Computer advertising in the eighties made promises that they simply could not deliver.... in fact, many of the claims still haven't been fully realized thirty-odd years later. The old adage "Don't let your mouth write a check your ass can't cash" is fitting here. How many families spent a fortune on computer stuff expecting it to change their lives, only to quickly realize it could actually do very little.
That being said, this is the way it always goes when new technology hits the market. If you look at old ads for refrigerators and microwaves when they first came out, the advertising depicted a very similar ecstasy. "Our new automatic garage door opener changed our life!" No it didn't. It made things marginally more convenient.
Anyway, let's check out some great vintage computer/tech ads. Enjoy.
FYI - 'Plinker' is a contraction of People Link. Although, this man looks to be doing a whole other kind of 'plinking'.
I can't imagine spending fifty bucks on this now - let alone in 1983!
Life before wireless and laptops. So sad. So very sad.
"And I can create my own type. For example, I designed 'SteveScript'"
Yes, Times Roman just wasn't good enough for Steve Clarke. His crummy dot matrix printer was barely out of the box before he started naming fonts after himself.
This one is amazing. A type program that is based on the movie 9 to 5! What genius came up with this idea? And why is the fella' in the ad still using an old typewriter?
Has this man been deaf all his life and now, suddenly thanks to modern technology, he can hear music? Sweet, sweet music!
Nope. Actually, it's just a sound card. So, why is he basically climaxing at the sounds?...... Oh, just never mind.
Ever seen a dot-matrix printout? It's not pretty. Forget the ear piercing screech as it inks each individual line. Forget the fact that those lousy holes on either side of the sheet would initiate an apocalyptic paper jam nearly every print job. When all was said and done, the color printouts were awful. They were anything but bold - unless by 'bold' you mean 'horrible'.
Of all my tech ads, this is my favorite. It's actually promising you a robot so advanced you'll consider it a member of the family! Think about how disingenuous this was. This ad is from November 1984 - so, we're talking nearly thirty years ago. They wouldn't presume to make this claim in 2012 (we're much too tech savvy these days to take the bait); yet, in '84 they literally offering you a fully functional robot that looks like a Dalek!
Plus, this isn't some Sea Monkey ad buried in the back of a comic book. No, this is brought to you by Heath and Zenith!
Of course, this wasn't the only Rosie the Robot being offered....
Pour your coffee and recite the day's agenda. cough! bullshit! cough!
Even at 2012 technology, hardly anyone uses software for their exercise routine. These eighties software companies literally covered the bases for every aspect of your life and sold you a program for it.
This ad came out in May 1984. Jim Fixx died while on his daily run in July 1984.
At last! An advertisement that's completely honest! Oh, wait. I didn't read the text at the bottom. Never mind.