More would switch from Windows to Mac if Apple advertised more effectively

“I got an earful at the New York State Fair last week…. My primary advice to readers who are ready to buy a new computer has been to switch to an Apple Macintosh. Apple’s computers are based on Unix, a safer operating system than Windows, and they are unaffected by Windows viruses, spyware and zombieware. That’s what I told fairgoers who asked me what I thought. And it’s probably what I told folks who didn’t ask me what I thought, too,” Al Fasodlt writes for The Syracuse Post-Standard.

“Some of those I talked to said they hadn’t realized that Apple’s computers handled such common Windows documents as Microsoft Word files. In fact, Microsoft created Word for the Mac first, then created the Windows version after it was clear the program would be a success. Microsoft even offers a Mac OS X version of the Office suite; it’s Office 2004,” Fasodlt writes.

“I had some spirited conversations about personal choice in computing, too. Competition is vital, but information is important, too. I had the feeling, after talking to many readers, that Microsoft’s competitors need to advertise on TV and in print media more,” Fasodlt writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We must meet the same people as Al. Almost universally, they don’t know a thing about Apple Macintosh. Apple hasn’t just dropped the ball, they buried it several miles down. Here’s hoping that Apple wakes up and takes advantage of Microsoft’s malaise by actually getting the word out through advertising that the Mac is quite compatible with other platforms and is the better choice for the vast majority of personal computer users.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Forrester analysts: Apple should advertise Mac OS X Tiger on television and in movie theaters – April 29, 2005
Mac fans line up for new operating system as passberby asks ‘what is a tiger?’ – April 29, 2005
Apple posts QuickTime movies of Mac OS X Tiger features in action – April 13, 2005
Why doesn’t Apple advertise Mac OS X on TV? – April 12, 2005
Why doesn’t Apple show its patented Mac OS X ‘Genie Effect’ in TV ads? – October 07, 2004
Top Ten things Apple needs to show the world about Macintosh – July 30, 2003


  1. Apple doesn’t believe in advertising. That would cut into profit. Plus, Apple only knows how to make commercials that are fun to watch, but don’t sell computers. They rely on the iPod + iTunes –> Apple Store -> see Apple computers –> get interesting in Apple computer –> buy Mac theory.

  2. MDN, I hope Apple gets on the ball as well. I am so sick of seeing those XP commercials everywhere. They are very effective at connecting with consumers and at tricking consumers that they can accomplish anything their hearts desire with XP. But we know the truth. Plug-and-play is plug-and-pray. There is no iLife for XP. Viruses, malware, worms. It is disheartening because for the life of me, I cannot understand why Apple does not advertise more prominently. Everyone is not a geek and peruse sites like this regularly, and word of mouth can only take you so far.

    Apple, please just do something! (And not just brand ads – get a call to action message to buy in the ads please.)

  3. Finally convinced my Mother to switch for her old Compaq to a 1.8 Ghz G5 iMac. She was very hesitant at first because people at her job kept telling her it was a mistake. (They use Windows at her job, big surprise) After one day on her iMac she was so impressed, she actually said, “I should have done this sooner.” And was surprised again and again how much easier it was to use and, for a woman who isn’t a big computer user or fan, she was having fun. Now my Mother and her husband want iPods and her husband wants a new Mac too.

  4. Go there, read that book (it’s free online in PDF format), then you will understand what Apple is about. it takes time and care, but a well designed idea virus is exactly what Apple has in it’s arsenal. Interuption Advertising can only go so far, tried and true viral advertising is what will make a brand sell and eventually sell huge.

  5. One of the major drawbacks to Apple doing advertising like the above requests is that Apple would basically have to say “Hey, we can run Office, too!!”. To hell with using M$ as a stepping stone to switching. I think the iLife suite and the security angle are the most important features to promote to potential converts. If they aren’t smart enough to do the five minutes of research necessary to find out that Mac supports Office then to hell with them as well. You may say that sounds elitist, but if Word and Excel is such a big part of these peoples lives then they really should be savvy enough to figure out other platforms support those formats or applications!
    I had someone tell me they wanted a new computer a couple weeks ago and when I suggested Mac they said “No way!” because her husband told her that you couldn’t even check email on a Mac!! People like that just don’t even need to be using a computer, regardless of platform!!!

    The word of mouth advertising is really starting to snowball. Almost every major newspaper with a technology section is praising Apple and berating M$ for flaws and missed deadlines on a weekly basis.
    I feel that the natural progression of migrators will lend to a healthier growth of Apple in the long run. It will allow for more manageable expansion while retaining the quality. If everyone were to switch tomorrow, the quality would go to shit.
    Hopefully, there will be a bit more promotion after the iNtel switch is complete.

  6. This is no surprise. Everyone in the Real IT World already knows and understands the unique advantages of the superior platform that is Windows, along with the distinct and trailblazing improvements offered by .NET and the soon-to-be-released Vista. Thus the Personal Computing Experience will continue to be defined in the future — with all desires accommodated and all needs fulfilled.


  7. Agreed 1,000% !!!

    Apple MUST advertise the Macintosh advantage & Macintosh compatibility more effectively!!

    If you look back at the history of Apple’s advertisements, they have always done a VERY POOR JOB of advertising historically. Even the first iPod ads were awful — do you remember that guy dancing around in his apartment after a bunch of closeup screenshots of his iBook that nobody could unerstand except a diehard Mac user?

    Apple’s ads have always been awful. The silhouette iPod ad campaign was actually the FIRST ad campaign to come out of Apple that WASN’T awful.

    In fact, if you’ll remember correctly, iPod sales didn’t even begin to take off until Apple switched their iPod print advertising from showing a photo of the iPod to the silhouette people.

    Most normal (non-computer) people don’t care what a product looks like in their advertisments — they want to see people HAVING FUN with the product. Most people want to CONNECT with other human beings that they can relate to in their advertisements.

    Apple finally got it right with the silhouette ads — they reached out to the majority of America. Now Apple needs to do something similar with advertising the Macintosh.

    Come on, Apple! Wake up!

  8. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t advertise nearly enough. They rely on word of mouth from other Mac users to switch the Windows mob. And to be honest, do you really think Apple could pull off a commercial showing OS X and iLife in all its glory? Probably not, and even if they could I don’t think people would believe it’s true.

    As on off-to-the-side thing I do, I make DVDs for graduations, trips, et al, as slideshows in iPhoto, and make the DVDs in iDVD. Then I package them up with a nice cover, and a nice label for the disc, so they look semi-professional. Then to “spread the gospel” I put a little “Made on a Mac” sticker on the inside of the case, with links to OS X, and to iLife.

    People say the DVDs look pretty good (not bragging!!) and always ask how I make them. Some of the people I’ve talked to and ask about the sticker say, “What’s a Mac?” or “When did Microsoft release that?”

    With the links, I hope that starts getting people (albeit small amount) to the Apple store, and gets them seeing the light. What do you guys do to spread the gospel?

  9. Sputnik .. yer a hoot to read

    The REAL IT world is pissed off having to deal with viruses, and malware, and spyware and would rather do something FUN.

    Desktops are fixed by wiping them out and reinstalling. To damn expensive to try and figure out what’s wrong. Much harder to do that with a corporate server running SAP or Oracle so you use something that does NOT have that risk associated with it.

    Hence why so many big shops put Windows on the desktop, and Unix in the data centers.

    And when there’s a virus everyone gets the days off like the ones that shut down Detroit auto plants, the NC DMV, CNN, ABC, New York Times, Caterpillar Inc, SF Airport, etc etc.

    And this is only 1 virus – Zotob.

    Windows “superiority” has cost the country billions in lost time becuase of its swiss cheese security.

    .NET will just make that more obvious

  10. As long as Apple is good with the bank account and continues to turn out mind-blowing, so-simple products, then I’m happy with where we are now.

    The Mac community is just that… a community. There is no such thing as a Windows community, at least not with the same passion for quality and experience.

    To bring millions of “who cares about quality” people into the Mac community… is that going to be a good thing? Sure, more people need to switch, but they also need to be ready to. When they wake up and realize the truth, then they’ll be ready. We shouldn’t sound so desparate for them to do so.

    This goes right along with MDN complaining that protected WMA files and music stores based on the format don’t work with the Mac. Who friggin’ cares! What difference is it going to make to us, except to dilute the awesome platform we already have?

  11. toolazytotell,

    I agree with your post, but I hope we can stop putting so much energy on the fact that Macs are better than Windows because of viruses. It’s more than that… the entire user experience is much more refined and user-focused than Windows has ever offered. That’s what really matters at the end of the day, and what people need to realize. There is a better computing experience waiting for them, and it has nothing to do with viruses, worms or malware.

  12. …Windows users reply with “Office <version here>” when asked about what operating system they run on, they are too stupid to switch.

    …Windows users reply “can’t use Mac because I could not exchange email with my buddies” they are too stupid to switch.

    …Windows users reply “if Macs were as many as Windows they too would be infected by Zotob. The problem is that the virus cannot find them” they are way too stupid to switch.

    …Windows users use Windows they are de facto too stupid to switch.

    MDN “said” as in ’nuff said

  13. Steve Jobs doesn’t want to sell any more product than he is now.

    He has enough money to last himself a long time.

    He has a deal with Bill gates to allow Microsoft to survive.

    There are other reasons also why Apple doesn’t advertise effectively.

    There must be, because otherwise they’d be able to outdo MS in every area of sales.

  14. The main reason Apple doesn’t advertise effectively, is because the owner of his present ad agency is blackmailing Steve Jobs.

    MW- moving. As in –Steve is not moving to a new ad agency.

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