Apple debuts three new Mac ads: ‘Basically,’ ‘Labor Day,’ and ‘Mayday’ (with video)

During the Olympics, Apple has debuted three new 30-second Macintosh commercials on U.S. broadcast and cable networks.

The new, rather remarkable ads feature at the same “Mac Genius” who interacts with everyday personal computer users.

The ads are entitled “Basically,” “Labor Day,” and “Mayday.”

In “Basically,” an Apple Genius points out there are a lot of things that separate a Mac from an ordinary computer, like great apps that come built in.

In “Labor Day,” the same Apple Genius shows a soon-to-be father all the amazing things he can make with iPhoto.

In “Mayday,” an Apple Genius shows a fellow passenger how easy it is to make great home movies with iMovie. All before the tray tables are returned to their upright position.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously these ads are not targeted at the typical MacDailyNews reader and therefore might, upon first viewing, seem simplistic or even stupid. These ads are not at all stupid, they’re simply talking to people who speak a much more basic tech language than we do. When it comes to these ads, we are all paleontologists being forced to watch Dinosaur Train.

MacDailyNews readers, you are hereby absolved from watching these ads. They are not for your consumption. Pay no attention to these ads whatsoever while you share them repeatedly with your parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and anyone else you know who might be in the market for their first real personal computer.

Every Mac user, especially the longtime Mac users who’ve been to the edge and back, should welcome new Mac users whether they know exactly what they’ve just purchased or have much yet to learn.

To take a line from a very early Mac TV ad (second ad below), “The real genius of Macintosh is that you don’t have to be a genius to use it.”

The ad title “Basically” says it all. These ads are appealing to a very basic target audience – the broadest possible target audience – and therefore represent a rather significant milestone:

Apple has finally returned to marketing the computer for the rest of us to the rest of us.

Steve Jobs’ ultimate goal, to take back the computer business from Microsoft, is being realized. These ads are a part of that effort. Apple’s Mac has regained its strength to the point where it can fight for the wide personal computer market again. Microsoft, if they were cognizant, should be shaking in their boots. It’s 1984 all over again and, for the Mac at least, that is a very, very good thing.


  1. Anyone else notice that In two of the spots the Genius is doing things that Geniuses don’t do? Geniuses don’t show you how to use iMovie or iPhoto. That’s what the One to One trainers do. Geniuses are tech support, not instructional learning. A little bit misleading I thought. How many people are going to make Genius bar appointments thinking that they can get free iMovie lessons now? And when they can’t, they’ll talk about how they saw it in that commercial and demand some sort of compensation.

    1. Apple will reply “Buy an Apple Genius a round trip ticket to [Genius’ choice of destination] and s/he may be glad to help you learn iMovie during the flight.”

      In other words, these scenes happened outside an Apple Store so Apple is not responsible for what the Geniuses do in their off hours.

      1. Actually these ads show a scenario that would not fly with Apple and a genius who was employed there.

        When you go to work for Apple retail you agree not to represent the company during your off hours!

        This guy would be canned for wearing his uniform after his manager saw this! lol

  2. I’m still laughing at the airplane one.
    And MDN is right. I’m forwarding it to my friend who is considering switching right now. This ad actually addresses exactly what I was indicating to vacillating my friend.

    Apple gets it. MDN gets it. Critical dweebs don’t.

  3. I am glad that the new ads talk about iLife.  The apps are a great reason to get people to switch.  I don’t use them now that I upgraded: however they reminds me to talk about the apps when disscusing Mac to a Win user.  I wish they would talk about the backlit keyboard, trackpad, and a screen that 3 people can watch at once. Those are hard to demonstrate in a brightly lit store.

  4. These commercials miss represent what an Apple Genius position does. What these commercials will do is give the wrong expectation to a customer visiting the Genius bar. This is a creative roll that these commercials are showing using a Genius character. This is NOT good.

  5. These ads are bad.
    I can’t remember this amount of spin effort from MDN on any Apple issue in a long time. These ads are dumb. They professional Mac users, enthusiasts, and give the impression the Mac is for making vacation videos.

    These ads are bad. Bad bad bad.

    They are worse even than the lemmings ad.

    An effective ad would have shown someone at work with her MacBook Pro Retina, getting her work done next to a frustrated PC user, then taking her MBPR home and actually editing some personal video footage. Show the strengths of the machine, not the weaknesses of its supposed user base.

    Come one MDN.

    There is no excuse for this.

    1. Above it should say, “They insult professional Mac users, enthusiasts, and give the impression the Mac is for making vacation videos.”
      It would be easier to get things right if giant pop up ad videos for fricking mayonnaise didn’t appear every time I accidentally touch the mouse.

      1. Mac pros need to love these ads.

        Background. I have been buying, using, teaching, and selling macs since 1988. I was a pro reseller for many years and totally get that some of you 1% use macs to make fancypants movies, commercials, web apps, print ads and so on.

        With that being said, understand that you want dingbats, grandmas, weird uncles, and the technologically challenged buying more and more macs in order to support the case for R&D, down cycle integration of technology, and better industrial design. To form a compelling financial argument for AAPL to not pull the plug on designing for the small insignificant piece of the revenue-pie that the pros represent more MacBook Air and iMac sales will help.

        Like many of you, after 10 years of Mac Tower buying I traded in my 8core Mac Pro for an iMac. I haven’t looked back. The iMac is just good enough. Same is true for MBP as I move further left in the product category. It’s all about moving units at the end of the day and the more units that move the better the products become and the longer the yardstick gets for the competition.

        Being in the ad business for many years, I know that opinions come out everyday (in this forum a lot more than that). The true judge of the effectiveness of these ads will be in the new Mac user metric. These ads are targeting iPhone buyers that realize it just might make sense to buy a mac now too especially since those Apple Store people can make the transition easier. Let us let these ads run their course for a minute or two before we fire Chiat Day and Tim all at once. Steve hired good people and let them do their thing. They are still good people even though he is gone. I would be willing to bet that whenever someone from Joney’s team or the agency presents ideas – they do so with the same fear and same passion that they did when Mr. Jobs was in the room. If we all think we know what Steve would do just imagine what the people who actually knew him are thinking.

      1. You are critiquing something that you can’t seem to step back far enough to properly critique. These ads are not targeted to you. These ads do nothing to diminish pro Mac users. So far in this thread, you sound like a real moron.

      2. I don’t like them either Thelonious. They remind me that Steve isn’t here any more to say, “This is shit!”.

        I can’t help but contrast the sickly image of the nice kid who sleeps in his Genius T-shirt with the wonderfully gritty humour of “Cancel or allow” in the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” series.

        But maybe MDN is right. They’re not targeted at long time Mac users, but at an audience that you and I don’t get, and who Apple needs to grow the business even further.

      3. What your comment says to me is .., your still procrastinating and your work is piling up… I know it’s Sunday … But you just have to be WAY in behind in your work because you post way to many comments about issues that are really not that important…. I used to think you were a pretty smart guy… But the way you procrastinate .., tsk tsk

      4. 1. That’s what the IT drones have been telling worker bees for years.

        2. Clearly the T-shirt is product associative in these ads.

        3a. Getting friendly help, at any time, is a valuable message for potential new users who likely see computers as forbidding.

        3b. The tasks are complex. Apple made them simple.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.