iTWire’s Beer: Apple’s new ‘get a Mac’ campaign misses, preaches to converted

“Apple’s latest Mac lifestyle campaign has won widespread praise from the critics who know all about advertising. However, no one appears to be stating the obvious – it’s preaching to the converted. So where’s the increase in its miniscule PC market share going to come from? Yes, the Mac is easier to use, more reliable, much better for music and movies and, despite recent controversy, much less of a security risk. Hasn’t the general public known about most of these things since 1986? So how come the horribly unsophisticated, virus friendly Windows PC gets the nod 96 times out of 100 times someone walks into a computer shop? The answer is really quite simple. Most people use a Windows PC at work or school, so usually they don’t want something different at home,” Stan Beer writes for iTWire.

Beer writes, “The new Intel Macs now have the capability of running Windows natively. So what does Apple do? It alienates the fellow with the glasses, a potential new customer, by telling him he’s not cool. The message for all those boring, stuffy, spectacle wearing, accountants, lawyers and middle managers is ‘don’t come to us – the Mac isn’t for you; it’s for the hip guy.'”

Full article here.

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

MacDailyNews Take: Mmm, Beer. iTWire’s Beer seems to have recently discovered one of the best taps for Web page hits: Apple and/or Mac criticism (see related Beer articles below). Stan must be working overtime to brew Mac articles; it feels like Oktoberfest around here. Still, this article is interesting in some ways. We were harshly critical of Apple’s Intel ad for exactly the same reasons:

Apple’s new Intel ad fails once more. It’s 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 world. You should’ve bought a Mac because, drum roll please, now the Intel chip will get to live inside a Mac. Showing 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 world asks? Why should I buy a Mac, again? Pretty cases? “Imagine the possibilities,” the ad smugly concludes. Fade to black. Thud. Give me 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. – SteveJack, MacDailyNews, January 11, 2006.

But, with this new ad campaign, something’s changed. Note how the “Mac” treats the “Windows PC” in Apple’s new ads. It’s not mean or condescending, it’s “nice” about being superior. In Apple’s new ads, both the “Windows PC” and the “Mac” know that the Mac is better. While the ads don’t show anything happening on the computer screen, this new “Get a Mac” campaign does inform viewers of important points about the Mac: more secure, more reliable, better software, higher rated, easier-to-use, both run Office, etc. These ads are properly targeted to the young consumer. Apple isn’t targeting IT geeks or middle-age accountants. This is about the future, not the past. We think these ads, along with Boot Camp (Windows insecurity blanket for would-be switchers), the low-priced Mac mini, Microsoft’s ineptness and arrogance, Intel-based “iBooks” and “Power Macs,” and many other factors will lead to marked gains in market share and unit sales for Apple’s Mac platform in the not-too-distant future.

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Related articles:
Unix expert: Mac OS X much more secure than Windows; recent Mac OS X security stories are media hype – May 03, 2006
Anti-Mac FUD machine shifts into overdrive – May 01, 2006
McAfee exec warns Apple Macs are potential Typhoid Marys on networks – April 11, 2006


  1. Stupid to think this was about conversions. It’s about holding on to the faithful – the coming of Vista and all the enormous media hype that will accompany M$oft’s unlimited ad budget will threaten Apple’s base.

    Giving Mac users easy access to Windows is going to backfire on Jobs, big time.

  2. I didn’t think these commercials hit the mark at first myself, but I have actually had PC users tell me how “funny they are” and starting them talking about getting a Mac. I’m just happy to see Apple advertising again, it’s been a while.

    MW: “response”, let’s hope Apple gets some from this ad campaign.

  3. I think they’re working great. I’ve had three Windows users ask if they should buy a Mac instead (all were replacing old hardware) because they saw these ads. I, of course, gave them all the info they needed to know to leave the dark side.

    And that’s just in the past three days!

    Humor works. Geek-speak doesn’t.

  4. “The message for all those boring, stuffy, spectacle wearing, accountants, lawyers and middle managers is ‘don’t come to us – the Mac isn’t for you; it’s for the hip guy.'”

    Too true. And that’s why the ad will work amongst those who don’t want to be boring, stuffy etc etc

  5. Wrong – most people buy a PC because it’s CHEAP. I did for my first computer. I couldn’t afford the $5000.00 Apple price tag.

    The general public wouldn’t know an OS from BS. Most folks also think the Mac OS is the same OS as Windows.

    Hell, I bet you could tell every new computer buyer that a Dell has the Mac OS and they would wouldn’t care one way or another. They just have no clue.

    Correct – Apples’ ads to preach to the converted – they need to make people KNOW that PCs don’t run OS X. Before they buy.

    What’s an OS they ask? ugh….

  6. Advertising can be tricky. I personally like some of the ads better than others. I’m already one of the converted, so Apple already has me as a customer. The question is how effective are the ads in reaching their objectives. If one objective is to be humorous and entertaining, then I think they have definitely hit the mark. If another objective is to increase Mac sales, then we’ll find out at the end of this quarter how effective they are.

  7. So am I supposed to be offened when I see a Calvin Klein cologne commercial with a half naked young muscular guy kissing a half naked beautiful woman because neither me or my wife look like they do?

  8. These ads do nothing for me. They are a rehash of the switch ads which were ineffective. I agree that is hard to convey the tech specs in a 30 second ad but at least show where you can get more info. This is missing. There is no mention of the Apple store or Boot Camp (I think) or a web site.

    I have met several Windows users who find Apple users arrogant who feel superior because they have a different computers. These ads play right into that.

    Also why can Apple find someone a bit older and more conservative instead of using Jimmy Fallon’s little brother. This guy makes the ad look like Apple is preaching to the choir.

    My 2 cents.

  9. There is a great aspect to theses ads. Apple is not promoting switching so much as it promoting adding. Add a mac to home, but keep the pc. My anecdotal observations show that as the internet becomes a bigger apart of everyone’s life, more families are going to multi-computer homes. A perfect opportunity to slip a mac in the home.

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