In 1984, Apple’s famous commercial aired, depicting a woman with a shaved head running with a sledgehammer towards a giant screen depicting Big Brother. The ad, named “1984,” ran during the Super Bowl and created a buzz among viewers. The woman with a shaved head was Anya Major, a young British athlete and actress. This commercial became an instant hit and remains an iconic ad today. However, not much is known about the woman behind the iconic ad. In this blog post, we uncover the unknown story of Anya Major: The Iconic Face of Apple’s ‘1984’ Commercial.

The Birth of an Iconic Ad

The ad was created as a part of a campaign to introduce Apple’s Macintosh personal computer to the world. Directed by Ridley Scott, known for his iconic films like Alien and Blade Runner, the ad depicted a dystopian future where people were controlled and manipulated by a big brother-like figure. The ad ends with Anya Major throwing the sledgehammer towards the giant screen, shattering it into tiny fragments. The ad was shot in London’s Twickenham Studios, and it took only three days to complete the shoot.

The Rise and Fall of Anya Major’s Career

Anya Major started her career as a sprinter and won many titles during her school years. However, she retired from athletics at the age of 19 to pursue a career in acting. After the success of Apple’s ad, Anya Major was briefly the face of Apple and was offered many lucrative deals. However, her career did not take off as she had planned. She struggled to find work and was even sued by her talent agency for outstanding payments. Eventually, she moved to the US and worked as a waitress before returning to the UK.

The Legacy of Apple’s ‘1984’ Commercial

Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial is considered a milestone in advertising history. It ushered in a new era of cinematic advertising and set the benchmark for all future Superbowl ads. The ad became a cultural phenomenon and remains an iconic symbol of Apple’s marketing strategy. The commercial is still studied in marketing and advertising courses worldwide and is considered a case study for effective branding.

The Behind-the-Scenes Trivia of the ‘1984’ Commercial

The ‘1984’ commercial was shot in just three days and had a budget of $900,000. The ad was kept under wraps until the Superbowl, as the Apple board was hesitant to show it publicly. The ad was aired only once, during the Superbowl in 1984, and never ran again. The woman in the ad was not identified until much later, as Apple had kept her identity a secret. The ad was a risky move for Apple, as it was considered controversial and could have resulted in a backlash.

The Impact of Apple’s ‘1984’ Commercial on the Industry

Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial changed the face of advertising forever. It set a new standard for cinematic advertising and proved that ads could be more than just product placements. The ad paved the way for future cinematic commercials and helped the advertising industry evolve.

The Life of Anya Major after the ‘1984’ Commercial

After her brief stint as the face of Apple’s 1984 commercial, Anya Major moved back to the UK and devoted her time to raising her family. She gave a few interviews but mostly stayed out of the limelight. She passed away in 2021 due to natural causes at the age of 61.


Q1. Who is Anya Major?
Anya Major was a young British athlete and actress who shot to fame after playing the lead in Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial.

Q2. What was Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial?
Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial was an iconic ad that aired during the Super Bowl. It depicted a dystopian future and showcased Apple’s Macintosh personal computer.

Q3. Who directed Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial?
Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial was directed by Ridley Scott.

Q4. What was the budget for Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial?
The budget for Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial was $900,000.

Q5. Did Anya Major have a successful career after the ‘1984’ commercial?
No, Anya Major struggled to find work after the ‘1984’ commercial and eventually moved to the US to work as a waitress.

Q6. What was the impact of Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial?
Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial changed the face of advertising forever. It set a new standard for cinematic advertising and paved the way for future cinematic commercials.

Q7. What happened to Anya Major after the ‘1984’ commercial?
Anya Major moved back to the UK after the ‘1984’ commercial and devoted her time to raising her family. She remained out of the limelight and passed away in 2021.


Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial and Anya Major’s role in it will always be remembered in advertising history. The ad’s impact on the industry is significant, and its cinematic style has been replicated in many future ads. Anya Major may not have had a successful career after the ad, but her contribution to advertising and pop culture will always be remembered. As we pay tribute to her legacy, we should also remember how important it is to embrace the risks and take a chance. So, let us take inspiration from the ‘1984’ commercial and continue to push the boundaries of advertising and creativity.

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