Arik Hesseldahl of BusinessWeek has weighed in on Microsoft’s “Lauren” commercial, the first of its Laptop Hunters ads. All of them involve shoppers rejecting Macs in favor of Windows PCs, and the implication in each case is that Macs offer overpriced glitz rather than substance. Like other observers, Hesseldahl points out that Lauren’s HP laptop has a lower-resolution screen than Apple’s MacBook Pro, much poorer battery life, and more bulk. He also notes that she’ll have to pay for anti-virus software, won’t get Apple’s iLife (which is bundled with all Macs), and won’t qualify for free troubleshooting at Apple’s Genius Bar. Good points all.
He also managed to get a quote from Apple about the Laptop Hunters campaign–the first ackowledgment of it by the company I’ve seen:
Usually silent on such things, Apple did give me a comment on the Microsoft ads. “A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want,” Apple spokesman Bill Evans says. “The one thing that both Apple and Microsoft can agree on is that everyone thinks the Mac is cool. With its great designs and advanced software, nothing matches it at any price.” Microsoft declined to comment.
That’s pretty straightforward and dignified, making for an interesting contrast with the snarky tone of Microsoft’s recent anti-Apple salvos. It’s an interesting role reversal, given that in the past it was usually Apple who snarked at Microsoft, and Microsoft who replied either calmly or not at all.
But I wonder if we’ll ever get a response to Laptop Hunters from these guys:
Actually, I wonder if we’ll ever see PC and Mac again at all. Except for a couple of animated holiday spots, I don’t believe they’ve shown up on TV since last October, before Microsoft had really ramped up its Apple-bashing. Back then, they were trashing Vista, and I said that it felt like inside baseball. My guess: Either they will respond to Laptop Hunters…or they’re gone for good.