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High Performance IBM

High Performance IBM Advertising Button Museum
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High Performance IBM Personal Computers
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White button with blue and black text and a black silhouette of Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin's hat and cane are shown being blown away from a desktop computer on a table carrying a flower in a vase.

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In August 1981 the advertising agency Lord, Geller, Federico, and Einstein launched IBM's first Personal Computer with its hugely popular Chaplin ads. Harkening back to an earlier time, a simpler time, the print and television ads were largely black/white and featured Charlie Chaplin's "little tramp" character, played by character actor Billy Scudder. IBM was hoping to reduce public fear of the computer and highlight its simplicity and applications. Using a lovable old-timey character like the tramp made computers seem within reach and not some scary thing from the future. (Whether or not the US$1,565 base price was truly within reach is arguable!)

Press Release announcing the new IBM Personal Computer

Footage of IBM's Charlie Chaplin campaign

Catalog ID: 
AD0011
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