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Get a Mac

The Get a Mac campaign is a current (2006–present) television advertising campaign created for Apple Inc. by TBWAMedia Arts Lab, the company's advertising agency. Shown in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Japan, the ads in the campaign have become easily recognizable because each ad follows a standard simple template: against a minimalist all-white background, a man dressed in casual clothes introduces himself as a Mac running Mac OS X ("Hello, I'm a Mac..."), while a man in a more formal suit and tie combination introduces himself as a non-Macintosh personal computer running Microsoft Windows ("... And I'm a PC."). The two then act out a brief vignette in which the capabilities and attributes of "Mac" and "PC" are compared, with PC—characterized as a formal, stuffy person overly concerned with work—often being frustrated by the more laid-back Mac's abilities. Some recent ads have shifted focus away from comparing features of the computer systems to a more general comparison. The most recent ones, however, are mainly concerning Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows Vista.

The original American ads star actor Justin Long as the Mac and author and humorist John Hodgman as the non-Mac PC, and are directed by Phil Morrison. The American ads also air on Canadian, Australian and New Zealand television, and at least 24 of them were dubbed into Spanish, French, German, and Italian The British campaign stars comedic duo Robert Webb as Mac and David Mitchell as PC while the Japanese campaign features comedic duo Rahmens. Although several of the British and Japanese ads originated in the American campaign, they are generally slightly altered. Both the British and Japanese campaigns also feature several original ads not seen in the American campaign.

The Get a Mac campaign is the successor to the "Switch" ads first broadcast in 2002. Arguably, the two are most similar in that actors in both campaigns were filmed against a plain white background. Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the campaign during a shareholders meeting the week before the campaign started. The campaign also coincided with a change of signage and employee apparel at Apple retail stores detailing reasons to switch to Macs.

Ads

The following is a brief summary of the different ads that appear in the various campaigns to date. All of the ads play on perceived weaknesses of standard non-Mac personal computers, especially those running Microsoft Windows, of which 'PC' is clearly intended to be a parody, and corresponding strengths possessed by the Mac OS (such as immunity to circulating viruses and spyware). Each of the ads is about 30 seconds in length and is accompanied by a song called "Having Trouble Sneezing", composed by Mark Mothersbaugh. The advertisements are presented below in alphabetical, not chronological, order.

North American campaign

The following is an alphabetical list of the ads that appeared in the campaign shown in the United States and Canada. These ads can be viewed online at Apple's "Get A Mac" website and the Canadian equivalent

  • Accident – A wheelchair-bound PC, who is wearing casts on his arms, explains that he fell off his desk when someone tripped over his power cord, thus prompting Mac to point out that the MacBook's and MacBook Pro's magnetic power cord prevents such an occurrence.
  • Angel/Devil – Mac gives PC an iPhoto book to view. Suddenly, angel and devil versions of PC appear behind him. The angel encourages PC to compliment Mac, while the devil prods PC to destroy the book. In the end, PC says the book is good, and then turns around, feeling the air where the angel and devil versions of PC were.
  • Better – Mac praises PC’s ability with spreadsheets, but explains that he is "better with life stuff", such as music, pictures, and movies. PC defensively asks what Mac means by "better", only to sheepishly claim a different definition when Mac tells him.
  • Better Results – PC and Mac discuss making home movies, and show each other their efforts. Supermodel Gisele Bündchen enters, representing Mac's movie, while PC's movie is represented by a man with a hairy chest and a blonde wig wearing a dress similar to Bündchen's. PC states that there's some work in progress with his movie.
  • Boxer - PC is introduced as if he were in a Boxing match, stating that he's not going down without a fight. Mac says back that it's not a competition, but rather people switching to a computer that's simpler and more intuitive. The ring announcer admits his brother-in-law got a Mac and loves it.
  • Breakthrough – Mac and PC's therapist (see "Counselor" below) suggest that PC's problems are simply a result of software and hardware coming from various places, whereas Mac gets all his hardware and software from one place. "It's not my fault!" PC keeps repeating with support of Mac and the therapist. Then PC concludes, "It's Mac's fault, it's Mac's fault," with Mac and the therapist disappointed in PCs conclusion. PC ends with the comment: "What a Breakthrough!".
  • Calming teas – PC announces calming teas and bath soaps to make Vista's annoyances easier to live with.
  • Choose a Vista – Confused about which of the six versions of Windows Vista to get, PC spins a big game wheel. PC spins "Lose a Turn" and Mac questions why PC put that space on the wheel.
  • Computer Cart – PC and 3 other men in suits are on a computer cart. When Mac asks why, PC says that he gets an error with a Windows Media Player Dynamic-link library file (WMP.DLL), and that the others suffer from similar errors (The man in the beige suit represents error 692, the man in the grey suit represents a Syntax error, and the man in the bottom of the cart represents Fatal error in which PC whispers along with "he's a goner" after the commercial). Mac explains that Macs don't get cryptic error messages.
  • Counselor – PC and Mac visit a counselor to resolve their differences. However, while Mac finds it easy to compliment PC ("you are a wizard with numbers and you dress like a gentleman"), PC's resentment is too deep for him to reciprocate ("I guess you are better at creating stuff, even though it's completely juvenile and a waste of time."). The counselor suggests them coming in twice a week.
  • Flashback – Mac asks PC if he would like to see a website and home movie that he made. This prompts PC to flashback to a time when both he and Mac were children; when the younger Mac asks the younger PC if he would like to see some artwork he did, the younger PC takes out a calculator and calculates "the time we've just wasted." (This may be a reference to the time when PC's were text-based, while Macs were slower but had GUI's) Returning from the flashback, PC does the same thing.
  • Genius – Mac introduces PC to one of the Apple Geniuses from the Apple Retail Store's Genius Bar. PC tests the Genius, starting with math questions and culminating in asking her, on a scale of one to ten, how much does he loathe Mac, to which she answers "Eleven," and PC says "She's good. Very good."
  • Gift Exchange – Mac and PC exchange gifts for Christmas; PC, who is hoping for a C++ GUI programming guide, is disappointed to receive a photo album of previous Get a Mac ads made on iPhoto, and Mac receives from PC a C++ GUI programming guide.
  • Goodwill – Mac and PC agree to put aside their differences because of the Christmas season. Although PC momentarily slips and states that Mac "wastes his time with frivolous pursuits like home movies and blogs," the two agree to, as Mac says, "pull it into hug harbor" and the each wish each other a good holiday.
  • Group - PC is at a help group for "PCs living with Vista". The other PC's there tell him to take it one day at a time and that he is facing the biggest fact of all, that Vista isn't working as it should. They all wish the Vista problems will go away sooner and a lot easier. One of them says pleasingly that he has been error-free for a week and starts to repeat himself uncontrollably and the others get discouraged.
  • iLife – PC is listening to an iPod and praises iTunes. Mac replies that the rest of iLife works just as well and comes on every Mac. PC defensively responds by listing the "cool apps" that he comes with, but can only identify "calculator" and "clock."
  • Meant for Work – PC, looking haggard and covered in stickers, complains about the kids who use him and their activities, such as making movies and blogging, which are wearing him out and makes him "cry to sleep mode." He complains that, unlike Mac, he is meant more for office work. PC then trudges off because his user wants to listen to some Emo (represented by the Anarchy sign on his back).
  • Misprint - PC is on the phone with PCWorld attempting to report a misprint. He explains how they said, "The fastest Windows Vista notebook we tested this year is a Mac." PC goes on to argue how impossible it is for a Mac to run Vista faster than a PC while Mac tries to explain that it is true. While arguing with PCWorld over the phone, PC says he'll put Mac on the line to set things straight. However, he instead lowers his voice and talks 'cool' in an attempt to impersonate Mac saying that PCs are faster.
  • Network – Mac and PC, holding hands to demonstrate their ability to network with each other, are joined by a Japanese woman representing a new digital camera, who enters and takes the Mac character's hand. While Mac and the camera are perfectly compatible and speak to each other fluently, PC – who cannot speak Japanese – is utterly confused and unable to communicate, representing the fact that Windows PCs need a driver installation with virtually all new hardware.
  • Now What — PC begins by showing off his new, long book, I Want to Buy a Computer — Now What?, to help customers deal with all the difficult computer-buying decisions, with no one out there to help. Mac then replies that buying a computer is in fact "really easy," explaining that at Apple Stores there are "personal shoppers" to help you find the perfect Mac. Mac goes on to say that there are even workshops there to teach people about using the computers. Upon hearing this, PC says that he also thought of this and brings out the companion volume, I Just Bought a Computer — Now What?.
  • Office Stress – Mac's new Microsoft Office 2008 program has just come out. In the box that PC gives him, is a stress toy for Mac to use when he gets stressed from doing lots more work, which PC begins using as he complains that Microsoft Office is too compatible with Mac and that he wants to switch his files over and he is getting less work than Mac, eventually breaking the toy.
  • Off the Air – Mac and PC show up with a Mac Genius who says that it is now "easier than ever" to switch to a Mac and that a Mac Genius can switch over a PCs files to a new Mac for free. PC then protests that it is fear which keeps people from switching and that people don't need to hear about the Mac Genius, pulling a cover over the camera and declaring them to be "off the air".
  • Out of the Box – Mac (in a white box) and PC (in a brown box doing some exercises) are in boxes discussing what they will do when they are unpacked. Whereas Mac says that he can get started right away, PC is held up by the numerous activities he must complete before being useful. Mac eventually leaves to get right to work, whereas PC is forced to wait for parts that are still in other boxes.
  • Pep Rally - PC is introduced by a cheerleading squad. When asked to explain, PC explains that Mac's number 1 status on college campuses with his built in iSight camera, his Stable operating system, and being able to run Microsoft Office so well, so he is trying to win students back with a pep rally. The cheerleaders cheer, "Mac's Number One!," and upon PC's complaint, they cheer, "PC's Number Two!"
  • Party is Over – PC unhappily throws a party celebrating the release of Windows Vista. He complains to Mac that he had to upgrade his hardware, and now can't use some of his old software and peripherals. He then talks with one of the party members about throwing another in 5 years, which turns into 5 years and a day, and so on.
  • Pizza Box – PC tries to attract college students by posing as a free box of pizza. Note that this ad was aired during Apple's 2008 back-to-school promotion.
  • Podium - PC, in the style of a political candidate, is standing at a podium making declarations about Windows Vista, urging those who are having compatibility problems with existing hardware to simply replace them and to ignore the new features of Mac OS X Leopard - however, he privately admits to Mac that he himself has downgraded to Windows XP three weeks ago. His key slogan is "It's not about what Vista can do for you, it's what you can buy for Vista."
  • PR Lady - Mac and PC are joined by a public relations representative (played by Mary Chris Wall), who has been hired by PC to place a positive spin on the reaction to Windows Vista and claims that many people are even downgrading back to Windows XP, but her response to claims that more people are switching to Mac instead is a sheepish "No comment."
  • Referee – A referee is present, according to PC, to make sure that Mac doesn't go on saying that Leopard is better and faster than Vista. When Mac defends himself saying that it was The Wall Street Journal who compared the two, PC complains, and the referee sides with Mac. Upon insulting the referee, PC gets ejected, but PC rebuts, saying that he has nowhere to go (in the ad's area).
  • Restarting – Mac and PC explain how they both have a lot in common, but their discussion is hampered by PC's unfortunate habit of freezing and restarting.
  • Sabotage – In this advert, PC is present, but a different actor appears in Mac's place, obviously reciting poorly memorized lines to flatter PC. The real Mac arrives soon after, and while PC sheepishly denies anything is happening, 'impostor' Mac tells 'real' Mac that he's "a big fan."
  • Sad Song - PC sings a short country-blues style song because Vista has gotten him feeling down. The song is about people 'leaving him' for Mac and that Vista's got issues. A hound dog then howls and Mac claims the song is touching. A longer version ends with PC asking Mac if the dog is his, which it's not.
  • Sales Pitch – Although Mac introduces himself as usual, PC says "... and buy a PC." He explains that Mac's increasing popularity is forcing him to be more forward in his self-promotion, and is reduced to holding up red signs with various pitches on them.
  • Santa Claus – An animated Get a Mac commercial featuring Santa Claus and Christmas caroling by both PC and Mac. PC spoils the song by inserting "Buy a PC and not a Mac this holiday season or any other time for goodness sake". The animation style is similar to the Rankin/Bass television specials Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town.
  • Security – In a reference to criticisms of Windows Vista's security features, PC is a joined by a tall United States Secret Service-style bodyguard representing Vista's new security feature, who intrusively demands that he "cancel or allow" every incoming or outgoing interaction he has with Mac.
  • Self Pity – Mac, for once, is wearing a suit, and explains that he "does work stuff too" and has been running Microsoft Office for years. Upon hearing this, PC becomes despondent and collapses on the floor, begging to be left alone to depreciate.
  • Stuffed – PC enters slowly, with a ballooned torso, explaining that all the trial software is slowing him down. Mac replies that Macs only come with the software "you want" (namely, the iLife package). As PC finally gets on his mark, Mac begins his intro again, but PC realizes that he's forgotten something and begins to slowly leave.
  • Surgery – PC appears in the garb of a patient awaiting surgery, and explains that he is upgrading to Windows Vista but requires "surgery" to upgrade (specifically, upgrading such items as graphics cards, processors, memory, etc). In reference to perceived difficulties in upgrading, PC admits that he is worried about going through it and bequeaths his peripherals to Mac should he not survive. Mac ask PC if, like him, his upgrade is just straight forward.
  • Tech Support – A technician is present to 'install' a webcam to PC (using masking tape to attach it to his head). PC is extremely pleased by his new upgrade, but on hearing from the technician that Mac has a built-in webcam, he storms off without waiting for the camera to be fully 'installed'.
  • Throne – PC appears in a king's robe and throne saying that even though switching computers can be difficult, his "subjects" won't leave him and that he's still king. Mac then begins talking about how PC's subjects can just bring their PC into an Apple Store where they'll transfer all the files over to a new Mac, at which PC declares Mac 'banished'.
  • Time Machine – In the typical introduction of Mac and PC, instead of there being one Mac, there is a line of 10. PC is shocked, so the various Macs explain that it is simply "Time Machine," a feature in Leopard which makes regular backups of the hard drive. PC is forced to admit that such a feature is "pretty awesome," followed by thanks from the various Macs.
  • Touché – Right after PC introduces himself, the Mac character replies, "And I'm a PC too". Mac explains to the confused PC that he can run both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, calling himself "the only computer you'll ever need." PC mutters, "Oh...touché." The Mac character, referring to the rules of fencing, explains that one only says "touché" after he or she makes a point and someone else makes a counterpoint, but the PC character continues to misuse the word. A similar conversation occurred in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, a film which Justin Long (Mac) appeared in.
  • Trust Mac – PC, in an attempt to hide from spyware, is wearing a trench coat with dark glasses and a false mustache. PC offers Mac a disguise, but Mac declines, saying he doesn't have to worry about the normal PC spyware and viruses with Mac OS X.
  • Viruses – PC has caught a new virus (represented as a cold) and warns Mac to stay away from him, citing the "114,000 known viruses for PCs." Mac states that the viruses that affect PCs don't affect him, and PC announces that he's going to 'crash' before collapsing onto the floor in a faint.
  • Work vs. Home – Mac describes how he enjoys doing 'fun stuff' such as podcasts and movies, leading PC to claim that he also does "fun stuff" such as timesheets, spreadsheets and pie charts. After Mac responds that it is difficult to capture a family vacation using a pie chart, PC rebuts by showing a pie chart representing "hangout time" and "just kicking it" with different shades of gray. Mac replies, "I feel like I was there."
  • WSJ – Mac is reading a favourable review of himself by Walt Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal. Jealous, PC then claims that he also received a great review, but is caught offguard when Mac asks for specific details. This ad is currently not available on the Apple website, but can be found on YouTube.
  • Yoga –Mac is watching PC have a yoga session where the yoga instructor (Judy Greer) is coaching PC in "expelling bad Vista energy" and forgetting Vista's problems, but when the yoga instructor goes on to complain that Vista screwed up the yoga billing and then storms off, PC considers switching to pilates.

Web exclusive campaign

Several advertisements have been shown exclusively in Flash ad campaigns running on numerous websites. Unlike the ads shown on television, these advertisements have not been posted as high-quality QuickTime videos on Apple's website. These ads run for approximately 20 seconds each and reference specific online advertising features (such as banner ads), making it unlikely they will ever appear on television.

The titles are taken from the Flash video filenames.

  • Banging – PC expresses his regret for upgrading to Windows Vista, as it is causing him various problems. Mac tries to comfort him but PC continues to bang his head on the side of the banner advertisement.
  • Hiding – PC peeks in from the left side of the screen. When Mac asks what PC is doing, PC explains that he is hiding from viruses and spyware. PC then leaves, saying that he has to run a scan. There are two versions of this ad: a 300x250 "square" ad and a 160x600 vertical banner ad. PC is identical in both versions, but Mac's performance features a different take in each.
  • Knocking – PC panics about needing to search for new drivers for his hardware now that he's upgraded to Windows Vista. He tries to force his way off the left side of the screen so he can leave to find the new drivers, but repeatedly runs into a wall. When he finally succeeds in breaking through the left side of the screen he finds himself jumping back in from the right side of the screen.
  • PC Turf (PCMag.com and PCWorld.com exclusive) – PC welcomes web surfers to his "turf," PCMag.com, and remarks that Mac must feel out of place there. Mac points out that they said some great things about Macs, so PC asks security to remove Mac because he's "going to be a problem." The PCWorld version is identical, except PC's voice is over-dubbed to say "PCWorld.com."
  • Sign – In a skyscraper ad, Mac asks PC about an unlit sign in a separate banner ad which reads "DON'T GIVE UP ON VISTA". PC replies that it will stop the problem of frustrated Windows Vista users downgrading to XP or switching to Macs. He presses a button, lighting up only the "GIVE UP" part of the sign. He presses it again, lighting up "ON VISTA". Frustrated, PC presses the button repeatedly, causing "GIVE UP" and "ON VISTA" to light up alternately.
  • Not - A banner ad on the top of the page reads "Leopard is better and faster than Vista" -Wall Street Journal. On the side, Mac introduces himself while PC climbs a ladder. Mac asks what PC is doing and he says that he is fixing an embarrassing typo. He then climbs all the way to the top and staples a piece of paper that says "NOT" at the end of the quote. He then tells Mac that they have the whole internet to correct and asks Mac to grab the ladder.
  • Emergency Refresh - A banner ad on the top of the page reads, "Vista... one of the biggest blunders in technology?" -CNET.com. Off to the side, PC sees the banner and realizes its another bad review of Vista and decides to do an emergency refresh. He walks over and opens a compartment door that says "Emergency Banner Refresh." PC flips the switch, and the banner is replaced by another banner that reads, "It's time for a Vista do-over" - PC Magazine. PC, frustrated about this review, flips the switch again. The banner is replaced by another that reads, "Mac OS X Leopard: A Perfect 10" - InfoWorld. PC sees this positive review and is relieved until he realizes it's about Leopard. PC angrily flips the switch again to end the ad.
  • PC Newswire - PC, jealous of Mac's good press, gets his own newswire ticker above the ad. Unfortunately, the newswire displays unflattering headlines such as "Vista Users Upset Over Glitches" and "Users Downgrade to XP." PC says he hates his "stupid newswire" and then the next headline on the newswire is "PC Hates His Stupid Newswire."

UK campaign

For the British market, the ads were recast with the popular British comedy double act Mitchell and Webb in the lead roles; David Mitchell as 'PC' and Robert Webb as 'Mac'. As well as original ads, several ads from the American campaign were reshot with new dialogue and slightly altered scenes. These ads are about 40 seconds long which is slightly longer than the US advertisements. All of the ads used to be viewable at Apple's UK website. In one episode of their BBC show That Mitchell and Webb Look David Mitchell can be seen using a MacBook Pro in between sketches.

The following ads are exclusive to the UK:

  • Art Language – In an effort to relate to the "creative arty-farty types" who he assumes own Macs, PC, dressed in a stereotypically bohemian fashion, begins speaking to Mac using unnecessarily pretentious language. Despite Mac's insistence that he enables anyone to be creative, PC continues using big words, eventually confusing even himself.
  • Court – PC, dressed in a barrister's outfit, questions Mac on how long it takes to make a iPhoto photobook that Mac claims to have made in a few minutes. Doubting Mac's claim, PC eventually resorts to cutting off Mac whenever he tries to speak.
  • Magic – Exchanging an "average 50k Word document" in a file to Mac, PC makes out that the process is much harder than it actually is through the use of a drum roll and a magician's assistant, and shouting "Amazing!" at the end of the transfer. Bemused, Mac points out that he is compatible with PC and passes him back a photo with no fuss at all, at the end of which PC shouts "Amazing!"
  • Naughty Step – PC unveils his "naughty step": the ultimate deterrent to "an unruly errant child" (similar to the technique used by Jo Frost in the UK & US series Supernanny). He goes on to explain that children should not be making pictures, movies and websites on a "proper, grown-up PC." Mac points out that this is the fun stuff children like to do, resulting in his own banishment to the naughty step.
  • Office at Home – PC is proud of his role in both the office and the home, but Mac retaliates by stating that homes are not run like offices, and thus shouldn't have office computers. PC eagerly begins to describe the ways in which homes can be run like offices, with his increasing authoritarianism prompting Mac to sarcastically comment that PC's home sounds like a "fun place."
  • Office Posse – PC wonders why Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Entourage) are standing with Mac, and is surprised when Mac says he runs Office also. PC attempts to order, and then entice, the Office members to join him, but they refuse, resulting in what Mac calls an "awkward" moment.
  • Tentacle – PC praises Britain's work ethic, chastising Mac's insistence on the need for fun in life. In attempting to persuade Mac of his point of view, PC employs the use of several animal metaphors, but becomes sidetracked through his increasingly eager musing about the practical applications of octopus tentacles in an office.

Several American ads have been modified for the UK market. In some of these ads, the events that occur in the narrative differ significantly from the original American campaign. Others follow the original ads more closely, with only minor differences (many based on the differences in characterization from the actors involved or language differences between American English and British English). These ads are also performed by Mitchell and Webb. The adapted ads are:

  • Accident – The ad follows the same narrative, with a different ending; PC, clearly heavily drugged, requests to be pushed over to the window so he can look at the pigeons, only for Mac to point out that there are no pigeons nor a window. PC responds with a dreamy "You're funny...".
  • Network – The ad follows the same narrative, but in the British version Mac connects with a Japanese printer instead of a digital camera. PC is also more involved in the dialogue, attempting to communicate in Japanese with the printer, only to mangle his words, first declaring that he is "a rice cake" before asking "where is the train station?" This larger involvement of PC, when compared to PC in the American ad, is also shown by the appearance of subtitles whenever PC, Mac, or the printer speak in Japanese; in the American ad, there are no subtitles translating Mac and the camera's dialogue, further evidencing that PC is lost in the conversation.
  • Out of the Box – The ad is almost exactly the same as the American version; however, Mac doesn't mention his built-in camera. Also, at the end, PC pulls out an extremely thick user manual and starts reading it.
  • Pie Chart – The ad is based on the American Work vs. Home. The light grey area of PC's "family holiday" pie chart now represents "shennanigans and tomfoolery" and the dark grey area represents "hijinks." Also, PC further divides "hijinks" into "capers," "monkey business," and "just larking about."
  • Restarting – The ad follows much the same narrative as the American ad, with the only major difference being that after Mac has left to get someone from "IT," PC awakens and wonders where everyone has gone.
  • Stuffed – This ad contains no significant changes from the American version.
  • Trust Mac – The ad follows the same narrative as the American version, but at the end, PC yells out that there is nobody present but "two Macs having fun!"
  • Virus – Based on the American ad Viruses, it contains the dialogue "this one's a humdinger" instead of a "doozy," but otherwise contains no significant changes.

Japan campaign

On December 12, 2006, Apple began to release ads in Japan that were similar in style to the US "Get a Mac" ads. The Mac and PC are played by the Rahmens, a Japanese comedy duo. The ads used to be viewable at Apple's Japan website.

The following ads are exclusive to Japan:

  • Nengajo – Mac shows PC the New Year's Card he made using iPhoto. PC then looks at it, remarking about the picture of the wild boar on the card.
  • Nicknames – PC is confused as to why Mac is not called a PC. Mac then explains that more people use him at home, and PC counters that he is more business-oriented. PC then asks for a nickname for himself; Mac then names him "Wāku" (work).
  • Practice Drawing – PC says he can create pictures, but they are all graphs; for example, what Mac thinks is Manhattan is a bar graph and what Mac thinks is a mountain view is a line graph. Mac catches on, correctly identifying a pie chart, but PC responds that it is a pizza, chiding Mac for having "no artistic sense." This is similar to Art Language, in that PC is trying to connect with artsy people like Mac.
  • Steps – Mac tells PC that he has made his own webpage using iWeb. PC asks for the steps to make his own webpage. Mac gives them, finishing after step 3. PC then pesters Mac for step 4, which Mac finally explains is to "have a cup of coffee."

Several American ads have been modified for the Japanese market. In some of these ads, the events that occur in the narrative differ significantly from the original American campaign. Others follow the original ads more closely, with only minor differences (many based on the differences in characterization from the actors involved). The adapted ads are:

  • Bloated – This ad is similar to Stuffed, but in this ad, PC makes no reference to "bloatware" (limited or useless versions of programs loaded onto new PCs), instead complaining about how much space installing a new operating system takes. Mac expresses his hopes that PC didn't have to delete any data.
  • iLife – This ad is almost exactly the same as the American version.
  • iMovie – This ad is nearly identical to the American ad Better Results, except PC actually thinks that his home movie is comparable to the Mac home movie.
  • Microsoft Office – Based on the UK ad Office Posse, the ad contains only minor differences. At the end of the ad, PC tries to entice Office by chanting, "Overtime! Overtime! All together now!"
  • Pie Chart – This ad is based on the American ad Work vs. Home. The narrative is largely the same, with the only significant differences being that Mac is blogging rather than working with movies, music, and podcasts, and the names of the divisions of the pie chart are different.
  • Restart – This ad is identical to the American ad Restarting.
  • Security – This ad is based on the American ad Trust Mac, but contains some significant changes. Rather than disguising himself to hide from viruses, PC dons protective gear to fight viruses. PC demands that any virus out there come and fight him. After Mac points out a virus, PC slowly moves behind Mac to protect himself.
  • Virus – The ad contains no significant changes from the American ad Viruses.

Keynote Videos

While not strictly a part of the ad campaign, Hodgman and Long appeared in videos during Steve Jobs' keynote addresses at the 2006 and 2007 Worldwide Developers Conference and the 2008 MacWorld Expo.

  • WWDC 2006 - In an attempt to stall Mac development, PC claims to have a message from Steve Jobs saying that the developers should take the rest of the year off, and that Microsoft could use some help with Vista. He starts to go off-topic about his vacation with Jobs, but when Mac arrives he says he's just preparing for their next commercial and starts to sing the Meow Mix theme song off-key.
  • WWDC 2007 - PC dresses up as Steve Jobs, and announces that he is quitting and shutting down Apple. He claims that Vista did so well, selling "tens of dozens of copies," that there's no need for Leopard, and that he got his "iPod-killer," a brown Zune. He tells the developers to just go home; they're no longer needed. Mac arrives and chides PC for trying to mislead the developers again like last year. He asks if PC really thinks the audience will believe he is Jobs. PC then claims he is Phil Schiller.
  • MacWorld Expo 2008 - PC and Mac stand under a "Happy New Year" sign, and PC talks about what a terrible year 2007 has been for him, referring to Windows Vista as a failure while Apple Inc. experienced success with Mac OS X Leopard, iPod Touch, and iPhone. Despite this, PC says he is optimistic for the future, claiming it to be "The Year of the PC". When asked what his plans are for 2008, PC states he is "just going to copy everything [Mac] did in 2007."

Release dates (U.S. campaign)

The different spots were released gradually:

  • The original set of Viruses, Restarting, Better, iLife, Network, WSJ, were launched on May 2, 2006.
  • Work vs. Home, Touché, and Out of the Box were released on June 12, 2006.
  • Accident, Angel/Devil and Trust Mac, were released for the campaign on August 27, 2006 for the 2006 Primetime Emmy Awards.
  • In September, three new commercials made their debut on Canadian television, one (Better Results) features Gisele Bündchen alongside Hodgman and Long in an advertisement which had been sighted at certain Apple Stores. They were published to Apple's website on October 9, 2006.
  • In October, 2006, the 3 new ads, Better Results, Counselor, and Self Pity, were sighted on U.S. network TV.
  • In late November, 2006, 3 new ads were released, Gift Exchange, Sales Pitch, and Meant for Work.
  • On December 19, 2006 the ad Goodwill was released on apple.com. WSJ disappeared from the See all the ads section afterwards (but is still on the site).
  • With the introduction of the iPhone, Surgery was added and Network was removed from the menu as of October 12, 2007.
  • On January 16, 2007, Sabotage and Tech Support were added, and the 2006 holiday ads (Gift Exchange and Goodwill) and Better were removed. Network was added once again.
  • On February 6, 2007, Security was added.

  • On February 7, 2007, Gift Exchange, Goodwill, and Better were re-added, meaning that all of the U.S. campaign ads except for WSJ could be seen at apple.com/getamac/ads.
  • On April 11, 2007, Computer Cart and Flashback were added.
  • On April 14, 2007, The Stuffed ad was added.
  • On May 7, 2007, Choose a Vista, Genius, and Party Is Over were added.
  • On November 11, 2007, PR Lady, Boxer, and Podium were added. Network, iLife, and Restarting were no longer on the menu.
  • In November 2007, an internet-only ad, Sign, was sighted.
  • On December 4, 2007, Misprint was added.
  • On December 6, 2007, Now What? was added.
  • On December 13, 2007, a fully claymation Santa Claus ad was added.
  • On January 6, 2008, Referee was added in conjunction with the beginning of the NFL playoffs.
  • On January 13, 2008, Time Machine was added.
  • As of January 25, 2008, the web exclusive ad Not was sighted on the Yahoo! News opening page. It also appeared at the New York Times site and elsewhere.
  • On April 1, 2008, Breakthrough and Yoga were added.
  • On April 9, 2008, Office Stress was added.
  • On May 12, 2008, Group and Pep Rally were added.
  • On May 13, 2008, Sad Song was added.
  • On August 18, 2008, Calming Teas, Throne, Pizza Box, and Off The Air were added.

Criticisms

In an article for Slate magazine, Seth Stevenson criticized the campaign as being too "mean spirited", suggesting, "isn't smug superiority (no matter how affable and casually dressed) a bit off-putting as a brand strategy?".

In an article in The Guardian, Charlie Brooker points out that the use of the comedians Mitchell and Webb in the UK campaign is curious. They both star in the sitcom Peep Show in which, to quote the article's author, "Mitchell plays a repressed, neurotic underdog, and Webb plays a selfish, self-regarding poseur". He goes on to say, "So when you see the ads, you think, 'PCs are a bit rubbish yet ultimately lovable, whereas Macs are just smug, preening tossers.'

References

See also

External links

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