YORK ON ADS / No 21: Apple

APPLE IS making its pitch for the world of multimedia and information super-highways. It's getting there via the sensibility of the moderately hip thirtysomething - ie, The World of Jonathan Ross.

The world in question is the 'Future Past'. Or, in other words, all the Fifties sci-fi that we're encouraged to giggle at now: dream cars, rocket ships, lumbering robots, monorails, swirly dissolves and plinky music.

These all appear as cute old clips in Apple's smart new Power Mac advert. 'Remember what the future used to be . . ? This future belongs to the past,' they declare, cutting rapidly to the Power Mac and its pastel pie charts, with a blast of heavy guitar and growly horror- film voiceover. 'Power Mac, it's here.'

Other ads in the campaign suggest Power Mac's multimedia capabilities - live-action video and sound on tap.

The computer companies play a key role in multimedia land but, Bill Gates aside, they've been rather forgotten in all the coverage of cable TV and video companies battling for film rights. Apple is putting down a marker that's part brand personality -'we're hip' - and part product features, in an effort to introduce its new baby to the telecottages of the NW1 diaspora. Peter York

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(Photograph omitted)