Why Apple’s smart ‘Get a Mac’ campaign drives Bill Gates crazy

“By now you’ve seen, no doubt many times, Apple’s most recent Get a Mac commercial, in which poor PC can not get a word in (or out) without first clearing it (Cancel or allow?) through his grim, Secret-Service-style security agent. If for some reason you haven’t seen it… you should see it, because it’s the best of the series so far. This is no small compliment, given how consistently smart and funny and clever and creative they’ve been. But this one is pure perfection: a marvel of brisk pacing, crisp editing, and deft comic timing, showcasing yet again the subtle brilliance and hilarity of John Hodgman’s work as PC,” Chad Hermann blogs for The Huffington Post.

Apple’s ‘Get a Mac – Security’ ad:

Hermann writes, “Almost equally amazing is the inability — or perhaps the unwillingness — of someone as smart as Bill Gates to understand how the ads work. When asked, in a recent interview with Newsweek magazine, whether he was bothered by the commercial in which PC must undergo upgrade surgery to install Windows Vista, the Microsoft Chairman replied, I’ve never seen it. I don’t think over 90 percent of the [population] who use Windows PCs think of themselves as dullards, or the kind of klutzes that somebody is trying to say they are.

Hermann writes, “PC is to Mac what Wile E. Coyote was to the Roadrunner: the poor, pitiful foil for whom we feel some strange sort of empathy, even as we can’t quite bring ourselves to identify with him. He won’t ever win, and he can’t even get his name in the title, but he’s the one who makes the stories worth watching. He makes them great…”

Hermann writes, “If Bill Gates understood this, or could at least bring himself to admit it, perhaps he would feel better about the ad campaign. Or perhaps not. Elsewhere in that same interview, when he’s saying silly and patently untrue things about Apple computers (Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally) or bragging about Vista features (the way the search lets you go through lots of things, including lots of photos… And then I might edit a high-definition movie and a make a little DVD that’s got photos) that have been possible on a Mac for months or even years, he sounds an awful lot like PC in those commercials: by turns boastful and dismissive, trying too hard and succeeding too little, clinging to the tenuous and increasingly unpleasant company of his own mistaken assumptions.”

Hermann writes, “Much has been made of the notion that, at first glance, Mac and PC bear a more than passing resemblance to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. And maybe that’s what really bugs Mr. Gates about the commercials. Maybe he’s not bothered by how they may hurt the feelings of 90 percent of computer users; maybe he’s bothered by how they hurt his own.”

More in the full article – highly recommended – here.

Related articles:
Bill Gates unhinged with Apple envy; Microsoft on path to become high profile casualty – February 06, 2007
Bill Gates has lost his mind: calls Apple liars, copiers; slams Mac OS X security vs. Windows – February 02, 2007


  1. I love how in the same article he says he never saw the ads but then later describes them…. hmmm. He is a busy man does he have someone take the time to tell him what they think of the ad’s so he can dismiss them in public or does he take 10 minutes to watch everyone of them.

  2. So Huffington Post is a progressive blog in the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt who started the progressive party (aka “Bull Moose” party”) after abandoning the Republicans. And Huffington was a repub herself, but split from the party when her husband, a republican, was outed as a homosexual? So, Teddy switched (parties.) Arianna switched (parties.) Rush switched (platforms.)

    I can’t follow this soap opera. But the article is good. As are the commercials.

  3. But what else could Bill G say when asked about the PC/Mac adds? Really, what could he say…. “Oh, I think they are pretty good” or “Yeah the adds are cute but they are not representing the truth”? He just about had to say that he has not seen them. That is the only way that he would be able to not have to comment on them.

  4. Great commercials. Huffington-not so great.

    Huffington post-Maher said one of the most disgraceful and irresponsible things uttered on a major television program since Bush was elected.

    In a nutshell, the host said the world would be a safer place if the Cheney assassination attempt succeeded. And, he even had the nerve to reiterate it. Here’s the deplorable sequence of events for those that have the stomach for it.

    Maher: What about the people who got onto the Huffington Post – and these weren’t even the bloggers, these were just the comments section – who said they, they expressed regret that the attack on Dick Cheney failed.



  5. “In a nutshell, the host said the world would be a safer place if the Cheney assassination attempt succeeded”

    The thing wasn’t a Cheney assassination attempt. He wasn’t anywhere near the explosion. The media just spun it that way to create more drama from none.
    I don’t call it a media conspiracy, just a weak ass attempt to boost ratings. Although if it was a conspiracy it would fall right in line with typical Rove tactics where he makes his candidate appear to be the victim in some way to garner sympathy and support.

  6. I’ve never seen it. I don’t think over 90 percent of the [population] who use Windows PCs think of themselves as dullards

    A dullard is the last person to know he is one.


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