Measuring Apple’s ‘Get a Mac’ viral video response to Microsoft’s ‘I’m a PC’ campaign

“Microsoft has directly responded to Apple’s wildly successful ‘Get a Mac’ ads with the $300 million ‘I’m a PC’ campaign (well, after a brief but intriguing attempt to team Microsoft founder Bill Gates with comic legend Jerry Seinfeld),” Matt Cutler reports for Visible measures Corp. ‘The “I’m a PC’ campaign hit in mid-September and it took Apple exactly a month to respond with three pointedly anti-Vista ‘Get a Mac’ ads:

Apple’s “Bean Counter ad:

Apple’s “V Word” ad:

Apple’s “Bake Sale” ad:

Cutler reports, “To see if Apple was able to blunt Microsoft’s attempt to reshape consumer perception of Windows, we tapped our Viral Reach Database to identify and measure the viral video placements from each campaign… These first-week results reveal that Apple’s viral video offensive made significant headway against Microsoft’s message. Apple’s three new spots scored 70% of the viral video views that the much-discussed “I’m a PC” initially generated. And the view count totals are only part of the story, as these new Apple ads have inspired twice as many viral video placements.”

Full article, including graphs, here.


  1. Thank you FightingMongoose for the UK ad link.

    It really is odd that the Apple UK site has no TV ads. The parallel URL to ads works at the UK site, but it bounces you over to their general ‘Get A Mac’ information page. Can’t get there from here. What’s all this then? Who’s been mucking about? Bloody vikings!

  2. What?! That lame Microsoft ad where people keep saying “I’m a PC” over and over and over and over and over again is actually considered “viral.” When I think “viral,” I picture something clever and entertaining. I picture Apple’s “Get a Mac” ads.

  3. derekcurrie …

    Interesting observation of similarities between Microsoft and Haliburton

    Both are Companies which got where they are for various reasons

    But effective reasoning would not be one of those reasons

    If ya know what I mean ?

    You Betcha

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  4. You have not seen the UK Mac ads on TV because they have not been on TV.

    As far as I am aware they have only been shown in cinemas (I also saw one on a billboard poster in London but have not seen one anywhere up north).

    Therefore a large proportion of the general population will not have seen them and are thus clueless as to what message the Microsoft ads are attempting to convey.

  5. @ ken1w

    Viral campaigns are a success when watchers encourage other watchers to look at them in an exponential fashion, rather than a 1:1 exposure. I have seen lots of people pointed to the latest Get a Mac ads, but never to the I’m a PC ads. The MS ads are like documentaries – nice to watch once. I found the Seinfeld ads got a more repeated attention span.

  6. Adding to the uk comments above my partner who uses a pc though she hates computers (cant imagine why) and has no interest in my pro Mac stance saw the ‘I’m a PC’ advert and exactly as commented upon above had no idea what it was about or the significance of the approach and further, without any prompting from me, came out and said that she had just seen the worst advert she had ever seen. I won’t deny a slightly smug smile when she told me the particular advert she was referring to and thought to myself ‘thank you Microsoft you are doing Apple’s advertising job for them’ and as Apple’s response so aptly points out it is costing them a fortune along the way. They simply clueless.

  7. So what is the point? Apple’s success depends on the quality if APPLE’s products, not Microsoft’s mistakes, real and perceived. Remember the Lisa? Can you say Apple III?

    Advertisements that put down Microsoft is a poor way to spend money that could be spent improving Apple products. Gosh! Isn’t that the point of the commercial? Who is drinking the apple Juice now?

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