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Remembering Dantz Development’s “Drink Different” Posters

Nostalgia is in the air, with “I’m a Mac” actor Justin Long being hired by Intel for a series of pro-PC ads that mock the Mac. Ignoring the question of how many non-geeks would remember Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign, I’d like to reach back even further into the history of Apple’s advertising.

Remember Apple’s “Think different” poster campaign from 1997–98? Each poster featured a black-and-white photograph of a historical figure, accompanied by a small Apple logo and the phrase “Think different.” in a corner. A site called thecrazyones.it has a collection of them, along with the TV ad that kicked off the campaign and a “Making Of” video.

Think different posters
Screenshot from thecrazyones.it; the names weren’t printed on the originals

What you may not have known is that Dantz Development, makers of the Retrospect backup software, parodied the “Think different” posters at its Macworld Expo parties for several years. Dantz’s “Drink different” posters mimicked Apple’s design but used photos of celebrities holding various drinks. We mentioned them in passing in “Macworld Expo SF ’99 Superlatives” (18 January 1999) when Jeff Carlson gave Dantz our award for the best party.

I recently stumbled across a low-res archive of the original Dantz parody posters and felt it was time to share them, 20-plus years after the parties and 16 years since Dantz itself fell into the corporate bit bucket. Retrospect is still around, though it hopscotched first to EMC and then to—deep breath—Iomega, Roxio, Sonic Solutions, Rovi, Retrospect Inc., and (finally?) StorCentric.

How many of the historical figures in Dantz’s posters can you name? Can you identify their drinks? How about the source of each image? Finally, which of them also appeared on a “Think different” poster?

Drink different MM

Drink different JW

Drink different CG

Drink different HB-IB

Drink different ET

Drink different LB

Drink different RS

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Comments About Remembering Dantz Development’s “Drink Different” Posters

Notable Replies

  1. Adam,

    I don’t remember the posters, but I do have the shot glasses from 3 or 4 years worth of parties (which IIRC, were only held in SF, not Boston or New York).

    As for the people featured on the posters, I’ve got John Wayne and Lucille Ball, but don’t recognize the others well enough to even guess at names.

    Cheers,
    Jon

  2. Marilyn Monroe. It’s one of her very famous, and considered at the time, extremely racy and scandalous towel shots.

    Carey Grant carrying a glass of milk in Suspicion. It’s one of the most creepy scenes in one of Alfred Hitchcock’s creepiest movies. And there was a lightbulb in the glass to make the milk suspiciously glow:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j43DaFDhggM

    John Wayne. In addition to be decades long star/hero in westerns, was also appeared in beer, liquor and cigarette ad campaigns. The booze ads were taglined “I never trust a man who doesn’t drink.”

    Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca.

    Elizabeth Taylor in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Just about as scandalous as Monroe in a towel.

    The Lucille Ball photo is from one of her best skits, and was filmed in one take with no rehearsals. The segment is one of the best from THE leading lady of physical comedy and facial gestures:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY3eOtJwOhE

    Red Skelton, a star and master of circus, vaudeville, film, radio and television. He’s still considered one of the best character drunks in in each medium. Here he is in Deadeye with John Wayne:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQcdI_ZRYjM
  3. And Marilyn pegs it!

    Cary Grant’s glass of milk might also contain poison, I gather. I haven’t seen Suspicion, but it sounds seriously creepy.

    Full disclosure: on my first pass, I incorrectly guessed Sophia Loren for Elizabeth Taylor and had no idea about Red Skelton—just before my time.

  4. Thanks, and Suspicion is one of Hitch’s best, IMHO, below Psycho, The Lady Vanishes, and North By Northwest. Hitchcock was forced by the studio to change and reshoot the ending. He bitched and moaned about the ending until he died.

    And if Macs were available when Suspicion was shot, they wouldn’t have had to rig the glass of milk.

  5. At my house, we do shots of maple syrup.

  6. Craig! So nice to see you here, and it’s great that that poster lives on. Were you the marketing genius at Dantz behind these party decorations? :slight_smile:

  7. Kerry MacInnes directed the effort. :slight_smile:

  8. Kerry, of course! Another name from the past.

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