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.

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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
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60 Comments

  1. There are a lot of my friends who are PCers and they always take the piss out of me for being a Mac’er, but when the see the G5 tower with the 23” display attached and I allow them to play with it and see that amongst other things like iLife, M$ Office works fine on the Mac and even looks better on the Mac they are jealous.

    But, will they change. No they won’t because they have spent what they can on their current systems and even though they love the feel of the Mac and OSX they are frightened that they are not clever enough to learn a new system. I tell them to stop being a luddite and change.

    Maybe some will, maybe not!

    Either way I don’t give a flying flapjack because I know I have the very best system, I have tried to convert them and the rest is up to them.

    FEAR of the unknown is a strong emotion.

  2. 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

    ——

    MDN, you’re missing the point.. they’re not advertising on mainstream TV, because that’s really not where the receptive audience is..

    Check the iTMS again.. they’re advertising there… those are potential converts.. people who know, use and like Apple products already..

    There are ads for Mac Minis and Mac promos in the iTMS.. Very clever..

    I’m not saying the Mute approach to major TV networks is brilliant.. but most of the time, it’s just not turning into sales

    What’s the audience for people on the iTMS.. er.. about 25 million people.. got it.

  3. mike >What’s the audience for people on the iTMS.. er.. about 25 million people.. got it.>

    And where , precisely, does it advertise ANYTHING about the OSX or the Mac on iTunes?

    Zero, Zilch, Nada. Nowhere! Got it!

  4. Apple does not advertise because they currently own as much market as they desire, no more. A larger market will bring only the headaches that M$ is going through (not just the viruses).

    As far as an office replacement, that could be Apples greatest trophy but it is not in Appleworks nor in Pages. Apple should team with the Open Office group, financially support them to create a truely efficient and usable alternative to M$ Office and make it run on Mac, PC and Linux. Then some sparks would fly.

  5. It’s one thing to get down on people when they know all thealternatives, and then make a choice to stay with Windows. At that point, you can call them stupid, or whatever you like.

    But that is not the situation. I work every day, literally, with people who have never been informed that a Mac is not just a different looking computer with a variation of a different Windows operating system.

    Oddly enough, the features of the Mac that we have had available for a long time actually ARE advertised, and on tv.

    How? A couple of years ago I saw a tv ad showing someone taking digital pictures and sending them via a wireless connection to the folks back home. Hmm, I thought: if I were thinking about buying a wireless laptop, that might just be the function that would tip me into buying.

    Were they using a Mac, or were they using iPhoto, or iMovie?

    No! It was an HP commercial for one of their laptops, and some piece of bundled software of theirs.

    Here is what I think happens. As soon as some Mac OSX feature looks like it could reach critical mass in the collective minds of buyers, some company like HP leaps in with a commercial (preemptive strike?) to give the impression that HP is where you go to send digital photograpy.

    IF, and it is a big IF, Apple had an ad agency that was basically competent, they could have that place in the mind of the buyers.

    But that is now what happens. Apple’s ad philosophy seems to have always been this: If I present an image that is vague and mysterious, people will come looking for me. After all, it works so well for what we used to call “old maids!” NOT!

    The one time (iPod) they present a reasonably focused image to the public, it works! (surprise!)

    Having said that: there is no doubt that the Mac and OSX have more presence in the mind of buyers than ever. Hopefully, it is not just accidental.

    But it is still hard to beat simple direct answers to problems.

    Tell people what you do, and they will buy. Be vague about what you do and normal intelligent people will go buy from someone who at least appears to present a focused image, rightly or wrongly, because we know that in the real world, that HP laptop would only have been marginally successful in sending those images of the Roman Colliseum back home.

    But since Apple does not show how OSX can be used, you cannot blame normally intelligent people for going to the HP default when they have not been shown alternatives.

    Calling them stupid is, well……….Stupid. And elitist!

  6. And where , precisely, does it advertise ANYTHING about the OSX or the Mac on iTunes?

    Huh? Er.. gee the Mac mini ads and the iPod + Mac Student Union Promo..

    I mean.. can you find a more perfect example of the Halo Effect than the Student Union combo??

  7. Apple has decided to stick to the higher end consumers just as they create higher end machines. Basic to any business degree you learn to attract a certain group of consumers. Various studies have been done in the 20th century that have shown that low end customers only end up eating your profit by spending huge amounts of time on help lines,customer service requests, ect.

    This is why some companies “track” customers e.g. moving higher end customers (bigger spenders) to the front of the line AKA apple pro card.

  8. If Apple would advertise their OS and the computers at all would be astounding. I get a lot of the same conversations as Al, along with some incorrect, snotty, hateful coments from know-it-all Windows zelots like ron, Joe and Sputnik. Don’t show them the facts, they have their minds made up already. There’s just no getting through to them and then they laugh at Apple fans for being so loyal.
    Ads would help greatly…something more and beyond those artsy-fartsy iPod ads.
    Perhaps when Apple switches it’s product line to Intel chips we’ll see a boost in market share. People will see that Apple’s have Intel inside and may equate Macs and Windows boxes on some level, the Macs will have better industrial design and of course OS X, which is much better than MS will ever have to offer. Ever.

  9. re: “Apple has decided to stick to the higher end consumers just as they create higher end machines. Basic to any business degree you learn to attract a certain group of consumers. Various studies have been done in the 20th century that have shown that low end customers only end up eating your profit by spending huge amounts of time on help lines,customer service requests, “

    So why produce the low priced Mac Mini?

    I deal all the time with people who have various kinds of degrees. I have two of them myself.

    But what trumps college degrees easily is my school of life degree. I do remedial on business school graduates every day.

    If someone wants to buy my product based upon intelligent comparisons of the alternatives, and if my product is legal and moral, guess what: I sell it to them!

    There might be something to what you say if there is a limited supply of the product that you are selling, but no one can really tell me that about Mac computers. If there is a demand, factories to produce chips, motherboards etc, can appear amazingly quickly. Yeah, you can have temporary problems, but solutions appear if there is a real motivaition to do so.

  10. Well said kenh
    The lack of tolerance toward Windows users on MDN is really getting out of hand. It is an established fact that the majority Mac users at present are themselves switchers. The generation that started with Macs and stuck with them is slowly disappearing.
    So what is the reason behind all this abuse?
    My guess is that some are so upset with themselves for having been on the Windows camp for so long, that they are taking their anger out on those who still are.
    What is odd is they haven’t asked themselves about the process they went through to switch. Those that are technophiles were obviously able to figure out which is the better platform, but those who are not must have been attracted to the Mac just like any consumer would be attracted to a product: a process that usually involves a bit of advertising. They were lucky since Apple hasn’t done much of that.
    So, a bit of LUCK is involved in switching (thanks to Apple’s malaise). Intelligence is not the primary factor for many. I don’t believe all Mac users are high-end users. Most that I know are just regular folk.
    In fact, the unfortunate thing is that the most geeky people don’t even go for the Mac, they prefer Linux. They typically are not impressed with GUI and enjoy command-line work. Some have switched to Mac OSX as it allows them the regular UNIX use, but they haven’t been defecting in droves.

  11. One thing many forget is that Windows is not Microsoft’s cash crop, Office is. Obviously, MS makes money indirectly from the Windows platform by the dependency on it of many bits of software. Technically, however, MS would probably make as much money on office as it would lose on Windows and others if Apple advertises more effectively.
    I would really love it if Apple’s next big thing would be an office suite that is compatible with MS Office, but does things better, is more stable, more elegant and works cross-platform.
    That would really hurt MS.

  12. MacDoctor—Physician, heal thyself.

    >incorrect, snotty, hateful coments from know-it-all Windows zelots like ron, Joe and Sputnik. Don’t show them the facts, they have their minds made up already.>

    Dear Doctor, I have always been a Mac zealot. That is ‘zealot’, spelled with an ‘A’. Didn’t they care about spelling at your doctoring school? It originates with the word zeal…great energy in pursuit of a cause.

    I have turned on/sold many, many people into buying Macs.

    Please don’t associate me with a loon like sputnik.

  13. Apple may begin to advertize more agressively once they switch to Intel processors for two reasons:

    1) Intel will be able to deliver the quantities that Apple will need to keep up with demand.

    2) Intel may kick in a little cash itself to promote its specialized chips at the same time.

    We’ll see…

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