Apple: Intel-based PCs not ‘dull’ in UK

“Apple UK doesn’t believe PCs are as naff as its Stateside parent company does. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at the company’s TV adverts for Intel-based Macs. In the original, US-oriented ad, Apple takes a dig at ‘dull’ PCs, but in the version cleared for UK audiences the d-word is peculiarly absent,” Tony Smith reports for The Register. “Compare and contrast. First, the US advert, premiered by CEO Steve Jobs at Macworld Expo in January this year: The Intel chip. For years it’s been trapped inside PCs, inside dull little boxes, dutifully performing dull little tasks, when it could have been doing so much more. Stating today, the Intel chip will be set free and get to live life inside a Mac. Here’s the UK voice-over: The Intel chip. For years it’s only been inside PCs, dutifully doing all the things PCs were built to do. Stating today, the Intel chip will be set free and also get to do all the things Macs were built to do.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Robert D.” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Good. Now change the US version to match the UK and you’;ll be cooking with gas, Apple. Maybe someone in Apple’s marketing department has been reading our own SteveJack’s opinion articles? As we’ve stated on this site previously, the problem with Apple’s ad isn’t that it insults the likes of Dell, it’s that it insults the very people to whom Apple wants to sell Macs. Apple’s US version of the ad is another very refined, very well shot, immaculately produced advertisement that’s designed to make Apple Mac users feel superior, but imagine a Windows-only user’s reaction. The ad tells them that their computer, the one for which they spent a good chunk of change, is “dull.” It tells them that their processor is being wasted “trapped inside their [Windows] PC, when it could have been doing so much more.” Boy, you’re just so stupid, the new Apple Intel ads tells the US consumer. You should’ve bought a Mac because, drum roll please, now the Intel chip will get to live inside a Mac. Then they show an iMac with a blank blue desktop and the Apple logo with the word “Mac.” That’s it, not even a Dock. Huh, the Windows-only using American asks? Why should I buy a Mac, again? Pretty cases? “Imagine the possibilities,” the ad smugly concludes. Fade to black. Thud. Give us a @#%&! break!

Apple needs to continue what they’re doing in almost very other area, but if they’re going to run TV ads for the Mac, they need to hire someone who can explain WHY the Mac is better, not just churn out ads designed to make Mac users (and Steve Jobs?) feel superior. Otherwise, just forget the ads and concentrate on building Apple Stores. We Mac users already know we have the superior personal computing platform, Mr. Jobs. The rest of the world is left with no clue as to why, as usual. You and Apple should them try telling them someday.

Related articles:
Apple ad disses Dell, others – and Intel claims it’s okay – February 03, 2006
Report: Intel didn’t know about Apple’s Intel ad calling PCs ‘dull’ until just before Jobs’ keynote – January 11, 2006


  1. This is a no-brainer. The Brits don’t value free speech in the UK the way we do in the US (except when Parliament meets, and the Prime Minister is giving a speech, then it’s a free-for-all).

    Remember Apple’s “SuperComputer” TV ad a few years ago? It ran in the US but was challenged in the UK for ‘accuracy.’

    I agree with MDN and others. Apple’s TV advertising for the Mac simply does NOT tell the Mac OS X story. They’re caught up way too much in the artsy-craftsy attitude of Chiat-Day art directors who think winning ad awards is more important than selling products.

    The iPod ads were slick, cool, and classy (though not always original) and may have helped sell to a hip generation and won a few awards, but they haven’t been able to transfer that magic to Mac OS X or the Mac line.


    Tera Patricks

  2. Amen. People use PCs to do some pretty important things. Like medical research. But, unless you are using a Mac to do video editing and watch downloaded episodes of The Office, what are you doing — per Apple — is summed up as “dull little tasks.”

    Don’t get me wrong — I love my Macs and my iPod and I *do* download episodes of The Office from the iTunes Music Store. The Office is just about the funniest show on TV, and it’s great to be able to download it.

    But… the smugness with which Steve Jobs comes across gets to me sometimes.

    There is more to life than Macs and iPods.

  3. Has anyone considered that this might be a case of language differences? I believe a more proper definition of dull (other than boring) is stupid. I don’t know that Apple would go so far as to claim people have been doing “stupid” tasks even if they would say “boring” tasks.

  4. We shun free speech in the US. Don’t kid yourself. Free speech is the unpatriotic past when liberals ran the country.

    Dull little tasks. I was cheering when I heard that. Get ’em Apple!

    PC users don’t know how backwards they are. The world is moving into the next century, Windows is still in the 80s.

    Apple does need to talk about the Mac in terms of what makes it special. It’s a rocky road though because you can do all the same things with Windows, though in a very different way.

    Showing a blue screen though is pretty lame. Dell’s using a very similar-looking screen in online ads.

  5. Dang. I never understood MDN’s fussiness over a bit of stupid marketing hype. People do what they do on their PCs… just as OTHER people do what THEY do on their Macs. It’s ALL boring (dull) to SOMEBODY, folks.

    MDN’s take forgets that the SOUL of this machine was birthed in a 1984 ad that saw a hammer smashed through the face of “boredom,” in a room filled with “dull,” grey suits. Worked for me then, it works for me now.

    And please forgive me, but stuff done on PCs is WAY more “dull.” This is proven again every time a PC user watches me set up a slide show in iPhoto (etc. etc.) and breathlessly begs me for the name of the store that sells the app. Yes, Apple’s ads are correct, and I support truth in advertising. What’s more, I seriously doubt whether they’re “offending” anybody, but if there’s a PC weenie out there somewhere sporting tears because of an Apple ad, well… hey.

    Keep your Dell, dude.

  6. From: Tera Patricks
    ……….The Brits don’t value free speech in the UK the way we do in the US ……………….

    huh???? this does not merit a response actually.

    ……….Remember Apple’s “SuperComputer” TV ad a few years ago? It ran in the US but was challenged in the UK for ‘accuracy.’

    Well maybe it was quiestioned because it was not strictly true…… you seem to equate freedom of speech with the freedom to lie…….

  7. Whereas I agree that the US version of the ad could be taken that way, I think the majority of Apple’s target market are going to “buy into” the ads insinuations. From the last few months of Apple’s activity, I think it’s generally obvious they’re going after the entertainment market, not the business sector. And, since the business sector is the target mainly being made fun of, the average joe will be more than happy to get rid of their clunky, dull pcs in favor of the new sleek, speedy iMac that just so happens to go oh so well with their iPod.

    Simply put, the average American is very easily swayed through psychological manipulation, ie: the cool factor, not logic. In the UK, they seem to have a more calculated approach, appealing more to the intellect in pointing out that the intel chip can not only do all the necessary business things it’s been doing, but now will be able to do even more now that it can take on it’s new identity inside the iMac.

    It’s all simply a matter of catering to the target market, and using the right language as well as psychology.

  8. The big difference between advertising in the US and the UK is not to do with free speech, but to do with advertising regulations and that British advertising is not allowed to be misleading.

    Television adverts are governed by a regulator, the Independent Television Commission, which is not part of the government. All adverts are required to meet certain standards for accuracy, decency and many other criteria. If a viewer feels that a particular advert falls foul of those guidelines, they can complain to the ITC, it will be investigated and if upheld, that advert will be banned.

    In the case of the previous Apple advert, 8 people complained about Apple’s claim that the PowerMac G5 was the world’s most powerful personal computer. The investigators believed that Apple used skewed tests which unfairly favoured it’s products. An independent tester concluded that “the G5 was generally as fast as the best Intel-based workstations currently available”. You and I might dispute his assessment, but the fact remains that he was appointed as an expert arbitrator and that’s what he said, so the ITC accepted his advice. The ITC considered that there was insufficient evidence to support Apple’s claim ” the world’s fastest, most powerful personal computer”. The ITC upheld the complaint and the ad was withdrawn as it’s forbidden to make a claim that can’t be substantiated.

    The recent Intel ad would probably fall foul of a different rule, whereby advertisers are not allowed to make derogatory remarks about rival products.

    So it’s nothing to do with free speech, or Apple UK not believing that PCs are naff. It’s simply that British TV advertisers have to be able to back up any claims and not knock the opposition. British adverts are required to meet strictly enforced standards of honesty and fair play.

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