The Wall Street Journal: Apple’s ‘Get a Mac’ knife cuts deep

Suzanne Vranica and Brian Steinberg take a look “Best (and worst) ads of ’06” for The Wall Street Journal.

Among the year’s best is the campaign Vranica and Steinberg call “Apple’s Bite” from Omnicom Group’s TBWA1/4Chiat1/4Day – the “Get a Mac” campaign for Apple Computer, Inc.

Vranica and Steinberg write, “A series of ads that played out on TV and the Web show the Apple Mac, represented by a hip-looking young man, debating its features with the PC, represented by a paunchy, nerdy-looking fellow. The Mac-man — played by actor Justin Long, star of the film “Accepted,” is clever, fun and handy — he can communicate with all sorts of different people, and knows how to come up with pictures and music. The PC, played by another actor known to the youth crowd, “Daily Show” commentator John Hodgman, is decidedly less hip, and is always amazed, humbled or befuddled by Mac’s never-ending range of abilities.”

Vranica and Steinberg, “Pepsi pokes fun at Coke, and Miller Brewing has smacked Anheuser-Busch, but this is razzing of a more sophisticated, and sustained, kind. Apple’s knife cuts deep, but by the time rivals feel it, they have already started to bleed.”

Full article here.

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

Related article:
Justin Long and John Hodgman win best actor awards for Apple ‘Get a Mac’ ad characters – December 19, 2006


  1. “Pepsi pokes fun at Coke, and Miller Brewing has smacked Anheuser-Busch, but this is razzing of a more sophisticated, and sustained, kind. Apple’s knife cuts deep, but by the time rivals feel it, they have already started to bleed.”

    well stated.

  2. Yes, with all the great ads over the years, Apple is poised to make the giant leap from 4% market share to 4.5. We beleagured Mac users have seen these great ad campaigns really do little to convince a PC world to make the switch.

    Oh well (sigh). Maybe in 2007 we’ll make the leap to 5%.

  3. I have two four year old Macs. My wife has a four year old PC.

    The Get-A-Mac ads won’t even play on my Macs. I have to use the old-lady’s PC if I want to watch them, which means .. I haven’t seen most of the ads. But it’s nice to know they are well received and functional out there in PC land.

    That said .. it’s my opinion that Apple might want to be thinking about how it’s ultimately going to address any legacy circumstances which are likely to be developing from this latest wave of popularity that it’s computers seem to be enjoying. I got on board when the G3 iMac was being widely touted as ‘a real good computer from a cutting edge company”. But that was bull. The G3 iMac was outrageously slow and under-capable from the get-go .. although it was indeed innovative. And Apple no sooner pumped a kazillion G3s into the marketplace when they suddenly up and abandoned the processor.

    There’s a price to pay when you play short-term marketing games like that with high priced, big ticket items. Namely .. there are going to be some folks around who, while still faithful to the brand, are going to be going public with the story.

    Just saying. And yeah, I’ll be buying another Mac next year, anyway. But that’s only because I have to if I want OS X. Believe me .. if I could get OS X on a more affordable PC, I would do so.

  4. The problem with your G3 iMac, ‘get another mac?’, is that it was PPC. That problem has been taken care of.

    The Mac will age just as, if not more, gracefully than PCs because they use all of the same hardware.

  5. My G4 dual processor 450 PowerMac (born in 2000) has no difficulty playing the Mac ads. There’s no reason that “get another Mac” should not be able to play them on his 2-year-old Macs. Does he have the latest version of QuickTime?

  6. You have a four year old mac that doesn’t play the Apple ads? Rubbish. I have a 6 year old Pismo that happily churns through those clips.

    I bet you’re one of those guys who never upgraded the RAM on his Macs and then expected to run OS 10.4 without a hiccup. Get a clue – Tiger needs at least 512Mb. It may run in 128Mb, but it won’t be fast!

    Or, better yet, get yourself a PC. You’ll be so much “happier” for it! We certainly don’t need you flaunting your ineptitude on MDN.

    And if you don’t know what a Pismo is then you’ve made my point for me.

  7. In case you haven’t been paying attention, Macs and PCs run on the same processors now, so the old PPC issues are thankfully long in the past.

    Besides, Apple introduced their last G3 iMac model in July 2001, so if you bought one in 2002 or 2003, you knew then you were buying 1-2 year old technology and you can’t blame Apple for that.

    You’re really using a 5 1/2 year old Mac, and 5 1/2 year old PCs don’t do a hell of a lot either. Just try running Vista on one…Oh yeah, you can’t.


    What have you done to your mac to break it? A 4 year old mac should be able to play quicktime just fine. I have an old G3 Mac that can play the commercials just fine – I believe it’s about 6 years old (bought it on ebay this year).

  9. I just fired up my 4 year old iBook with the G3 processor to see if it would play the Apple ads. It does – without missing a frame. Note that it has been upgraded to 640Mb RAM and 10.4.8. But Professor Genius up there has to go use his “old-lady’s” PC just to get the ads to run.

    I’m sure your Old Lady is pleased to be referred as such.

  10. heh. Boy do I ever love to get you guys all in a lather. ahaha. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    Well listen, dudes. I told you the truth. You can continue to make up all the untrue circumstances you want to support your rebuttals, but I’m just going to label you as being deceitful.

    Anyways, quit with the lying bullshit, already. I said I was buying another Mac. I’ll be posting the truth about that one too. Hopefully it will be a happier truth, eh?

  11. Lastly ..

    At the time of purchase, I didn’t know jack about computers. A goodly number of the retorts in here seem to assume a default long term computer-user perspective at time of purchase, as well perhaps as a circumstance of having accessability to some sort of workplace related IT advice. I had neither. I purchased those iMacs soley because the reviews in non-tech periodicals were favorable. And I might add .. I never switched to a PC, regardless of the dis-satisfaction with the Macs. I stuck it out.

    Now then .. which of us big mouths in here, besides myself, never ever uses a PC? Just curious.

  12. gwn, aka “Get Another Mac?”,

    You still haven’t provided enough information for anyone to make a strong statement about your experience, including yoursef.
    – how much RAM do you have installed?
    – what version of OS X are you running?

    There’s plenty of factors other than the main processor that would affect the ability for any computer to be able to perform.

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