Posted by John Park on Sep 23rd, 2008
Sep 23
We’ve all seen the smart “Mac vs. PC” commercials.  Like most people, I thought they were really funny at first.  Here was the cool, fit and obviously self-confident Gen Y’er named MAC making fun of the slightly overweight, glasses wearing, badly out of fashion PC on everything from video capabilities to not being the computer of choice on college campuses.  It was a brilliant idea for an ad campaign and it certainly had legs.  We saw parodies on SNL and even some funny amateur remakes on You Tube.  And truth be told, it did help Apple sell more MACs.  This is especially true with the young aspirational audience that is always buying in to the latest “cool” gadget.  With this said, I believe that Apple underestimated the potential downside of this somewhat “snobby” campaign.
By starting this fight, Apple managed to do an amazing favor for Microsoft without really trying.  Steve Jobs and his cronies turned Microsoft in to an underdog.  And, no group of people loves an underdog more than the American public.  Just imagine how Rocky would have turned out if he didn’t live in the poor crime infested section of Philadelphia and if he didn’t have to train in a meat packing plant.  The bottom line is that we all have a soft spot for someone who is trying really hard but is against some formidable obstacles.  Compounding to this sentiment is the fact that MACs generally cost more than PCs furthering an aura of dare I say “elitism”.
Like many, I eventually grew tired of the commercials and began to root for the fat PC guy—subconsciously.  This past weekend, Microsoft finally retaliated against the barrage of Apple’s attacks by launching their “I am a PC” ad campaign.  Although the ads have only run for a few days, it has become the center of conversation at many marketing and ad agencies including our own.  It will be interesting to see how Apple responds.  I am sure they will answer in some clever Steve Jobs way.  But for now, the PC users are joining together to say to the world “I am a PC”.  Of course, the HUGE irony in all of this is we all know who the real bully is.  What is the point of this post?  Don’t turn your competition in to a crowd-pleasing underdog.
Check out the full commercial below.  By the way, I am a PC and I help businesses do more business.


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One Response

  1. Katherine Says:

    hahahaha — sort of like McCain being the “real hope for change” right? whoops — obviously I’m Mac…

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