Microsoft spoofs ‘Get a Mac’ ad

Microsoft, at a recent company meeting in Seattle, showed a spoof of Apple’s “Get a Mac” ads, featuring their Zune digital media player taking on Apple’s iPod.

Besides completely missing the central theme by having the actors state that one is a Mac and the other a PC and then quickly forgetting the whole premise by turning into just two people with MP3 players – in the actual Apple ads, the actors are playing the products (John Hodgman is a Windows PC and Justin Long is an Apple Mac) – the spoof also fails the reality test.

In Microsoft’s spoof, two actors play, ahem, people (not products) that look like Apple’s Hodgman and Long who discuss how easily iPod scratches (harking back to an ill-fated, spectacularly unsuccessful FUD campaign), how supposedly nice it is that Zune comes in brown, but mainly how Zune supposedly trumps iPod on ease-of-use and wireless song transfer.

Of course, Microsoft neglects to explain that by wirelessly transferring a song to your soon-to-be-ex-friend, you are sending them an advertisement. Songs “squirted” from Zune to Zune (as if you could ever find another Zune, that is) last for only 3 “plays” (a minute or so counts as a “play”) or 3 days before they stop playing and turn into an ad on the “squirtee’s” Zune. Do you get a commission from the music labels and Microsoft for performing this service? Nope, it’s just free advertising that you’re expected to inflict on your friends for free. Why not just go from website to website signing up your “friends” for thought-you-might-like-this spam?

The Microsoft spoof is funny, but not in the way Microsoft probably intended, because multiple independent reviews of Zune (see related articles below) have indicated just how badly the Zune software performed, how “squirting” failed, how impossible it is to find someone with a Zune to whom to squirt your time-bomb ads, and how the Zune can’t match Apple’s iPod for, among other things, “ease-of-use” especially. Of course, you can buy iTunes Store songs with just one click and you cannot buy Zune songs with one click (or any number of clicks) from your Zune player.

Microsoft should stay as far away from the “ease-of-use” issue as possible when it comes to challenging Apple. Microsoft should have taken on iPod’s lighter weight/smaller size, too many accessories, too large an online song library, too much storage capacity, too many models, too many iPod-ready vehicles from which to choose, or something else instead. Ease-of-use vs. Apple is way too large a leap for Microsoft.

The Microsoft spoof also conveniently totally ignores Apple iTunes’ “iMix” feature which, of course, allows for sharing music in a different way. With total iMixes now approaching one million in the US iTunes Store alone, it seems to be a very popular social feature; certainly vastly more popular than “squirting” 3-plays-then-self-destruct-leaving-only-an-ad-behind files like Zune.

The spoof via YouTube (some more free publicity for a doomed product):

Related articles:
Desperation time? Microsoft Zune already being discounted by retailers – December 13, 2006
Zune: Welcome to the social isolation – December 11, 2006’s Holiday Gadget Gift Guide: buy Apple iPod, avoid Microsoft Zune – December 08, 2006
Microsoft Zune plummets to 5th place in U.S. digital media player market share with 2.1 percent – December 04, 2006
Analysts: Microsoft needs to ‘rethink’ as interest in Zune fades fast – December 01, 2006
Enderle on Apple iPod vs. Microsoft Zune – November 30, 2006
The Channel Checkers: 81% recommend Apple iPod – November 30, 2006
NPD: Microsoft Zune hits 9% in US market share in first week, takes #2 spot from SanDisk [UPDATED] – November 29, 2006
Microsoft says Zune sales in line with their expectations – November 29, 2006
Newsflash: analyst says Apple iPod beating Microsoft Zune – November 28, 2006
Thurrott reviews Microsoft Zune: ‘a joke, a travesty, I can’t imagine what they were thinking’ – November 28, 2006
Apple iPod clearly immune to Zune – November 27, 2006
Zune reinforces Microsoft’s dorky image, pushes people toward Apple iPods, Macs – November 27, 2006
Ihnatko: Microsoft Zune experience about as pleasant as having an airbag deploy in your face – November 24, 2006 It’s not looking good for Microsoft’s Zune; bad press may taint brand for years – November 24, 2006
Amazon’s bestselling MP3 players list chronicles Microsoft Zune dud – November 20, 2006
Bill Gates: Apple iPod ‘phenomenal, unbelievable, fantastic’ – November 16, 2006
Cramer’s Mad Money: Microsoft’s Zune is pathetic; Vista may cause people to turn to Apple Mac – November 15, 2006
Microsoft’s Zune selling like snotcakes – November 15, 2006
Microsoft’s Zune incompatible with Windows Vista – November 14, 2006
Dvorak: ‘If anything is doomed to failure, it’s Microsoft’s Zune’ – November 14, 2006
Ballmer: Zune’s Wi-Fi will help Microsoft challenge Apple’s iPod+iTunes – November 14, 2006
CNN ridicules Microsoft’s Zune while gushing over Apple’s new iPod shuffle – November 14, 2006
Engadget: Microsoft’s Zune software: ‘It sucks’ – November 13, 2006
Early Microsoft Zune customer greeted with Zune ‘Installation Error’ – November 13, 2006
Zuned: What’s the ‘deal’ with Microsoft Points? – November 12, 2006
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Apple has no need to worry about Microsoft’s cumbersome, chunkier Zune – November 11, 2006
BusinessWeek: ‘By this time next year, Microsoft’s Zune will be considered a dismal failure’ – November 10, 2006
USA Today’s Baig: Microsoft Zune is no Apple iPod – November 09, 2006
Forbes: Microsoft’s Zune stinks; like ‘Microsoft Bob,’ only more embarrassing – November 09, 2006
NY Times’ Pogue: Zune should come in green to match Microsoft’s iPod envy – November 09, 2006
Mossberg: MS Zune has ‘too many compromises, missing features’ vs. ‘thin, sleek, elegant’ Apple iPod – November 09, 2006
Microsoft to pay Universal for every Zune sold – November 09, 2006
Analysts: Microsoft Zune may end up being a flop – November 08, 2006
Are 58% of iPod owners really thinking of a Zune switch? – November 08, 2006
Survey: 58% of iPod owners planning another MP3 player purchase will consider Microsoft’s Zune – November 01, 2006
Zune is from Microsoft, but Microsoft doesn’t want anybody to know about it – November 07, 2006
Microsoft Zune to be US-only, no firm plans to launch anywhere else globally – November 03, 2006
Five Microsoft Zune TV commercials – November 02, 2006
JupiterResearch: Apple’s iPod will dominate for foreseeable future; Microsoft’s Zune insignificant – October 25, 2006
Ellen DeGeneres Show gives away Microsoft Zunes, studio audience goes berserk – October 23, 2006
More Microsoft Zune myths explored – October 20, 2006
Five more Microsoft Zune myths – October 18, 2006
Microsoft Zune intensifies chaos in Apple iPod+iTunes also-ran market – October 16, 2006
Newsweek Q&A: Apple CEO Steve Jobs discusses iPod’s impact, Microsoft’s Zune, and more – October 15, 2006
Microsoft’s Ballmer: Zune device not money loser, wishes Apple’s 30GB iPod was $299 instead of $249 – October 11, 2006
Microsoft’s consumer electronics track record: long string of failures – October 11, 2006 founder: ‘Zune will be an expensive failure for Microsoft because consumers aren’t stupid’ – October 06, 2006
Microsoft fails to secure key Zune domains – October 04, 2006
Microsoft rigs Zune with tricky pricing and proprietary money schemes – October 03, 2006
Why Microsoft’s Zune won’t kill Apple’s iPod – October 03, 2006
10 Apple iPod vs. Microsoft Zune myths – October 02, 2006
Analyst: Zune could lead to ‘civil war’ between Microsoft and Windows Media partners – September 29, 2006
Thurrott on Microsoft’s Zune: ‘The makings of a disaster, what the heck are these people thinking?’ – September 29, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft Zune’s as good as dead on arrival – September 28, 2006
Microsoft sets 30GB Zune price at $249.99 – September 28, 2006
How Microsoft’s Zune can kill Apple’s iPod – September 21, 2006
Microsoft’s Zune insanity – September 21, 2006
The Microsoft Zune 1.0 dud – September 20, 2006
Microsoft’s underwhelming Zune a ‘viral DRM’ device – September 18, 2006
SanDisk teams with RealNetworks against new common foe: Microsoft Zune – September 18, 2006
Creative does Apple’s dirty work by immediately attacking Microsoft’s Zune – September 17, 2006
Motley Fool’s Jayson: Microsoft’s ‘just plain ugly’ Zune a meager offering, not an iPod killer – September 15, 2006
What’s in a name? ‘Zune’ a French-Canadian euphemism for penis or vagina – September 15, 2006
Crave at CNET: ‘Microsoft Zune, all the excitement that brown can bring’ – September 15, 2006
Microsoft’s Zune underwhelms – September 15, 2006
Enderle: Microsoft Zune ‘a design mistake’ – September 15, 2006
Microsoft hypocrisy exposed with Zune: What ever happened to ‘choice?’ – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft Zune with fake scroll wheel ‘hardly an Apple iPod killer’ – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft Zune won’t spoil Apple’s biggest iPod Christmas ever – September 14, 2006
Microsoft unveils Zune 30GB player, Zune Marketplace; declines to disclose prices – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft’s Zune an ‘underwhelming’ repackaged Toshiba Gigabeat; no threat to Apple iPod – August 30, 2006
Microsoft confirms brick-like Zune to be made by Toshiba – August 25, 2006
Microsoft Zune is chunky brick made by Toshiba – August 25, 2006
Microsoft to sell single Zune model this fall, rumors of Wi-Fi capability were greatly exaggerated – August 10, 2006
Microsoft to spend hundreds of millions, several years on Zune trying to catch Apple iPod+iTunes – July 27, 2006
Zune: Apple cannot lose. Microsoft cannot win. – July 26, 2006
Opinion: More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Microsoft pulls plug on Zune – July 25, 2006


  1. Read about this on mini-MSFT blog after they had a big company meeting. Sounded crappy then, too– but many of the employees loved it because they saw it as an aggressive act toward Apple. It’s funny– despite being so big, they all have an inferiority complex, I think.

  2. Hmmm, Yes, I did think it was very funny.

    The mac user does not have a computer yet he can easily upload new songs to his iPod. The Zune guy only cares that “its brown” and that it squirts. LOL ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    OK, the Mac guy is a real dork but still he gets it. The Zune guy only squirts. In Brown. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    I love it. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />


  3. What’s funny is the fact that by using the “I’m a Mac” look and feel, it only helps to brand the Ipod even more. When Joe Bag-O-Donuts sees it, he’ll say oh, it’s a spoof on that APPLE commercial – keyword APPLE.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb marketing.

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