Mac Ads Are Under Threat

by Aaron Wright Dec 19, 2006

I don’t know many people that actually enjoy watching adverts – the endless L’Oreal ‘Because you’re completely not worth it’ and the rather annoying and in your face debt consolidation adverts are enough to drive anyone potty. I suppose one could always make use of a good ad break to go and make a cup of tea though.

I think it’s fair to say that Apple’s recent ‘Get a Mac’ ads, featuring John Hodgman as the PC and Justin Long as the Mac, are probably the funniest Ads around coming from a computer company – I don’t see Microsoft or Nintendo offering anything anywhere near as funny. And let’s be honest, who actually wants to sit around and wait for an advert unless it’s going to bring some form of smile to our faces?

The adverts were aired for the first time in May of this year (2006) and received both acclaim and criticism from Apple Computer lovers/Neutrals and Windows lovers respectively. Justin Long, who played the Mac, is the trendy creative which is obviously how Apple sees themselves, and an image that I’m sure we can all agree on. John Hodgman, a humorist and author, plays the dull and completely uncreative Windows PC, although in all honesty, he’s the reason these ads are so popular – his funny comments and quirky ways drive the adverts popularity with Long being the catalyst for all his jokes. It’s a combination that has worked well this year and, according to Long on a recent post at a fan site, they’ll be a few more Ads coming next year – a year which seems rather promising for Apple.

However, they’ll now be facing stiff competition from a couple of Mexican dustballs who have drawn more tears out of my eyes through laughter than Long and Hodgman ever could. Their home is the Sony PSP and they’re here to stay.

Although the dust balls don’t directly compete with Hodgman and Long in terms of the products they’re advertising (after all, one is a handheld console and the other is a home computer unit), they almost definitely will be fighting it up for airtime – and it seems that the Mexican dust balls are already winning in the U.K. How so? The only Mac ads that have featured over in the U.K (and from this I assume the rest of Europe too) was the Intel transition adverts, which even then faced criticism and soon came off air after Apple accidentally labelled Windows users as stupid, or something.

The two dust balls don’t have a name, but their general greeting is “Heeeeey!” followed by some long long rant about something that isn’t at all related to the PSP. It works because it’s funny and in your face, it also works because they do all this in front of a PSP that is almost twice the size of them (in terms of height but let’s not get technical).

The two most popular Ads are the ‘Snuk’ and ‘Oooo’, the latter being my favourite, why?

Dustball 1: “Hey dustball, if you could download just one thing, what would it be?” (referring to the media manager for the PSP)

Dustball 2: “Ooh, I’d download a song I wrote and the ladies would be like (in high pitched voice) ‘hey dustball your song makes my knees weak’ and I’d be like ‘heeeey lady, you drivin’ me crazy I think I love youuuuuuuuuuuuu *breathes* ouuuuuuuuuu”.

And that’s the advert. See how simple yet completely effective it is? Check out the video above to see my point, but a couple of Mexican dustballs ranting on about absolute rubbish is a must see for anyone and it’ll certainly get you thinking about the PSP.

I dare say the Mac and PSP adverts will be able to run along side each other in complete harmony, but as the latter is getting more exposure is it about time Apple start to think of expanding their adverts to other countries other than the States?

See both sets of adverts for yourself though and let us know what you think? Which adverts get you thinking about the company’s product more, the dustballs or Hodgman and Long?

Watch the Dustball adverts (Click on TV ADS when the page loads)

Watch the Get a Mac adverts



  • I fail to see how these 2 commercials relate to each other besides the fact that they both talk about something tech based and there are 2 different things talking. It seems like you just like the PSP commercial and found a way to associate it somehow to Apple.

    I dunno, maybe I’m missing something.

    The current Mac ads are facing a very different selling proposition than the PSP. They have a much more challenging story to tell. Converting current Window users to Mac. The PSP ad is selling a new feature on an existing product.

    I know you acknowledge they are different products but “competing for airtime”? Of course, they will compete for airtime. But they will also compete with ads for more titilating things as well (like the Victoria’s Secret Runway Show)

    Do I find both commercial effective? Sure. But if you are going to compare the 2 you really need to find a PSP commercial that directly compares itself to a Nintendo DS or an Apple commercial that announces a specific feature in OSX.

    BigMac had this to say on Dec 19, 2006 Posts: 5
  • I think the point was they were both funny.

    Graham had this to say on Dec 19, 2006 Posts: 24
  • Yawn…...

    Big E had this to say on Dec 23, 2006 Posts: 7
  • I never really found those PSP commercials funny. I find the humor a bit… well, it’s like watching two geeks -who think they’re funny- talking in a café.

    Whereas with the Apple ads, I believe I’ve laughed out loud on some of them. The humor is more thought-out.

    But one point you make is totally right: the Apple commercials are under threat in the UK against these PSP ones, because the PSP ads are shown whereas the Apple ones are not.

    Come on, Apple. The market share is growing in the USA, and you’re showing ads over there. Watch the correlation! Watch it!

    Luke Mildenhall-Ward had this to say on Dec 26, 2006 Posts: 299
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