What We Think about the New Mac Ads

by Meiera Stern May 04, 2006

Here’s what some of our staff has to say about the new Mac Ads.

David Czepanski: Gotta love those new Mac ads. At least one person at Apple is still a cheeky so and so.

But who are they pitched at? Surely these ads are aimed at people who are already using a Mac?

We Mac heads smile and identify with one or more of them (personal favourite is the iLife ad) but I doubt that a smug campaign such as
this will endear many PC users to make the switch. If anything it probably confirms what PC users already think of us; that we think we
have the best applications, don’t get viruses, don’t need to restart and think that we have the “better” platform.

The truth hurts sometimes.

Chris Howard: This is a clever campaign by Apple. These ads are to raise awareness, not to start a stampede to Macs. The message isn’t “Go buy a Mac now!” Rather it’s, “Next time you buy a computer, a Mac is a viable option.” They are good because they’re not over the top—which Mac users themselves can be at times.  Instead they’re simply a gentle and yet unsettling prod. Of course, there are people in the market now, who will see these ads and give a Mac a look. Because these ads aren’t in your face, like so much other advertising, they are eye-catching.

I don’t subscribe to the pessimistic view that these ads are too critical of PCs; too corny; or will incite droves of virus writers to attack Macs.

The reminder that MS Office runs on Macs is good way to get a lot of people’s attention and to remind them that there is compatibility with the Mac.

Overall, besides the “Better” one, which falls a bit flat (except for the mention of MS Office), the others are very good and will be effective.

Devanshu Mehta: I like how the new Mac ads make no exaggerated claims, have no smugness from assumed superiority and actually make concessions to the PC on some fronts. Tha main themes that come across are the old “Mac just works” philosophy and the new one of coexistence with the PC;
albeit an awkward, Gates-ian, middle-aged PC. The target demographic
is clear and it is nice to see Apple discard some of its arrogance to
get their message across.

Greg Ng: Viewing the new Apple ads gave me a chuckle. And that’s the problem.
Apple has fallen into the same trap once again ? putting out ads that
are highly amusing to existing Apple users. Great except for the fact
that we are already convinced. I know, let’s try to convert PC users
by representing them as big, bald, and unhip!

David Parmet: I like the concept but I wish the Mac guy were a little less hipster and the PC guy a little less dorky. There are plenty of dorky middle aged guys who use Macs and some who use PCs could be convinced to jump as well.

Julie Salickram: Love the ads. The concept is very much in keeping with what makes a Mac a Mac: a simple clean look.  The characters are well suited as well, without being painfully overdone.  The “Mac” guy is cool, modern, relaxed, easy to relate to, fits your life and most
importantly, he coveys a sense of being “Real”.  The “PC” guy, however
is false, trying to be something he is not.  The messaging is clear
and concise, highlighting the Mac’ss advantages over PCs without
throwing too much mud in the process.

Meiera Stern: These ads put Macs out there in prime time. What a chutzpadik thing to do. The style of the ads is recognizable Apple branding, but the fact that there’s an ad for a Mac during American Idol (for example) says a lot about how far Apple has come in the past few iPod-rich years, and how far it wants to go.

Aaron Wright: Bonjourno. Hello? A funny way to highlight how frustrating PC’s can be when compared to the Mac. I think PC lovers will probably moan a few words at these ads, but let’s be realistic, they’re just highlighting some truth in a comical way.  My favorite ad available is the ‘Network’ one. I’ve never had an easy time trying to set up a network on a PC, and I’m one of the most computer literate people I know - it’s practically a piece of cake with a Mac.

What are your thoughts?


  • “Network” is my favorite one too, it’s cheerful. They are all very friendly in tone, I like that. What I do not like but understand is important for Apple to communicate is the “yeah, we have Office too” aspect.

    Bad Beaver had this to say on May 04, 2006 Posts: 371
  • I agree they might have toned down the separation a bit but overall I liked them. It was more us and them instead of the usual us vs. them. This is what we can do, and by the way, we can coexist. They did take a couple of shots that seemed a little self-indulgent though.

    Networking was also my favorite.

    Wundryn had this to say on May 04, 2006 Posts: 10
  • A waste of marketing dollars if you ask me. I’m in advertising and produce commercials.

    Apple needs to advertise to the average PC user, which is the majority. PC people deal with daily three headaches of three things:

    2-AD/Mal Ware
    3-Peripherals not working when plugged in. Printer, cameras, scanner, etc..

    Apple do an ad that addresses the major daily crisis in a straight forward non cute smarter by half commercial. A commercial that easily explains how this will not be an issue for the at the end of their rope PC user. And watch you market share grow. Quickly.

    And the forth major roadblock of a switcher. Cost. A plain and simple comparison ad to a Dell computer. SHOW the people that the cost is not different if not cheaper.

    Does Apple wants too? They never have done advertising of this sort. Matbe they think it’s beneath them.

    Apple needs to “Think Different” when it comes to their advertising.

    mozart11 had this to say on May 04, 2006 Posts: 35
  • “I know, let’s try to convert PC users
    by representing them as big, bald, and unhip!”

    Yeah, that’s a problem. These ads are for Mac users, not for PC users. I’m a PC user, but I’m not a fat dork. And (that’s more important) my PC isn’t a fat dork! So while these ads may be funny, they aren’t that good because there are _different_ PCs. There are(few)PC users who care about their PCs. _These users_ are potential switchers and they choose the best PCs they can find/afford. So showing their stylish Asus/Samsung laptop or a powerful Alienware desktop as that Mr. Windows can (and will) alienate them.
    What makes it worse is that most of the ads look stupid, especially from a PC user’s point of view:
    “Restarting” - it isn’t that bad, but it’s hard to tell if the “PC” is restarting because of the new drivers or just because of, you know, “Windows”... It’s confusing.
    “Better”/“iLife” - shouldn’t it be one ad instead of two? Windows comes with Windows Media Player, not only “Calculator and clock”. “Clock” isn’t an application, anyway! There’s no such application for Windows! So it’s BS… ;-] It’s quite interesting they don’t mention Movie Maker. I guess it’s because most people don’t care about home movies, so these two ads wouldn’t convince anyone anyway.
    “Network” - the beginning is great, but when “the new digital camera from Japan” appears, everything gets worse. Many PC users connect their cameras to their PCs without any problems. The ad implies that you can’t connect a digital camera to a PC. Isn’t that ridiculous? And, by the way, most cameras aren’t made “in Japan” ;-].
    “WSJ” - it’s awful. PC users who read WSJ have already read the “review”. PC users who don’t read WSJ won’t listen to “one of the most respectable technology experts on the planet”. ;-] Don’t ask me why…;-]
    “Viruses” - this one is great! Especially the part when “Mac” wipes “PC’s” nose. It’s a masterpiece. Almost… It reminded me of antivirus companies warning PC users that they can get a virus from a Mac as Mac users don’t use antivirus software. ;-] So this “PC” guy was killed by a “Mac”‘s touch! ;-]

    Mac users wanted Apple to advertise Macs on TV. They get what they want. But I don’t think Mac sales will skyrocket because of these ads. ;-]

    Frosty Grin had this to say on May 04, 2006 Posts: 33
  • I am not sure that these ads will have a great impact. They sound like the witty conversations I usually have with a friend and yet she is still reluctant to move away from her pizza-sized laptop.

    hitoro had this to say on May 04, 2006 Posts: 12
  • Howdy Guys,

    Has anyone noticed that if you compare the style of dress and personal grooming habits of the people in the ads to the style of dress and personal grooming habits of the founders of Apple & Micro$oft the grin on your face gets larger?
    ‘til later,

    HyperHippie had this to say on May 04, 2006 Posts: 3
  • I made a post on Chris’s column about advertizing, and I think I will elaborate on it some more here.

    In this world you have two types of people when it comes to computing, zealots and non-zealots. Think you can change the zealots, forget about it, its not happening.

    Zealots literally worship there machine and its operating system. You may get them to try something different, and they may like it, but until there current machine or OS tweaks them to the limits, loyalty runs to deep to make the change.

    Non-zealots on the other hand are the people jumping on a band wagon from peer influence. They claim to be literate in computing, but the majority do nothing more than repeat what they have been told, wether fictional or non-fictional.
    Thier general excuse is you can’t do this or that on the opposing platform in a very niave manner. You can bet these people jumped the wagon on a popularity basis and I don’t mean just PC’ers. Which ever platform dominates among thier peers is the wagon they have jumped on.

    Apple’s ads were designed to gradually educate these people (it’s not going to happen over night). They are trying to let people know there are alternatives besides Windows, and thats exactly what the ads are conveying.

    Apple has suffered over the years do to lack of advertizing and I feel they see it and regret it. They will not increase market share over these few adds, but the more they advertize the more people will know they exist and are HERE to stay.

    Macster2 had this to say on May 04, 2006 Posts: 40
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