Tech writer says Apple’s ‘Get a Mac’ commercials don’t work

“You’ve probably seen those commercials with the cool young guy standing next to the hopelessly nerdy old guy chatting about some way that Apple computers are just soooooo much better than PCs that run Windows,” Tony Briggs writes for The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

“This has been the mantra of the Apple cult for going on 20 years now: ‘We are smart and sophisticated and everyone else, especially those who use computers running Windows, are complete dopes.’ And perhaps even more important — ‘They cannot hope to be as cool as we are,'” Briggs writes.

“One would think that Apple would learn this is not the best way to win over Windows users. That’s pretty clear, since about 95 percent of the world still uses PCs running Windows and only 5 percent use Macs. But Apple thinks different, I guess,” Briggs writes. “Here’s a tip for Steve Jobs and company: Insulting the people you are trying to sell to probably isn’t the best strategy.”

Briggs writes, “The truth seems to be that the folks at Apple just can’t help themselves. That smug air of superiority has been part of their culture for so long, it’s built into their DNA now.”

“The irony of all this is that one of the big selling points for Apple PCs now is that they can run the dreaded Windows operating system. I still don’t get the point of that,” Briggs writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: First of all, Apple Mac users are smarter than Windows users (See Those who surf the Web using a Mac tend to be better educated and make more money than their PC-using counterparts, according to a report from Nielsen/NetRatings.) Most Mac users have Windows experience (forced to suffer it at work and school) and have therefore made an informed choice while most Windows users have little or, most likely, no experience with the Mac. A “choice” made from ignorance is no choice. Using an insecure 5-year-old OS and waiting for a bad copy of Apple’s 5-year-old OS when the secure Apple Mac continually pushes ahead, leading by years, doesn’t strike us as smart.

Exactly how is Apple supposed to tell Windows user that the Mac is a better choice without offending them? The basic point is that most Windows users would be far better off with a Mac. Sorry to offend, but that’s a fact. No insult intended. Get a Mac and you’ll see it, too.

Macs run Windows so that Apple can get people to finally sample Mac OS X. As usual, the Mac will do the rest of the job itself as people realize they are booting into Windows less and less. Its an “embrace first, then extinguish” strategy. Since Mac market share and unit sales are growing, it’s difficult to say that Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign isn’t working.

Throw in the Mac’s ability to run all the Windows, Linux and Mac software in the world, the very competitive prices of today’s critically-acclaimed Macs, Apple’s growing legion of retail stores, the iPod halo, the glowing reviews of Mac OS X and Mac-only software like iLife plus the critical pans of Windows Vista, and Windows’ constant security woes and the Mac’s iron-clad security, and you’ll see why Apple Mac is ascendent.

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  1. To prove the point of intelligence, he misunderstands the rather obvious symbolism that the “Mac” is cool, the “PC” is not cool. He sees himself as the PC, rather than a user of PC. Hmm, maybe he should seek counselling because this suggests that he might, in fact, feel uncool and is projecting that onto his PC. Just a thought.

  2. There’s an old saw in marketing that 50% of your advertising dollars are wasted. You just don’t know which 50%.

    Apple’s sales are increasing, and the message about viruses is finally getting out. Something’s going right.

  3. “”This has been the mantra of the Apple cult for going on 20 years now: ‘We are smart and sophisticated and everyone else, especially those who use computers running Windows, are complete dopes.’ And perhaps even more important — ‘They cannot hope to be as cool as we are,'” Briggs writes.”

    The people who would get offended by the commercial are the very ones who KNOW they fit into that mold. People desperately trying to convince themselves they made the right choice.

    Sounds to me like these ads hit a little too close to home for him, and so he has to declare them ineffective.

    Bottom line, we will see how much they ‘don’t work’ when APple give quarterly earnings this week.

    OTOH I would like to see Apple use some different types of people in these ads to broaden the spectrum a bit. Perhaps in the second wave.

  4. I have to admit I absolutely hate the “Get a Mac” ads, and I find them kind of insulting to Mac users, if only because the guy who “plays the Mac” is annoying as hell and just a little too smug. I can see why THAT would bother a PC user. Now, when it comes down to it it’s not easy to sell computers via television commercials but I would think 30 seconds of OS X in action would be more effective then some bad sketch comedy…

  5. sadly, he’s right.

    the ads would’ve been more effective if the roles were reversed, with john hodgeman (the “nerd”) as an everyman mac-user and the punk-ass kid as a mountain dew-swilling pc gamer.

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