\Chiat\Day, associated Apple with famous people of note such as Albert Einstein, Alfred Hitchcock, Amelia Earhart, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles and Pablo Picasso.


iCandy Apple iMac print ads

Image Source: Marketing Directo

The colourful variations available in the iMac range were beautifully illustrated in this striking billboard and print ad campaign by Apple.


  1. Great advertising – simple but eyecatching. Interesting to see how the technology has developed over the years too!

  2. These ads are awesome, do they still put ads in magazines? Haven’t seen one for a while. I love Apple, would love to win the iPad Mini!

  3. I’m completely in love with my Apple iMac (and Apple products generally). The fact they are celebrating their 30th birthday is testament to their longevity and universal appeal.

  4. Even back in 1984 Mac where on top of their game. They have gone from strength to strength seeing brilliant advertising of a product over the time. Well Done Mac Happy 30th Birthday.

  5. Some brilliant examples there, they undoubtedly advertise well.. There’s nothing worse than seeing the same ad over and over on tv, billboards etc but never being able to remember what the product actually is! Well done to the people at Apple!

  6. Happy Birthday Apple Macintosh. They have come a long way in 20 Years. I remember it being cutting edge; now they simply dominate the market with all things technology!

  7. One of the best companies in the world in terms of advertisement. Simply shows that simplicity is key !

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