Apple Spoofed Ghostbusters in 1984

At that same Hawaiian sales staff conference where the video was shown of Steve Jobs impersonating FDR, there was also this. It’s called Bluebusters, and it’s four minutes of Apple staff spoofing Ghostbusters.

Don’t watch this video if you’re allergic to cheese, because there’s a ton of it in this four-minute, goofball promotional video from October 1984. It was made for intended viewing only internally, by Apple’s global sales staff. Meant to fire them up, it depicts Apple staff members carrying around Macintosh computers on their backs, as if they were the Ghostbusters’ proton packs. (Ghostbusters was a huge hit in the summer of ’84.) But instead of hunting ghosts, the Bluebusters hunted IBM PCs. It came complete with a rewritten version of Ray Parker, Jr.’s title song. And it just gets weirder the longer you watch.

Back in 1984, Apple’s biggest enemy wasn’t Samsung or Google. It was Windows-based PCs, a market that IBM had a lock on way back when. IBM built the hardware, Microsoft built the software, and together they darn near took over the world. Apple was a tiny niche market at the time, an oddity that created the operating system and software that went inside their own hardware. And of course, they had Steve Jobs, whose need for perfection was as uncompromising as it was tyrannical. (Never mind that this was just seven months before he was relieved of his duties at Apple.)

Apple believed it had a game-changing product on its hands with the Macintosh, and wanted to energize its sales staff to that end. Hence, this over-the-top short film that depicts Apple “freeing” PC users from the control of IBM, aka the “blue” in Bluebusters.

Oh, how times have changed.

By the way, watch for the Steve Wozniak cameo. Jobs puts in a brief one, too, as a fully suited-up Bluebuster.

Apple Gazette Team
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  1. Wow, somehow that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
    The worst part for me was the constant crossfaded-still-image animation, rather than smooth video. I guess they had to do that for the streams or it would all get rather costly. Who knows what kind of cockamamie Quantel Paintbox thingy they did special effects on back then.