Four More "Get a Mac" Ads, No Direct "Laptop Hunters" Rejoinders

By  |  Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Back on Friday, I wondered if we’d ever see Apple’s “Get a Mac” guys again, and speculated that they’d either come back with a direct response to Microsoft’s Laptop Hunters spots or stay away for good. Which just goes to show that even the most innocuous speculating about Apple is likely to be wrong. The company’s released four new “Get a Mac” spots, and none of them take on “Laptop Hunters” directly.

Here they be:

The only one that feels like it tiptoes into “Laptop Hunters” territory is the third one, “Stacks,” since it points out a feature of iLife 09 which PC says sounds expensive, then explains that iLife comes with all Macs. Maybe that’s a subtle response to the Microsoft ads’ painting of the cost of Macs as including a large premium for meaningless cool factor. Or maybe not–a pretty high percentage of all “Get a Mac” commercials have touted iLife as a principal reason to buy an Apple computer.

I’m not sure if the second ad, “Legal Copy,” is referring to something specific with its conceit that an ad claiming that Windows PCs are more simple and intuitive than Macs must carry a lot of fine print. As I’ve written, one of the striking things about the “Laptop Hunters” series is that it makes no claims about Windows. The message is all about the specs and features you can get at a particular price point, and anything relating to software seems to beside the point.

(Side note: I’m not a fan of fine print, but it’s better than not using it when an advertising claim badly needs clarification–as I wrote in this post about Apple’s iPhone 3G advertising.)

Then again, maybe ignoring “Laptop Hunters” is Apple’s way of responding to it. While Microsoft keeps doing its price comparisons and saying that Macs provide no added value for the price you pay, Apple is returning to the basic mantra that “Get a Mac” has repeated all along–that Macs deliver fewer hassles and more powerful included software than Windows PCs.  The implied message is that you should be including those factors when you do the math on a computer purchase. It’s a far more reasonable point than the one that Microsoft has busily hammered away.

And maybe the fact that Mac and PC are back at all is an oblique acknowledgment that Microsoft’s ads are attracting attention, and Apple needs to reinforce the pro-Mac, anti-PC case it had already been making.

One other thought about the new commercials: Poor PC seems to have drunk the Mac Kool-Aid himself somewhere along the way–in “Time Traveler” he actively argues that PCs don’t work the way they should and are inferior to Macs. The early ads in which he touted his own virtues and disparaged the Mac were at least as effective, and a lot funnier


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10 Comments For This Post

  1. tom b Says:

    I like the time machine ad. Using humor like that is a lot easier than trying to explain the merits of UNIX-based systems vs. proprietary systems, like Windows, to the average man-in-the-street.

  2. Josh Rose Says:

    I think the fact that I look like John Hodgman has kept me using a Windows-based machine (and Ubuntu…).

  3. Lora Says:

    *sighs* I love Mac. I’m stuck with this Dell though. Yes A DELL! I didn’t bought it though, I never would.

    I don’t just like Mac, I love their adds too. :p

  4. Simon Says:

    Just a few comments.

    First, Macs are not hassle free either, they have their own prolbems. Maybe not as many as PCs, but they do.

    Second, the face recognition in iphoto…picasa does that to…on the web (and software…I think)!

    About the time travel one, see comment one

  5. Simon Says:

    But, I must give them credit for their incredibly witty ads, I do enjoy them.

  6. KenC Says:

    Speaking of fine print, have you noticed that every cellphone ad, has a disclaimer, “screen images simulated”? They’re all fake, except…. for Apple’s iPhone. The funny thing is that the iPhone’s screen is so bright and vivid, the first time you saw Steve demo it back in 2007, you wondered if it was fake, when it’s not. The only disclaimer they had to add due to complaints is the “sequences shortened”, when demoing all the things you can do with apps.

    So, the screen images that looked fake, originally, on the iPhone turned out to be real, while the images that look real on all those other cellphones, turn out to be faked.

  7. johnfurgurson Says:

    Even though Apple has less than 10% market share, they have assumed the leadership position in the computer market. They’re controlling the dialog, while Microsoft does the reacting. So I’d say Apple’s acting appropriately like the market leader by not responding directly to the laptop hunter ads.

  8. Neil Anderson Says:

    PC has a very cool tie in the future.

  9. André Zunido Says:

    Windows PC’s == PC’s???
    These comercials tick me off!
    A PC (Personal Computer) is a Macintosh an Asus, Toshiba, Lenovo or whoever makes it (the computer i.e. hardware)! Not the OS!

    Apple could sell in the ads the Mac experience Vs Windows experience, but not a PC vs MAC. Non MAC PC’s can have many OSses.

    Anyway, I have “PC’s” and “MAC’s” and prefer “MAC’s” for laptops and Linux PC’s for Desktops.
    Both have they’re advantages.

  10. Lora Says:

    Com’on… you can’t just call a mac a pc… Mac powns, pc doesn’t.

    I agree both PCs and Mac’s have their advantages though.

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