May 3, 2006 4:20 PM PDT

Apple launches new Macintosh ad campaign

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With Microsoft's Vista operating system suffering setbacks, Apple Computer has seized the opportunity to promote Macintosh computers with the first national ad campaign for Macs in more than a year.

The ads, which began appearing on television Monday night, poke fun at some of the problems with the Windows operating system and play up Apple's user-friendly reputation. The commercials also come at a crucial time for the Mac.

"We're at a very convenient crossroads for them to say 'Check out the Mac for the first time...again,'" said Richard Shim, an analyst for research firm IDC. "They have a new operating system coming soon, and they're going through a very public transition to the Intel platform. And the biggest player on the block (Windows Vista) is going to be delayed."

Microsoft said in March that the widespread distribution of Windows Vista, which promises to offer such features as improved security, video and photo editing, would be delayed until early 2007. Research firm Gartner is skeptical, announcing Tuesday that it doesn't expect Vista to be ready until the second quarter of 2007.

The past two years have seen Apple spend many of its ad dollars promoting the iPod, the company's hot-selling digital music player. But Apple seems to be picking up where it left off with the Mac.

The ads "are little different in tone from what Apple has taken in the past," said Michael Gartenberg, research director with Jupiter Research. "They're humorous but don't come across as particularly arrogant or elitist. They seem to be doing what they are supposed to: generate buzz about Macs."

Three of the TV ads began appearing Monday night and have run during shows such as "24" and "The Tonight Show," as well as some National Basketball Association play-off games. Three more commercials are due to appear over the next few weeks, according to Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris.

All the ads feature a very buttoned-down-looking businessman, who's supposed to represent a PC, debating with a young hipster who represents a Mac. Each spot ridicules an alleged weakness in the Windows operating system, including security and the need for frequent restarting.

In one spot, a sneezing PC cautions the Mac not to get too close. "Last year there were more than 114,000 known viruses for PCs," he says. The Mac sheepishly responds: "PCs....but not Macs."

Apple also has experienced security glitches. Two worms and a serious vulnerability were discovered in OSX earlier this year.

"While no operating system can be completely immune from security threats," Kerris said, "a computer running Windows has so far proven less safe than a computer running Mac OS X."

Representatives from Microsoft did not respond to interview requests.

See more CNET content tagged:
Apple Computer, research company, Apple Macintosh, security, Microsoft Windows Vista

121 comments

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Add your comment
[Cue: fanboys]
Bring 'em on!
Posted by yipcanjo (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE: Bring 'em on
Don't worry, they are already here....

BTW, talk about "fanboy"... ever look in the mirror? As much as
Windows users love to be technicians to run their computers and
believe they are some how superior to Apples OS.. the very fact
they have to be half a computer tech to keep their machines
running, should be the biggest slap in the face telling them,
"theres a better way to live in the computer world"

The best thing about Intel/Macs is that although Windows is able
to be booted, it will give Windows fanboys a chance to what they
will be able to enjoy in their universe in the distant future. (cuz
it's already existed in OSX for over a year now)
Posted by william roark (34 comments )
Link Flag
[Cue: Trolls]
Oh nevermind, there already here. ;-)
Posted by freemarket--2008 (5058 comments )
Link Flag
[Cue: fanboys]
Bring 'em on!
Posted by yipcanjo (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE: Bring 'em on
Don't worry, they are already here....

BTW, talk about "fanboy"... ever look in the mirror? As much as
Windows users love to be technicians to run their computers and
believe they are some how superior to Apples OS.. the very fact
they have to be half a computer tech to keep their machines
running, should be the biggest slap in the face telling them,
"theres a better way to live in the computer world"

The best thing about Intel/Macs is that although Windows is able
to be booted, it will give Windows fanboys a chance to what they
will be able to enjoy in their universe in the distant future. (cuz
it's already existed in OSX for over a year now)
Posted by william roark (34 comments )
Link Flag
[Cue: Trolls]
Oh nevermind, there already here. ;-)
Posted by freemarket--2008 (5058 comments )
Link Flag
Could have been better casting.
Instead of the grunge looking guy playing the Mac, they should
have used Jeri Ryan in her Voyager costume!
Posted by Gromit801 (393 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I think they got it right
Ever see "Pirates of Silicon Valley"? the "mac guy" could be the
younger brother of Noah Wyle, the guy who played Jobs in the
movie... and if there was a better rep for a plump Bill Gates, I would
like to see it.
Posted by william roark (34 comments )
Link Flag
Could have been better casting.
Instead of the grunge looking guy playing the Mac, they should
have used Jeri Ryan in her Voyager costume!
Posted by Gromit801 (393 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I think they got it right
Ever see "Pirates of Silicon Valley"? the "mac guy" could be the
younger brother of Noah Wyle, the guy who played Jobs in the
movie... and if there was a better rep for a plump Bill Gates, I would
like to see it.
Posted by william roark (34 comments )
Link Flag
Brilliant Ad Concept. Here's why...
They're cheap to make, so they can crank out many variations.

Almost any PC vs Mac tradeoff debate can be easily illustrated.

Non-techies can understand the point of each ad.

The ads can make their points well in under 30 seconds.

The ads get your attention and are entertaining.
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Something they should have done a long time ago
Really... why did they wait this long for good tv ads?

Kieran Mullen
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Link Flag
Not entirely convinced.
I think the portrayal of 'PC-guy' has the potential to backfire. After all, the ads are presumably targeted at PC users who may be persuaded to switch. Yet, there re a few things about them that might put off current PC users.

For example, the ad about how the PC has 'a calculator' and 'a clock' bundled as standard (implying a dearth of software), is contrary to most people's experience when they buy a PC. My Sony and HP machines come bundled with a ton of stuff. Most of it is, of course, useless crap, but there is usually a suite of AV software that allows video/photo editing and CD/DVD burning. So bragging about iLife may not appear all that impressive to anyone who has what they believe to be similar software on their PCs.

Many will also have a full version of MS Works preinstalled, which makes the demo version of Pages and Keynote look distinctly lame.

The appearance of 'Mac-guy' and 'PC-guy' could make PC user feel like they're being patronised. Also, Mac-guy is a bit to smug for my liking. I'd kind of like to see an ad where PC-guy just lays him out.

The message about the number of viruses affecting Macs and PCs is a good one, but I don't see a similarly strong message in the other ads. The one about connecting with other devices (with the 'Japanese-girl' digital camera) was particularly weak. Yes, I can connect my digital camera to my Mackbook. But I can also attach it to my Vaio. So what?

To conclude, I think the concept and simplicity of the ads is good. I just don't think the messages are sufficiently strong to compel PC users to switch. Maybe Mac-guy should pillage PC-guy's online bank account, plant kiddie porn on him and then turn him in to the FBI. Now that would wake PC users up.
Posted by JFDMit (180 comments )
Link Flag
Brilliant Ad Concept. Here's why...
They're cheap to make, so they can crank out many variations.

Almost any PC vs Mac tradeoff debate can be easily illustrated.

Non-techies can understand the point of each ad.

The ads can make their points well in under 30 seconds.

The ads get your attention and are entertaining.
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Something they should have done a long time ago
Really... why did they wait this long for good tv ads?

Kieran Mullen
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Link Flag
Not entirely convinced.
I think the portrayal of 'PC-guy' has the potential to backfire. After all, the ads are presumably targeted at PC users who may be persuaded to switch. Yet, there re a few things about them that might put off current PC users.

For example, the ad about how the PC has 'a calculator' and 'a clock' bundled as standard (implying a dearth of software), is contrary to most people's experience when they buy a PC. My Sony and HP machines come bundled with a ton of stuff. Most of it is, of course, useless crap, but there is usually a suite of AV software that allows video/photo editing and CD/DVD burning. So bragging about iLife may not appear all that impressive to anyone who has what they believe to be similar software on their PCs.

Many will also have a full version of MS Works preinstalled, which makes the demo version of Pages and Keynote look distinctly lame.

The appearance of 'Mac-guy' and 'PC-guy' could make PC user feel like they're being patronised. Also, Mac-guy is a bit to smug for my liking. I'd kind of like to see an ad where PC-guy just lays him out.

The message about the number of viruses affecting Macs and PCs is a good one, but I don't see a similarly strong message in the other ads. The one about connecting with other devices (with the 'Japanese-girl' digital camera) was particularly weak. Yes, I can connect my digital camera to my Mackbook. But I can also attach it to my Vaio. So what?

To conclude, I think the concept and simplicity of the ads is good. I just don't think the messages are sufficiently strong to compel PC users to switch. Maybe Mac-guy should pillage PC-guy's online bank account, plant kiddie porn on him and then turn him in to the FBI. Now that would wake PC users up.
Posted by JFDMit (180 comments )
Link Flag
No Tom Cruise?
In keeping with the typical Apple user, I thought the ads would feature Tom Cruise jumping up and down on a couch, proclaiming true love for his Mac. -lol

Now that I think of it, that would probably sell more computers than their current lame ads. :-)
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Typical
Typical Apple user? Jumping up and down? No, we're too
busy sitting at our computers.

Because they actually work.
Posted by macfreek (4 comments )
Link Flag
And they call *us* fanboys...
It's really too bad that only nerds love PCs.
Posted by Byronic (95 comments )
Link Flag
Why?
He may still be popular, but in my book, his judgment and common sense are extremely poor. I would not buy anything based on his recommendation. Actually, that applies to celebrities in general, what do they know about computers, cars etc.
Posted by freemarket--2008 (5058 comments )
Link Flag
No Tom Cruise?
In keeping with the typical Apple user, I thought the ads would feature Tom Cruise jumping up and down on a couch, proclaiming true love for his Mac. -lol

Now that I think of it, that would probably sell more computers than their current lame ads. :-)
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Typical
Typical Apple user? Jumping up and down? No, we're too
busy sitting at our computers.

Because they actually work.
Posted by macfreek (4 comments )
Link Flag
And they call *us* fanboys...
It's really too bad that only nerds love PCs.
Posted by Byronic (95 comments )
Link Flag
Why?
He may still be popular, but in my book, his judgment and common sense are extremely poor. I would not buy anything based on his recommendation. Actually, that applies to celebrities in general, what do they know about computers, cars etc.
Posted by freemarket--2008 (5058 comments )
Link Flag
Typical FUD re: Mac viruses
Sigh. Once again, the tech version of moral equivalence.

"Apple ALSO has experienced security glitches."

Ah. I see. 114,000 known viruses on Windoze, including such
debacles as ILoveYou, CodeRed, Blaster, SoBig, and MyDoom.
Perhaps one virus on Mac, which has affected exactly 2 users,
plus "a serious vulnerability". By golly, you're right -- BOTH
platforms have experienced security glitches. Six of one; half
dozen of the other. Doesn't matter which one you choose; you
still risk life and limb every time you log on. Sure, 99.9999999%
of the viruses affect only one platform, but those kinds of trivial
details are just a distraction from the real issue, which is that
Macs are just as insecure as as Windoze. Be afraid, Mac users.
Be very afraid.

Gag.
Posted by Splashes (423 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Trivial? What is your point?
You should read what you write its quite funny and
contradictory.

How is 99.999999999% of viruses running on Windows a trivial
distration? Its not a trivial distration its just plain reality. Thats
the real issue here, so deal with it, PC Users have for the past
decade and they still have no clue whats good for them. They
keep bumping into the wall like a spinning top until they reach
an opening.

"Like duh.. I didn't know Windoze was spelt Windows.. a duh."
PC user said (scratching head).

Frankly its their personal choice, you can't argue with ignorance.

Given that same figure, assuming that less than 0.000000001%
of viruses are running on a Mac or Linux. Which one would you
take security wise? Sheesh..get your facts straight.

You know its not Mac Users that have to be afraid, or PC Users
for that matter. Its nonsense arguments like yours that create a
big mess out of the Mac vs. PC debate and distract from key
fundamental facts of which is a better system.
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Link Flag
security
Mac OS X may still have some security issues, but they are usually
plugged in a timely manner. However Mac OS X is still much
stronger n security than Windows.
Posted by ericblr0716 (83 comments )
Link Flag
Typical FUD re: Mac viruses
Sigh. Once again, the tech version of moral equivalence.

"Apple ALSO has experienced security glitches."

Ah. I see. 114,000 known viruses on Windoze, including such
debacles as ILoveYou, CodeRed, Blaster, SoBig, and MyDoom.
Perhaps one virus on Mac, which has affected exactly 2 users,
plus "a serious vulnerability". By golly, you're right -- BOTH
platforms have experienced security glitches. Six of one; half
dozen of the other. Doesn't matter which one you choose; you
still risk life and limb every time you log on. Sure, 99.9999999%
of the viruses affect only one platform, but those kinds of trivial
details are just a distraction from the real issue, which is that
Macs are just as insecure as as Windoze. Be afraid, Mac users.
Be very afraid.

Gag.
Posted by Splashes (423 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Trivial? What is your point?
You should read what you write its quite funny and
contradictory.

How is 99.999999999% of viruses running on Windows a trivial
distration? Its not a trivial distration its just plain reality. Thats
the real issue here, so deal with it, PC Users have for the past
decade and they still have no clue whats good for them. They
keep bumping into the wall like a spinning top until they reach
an opening.

"Like duh.. I didn't know Windoze was spelt Windows.. a duh."
PC user said (scratching head).

Frankly its their personal choice, you can't argue with ignorance.

Given that same figure, assuming that less than 0.000000001%
of viruses are running on a Mac or Linux. Which one would you
take security wise? Sheesh..get your facts straight.

You know its not Mac Users that have to be afraid, or PC Users
for that matter. Its nonsense arguments like yours that create a
big mess out of the Mac vs. PC debate and distract from key
fundamental facts of which is a better system.
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Link Flag
security
Mac OS X may still have some security issues, but they are usually
plugged in a timely manner. However Mac OS X is still much
stronger n security than Windows.
Posted by ericblr0716 (83 comments )
Link Flag
Campaign should be called, "Join a cult!"
Campaign should be called "Join a cult." Mac fanatics are religious fanatics who love and worship everything Apple and hate everything Windows. It's really weird. I'd never own a Mac. I think the whole idea of buying an overpriced computer without any software is for idiots. But I can't help but be amazed at the fanatic hatred of anything Microsoft. Hey guys, get a life!
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Huh? Which planet are you on?
Without any software? You obviously haven't watched the ads,
or even seen a Mac in the last 5 years. Ever hear of iLife?
Y'know, that kickass bundle that comes with every Mac? Also
Front Row, Photo Booth, Comic Life, Big Bang Board Games &
OmniOutliner.

Oh, wait -- maybe what you mean by "software" is
"Minesweeper." Gee, ya got me there. Macs don't come with
that one. Well, hope springs eternal.

As to "overpriced" -- you're welcome to your opinion. A
Windoze box is overpriced at $49.99 in my opinion, since I
wouldn't actually get any work done on it.
Posted by Splashes (423 comments )
Link Flag
"Fanatics", "Cult", You Don't Hear of it from Windows People
Ever wander why you see little Apple stickers in car windows,
etc. and never Windows stickers? Mac users ENJOY working on
their computers. They are easy to use, beautiful to look at, and
simply work seamlessly. And in response to Amazingant, there
are plenty of advanced user control options. I've used both
platforms and they both have advantages, but I'll always be a
Mac guy. It's kind of like comparing a Benz and a Taurus.

I'm still looking for a Windows sticker... it will probably be in a
Taurus.
Posted by (6 comments )
Link Flag
"Fanatics", "Cult", You Don't Hear of it from Windows People
Ever wander why you see little Apple stickers in car windows
etc., and never Windows stickers? Mac users ENJOY working on
their computers. They are easy to use, beautiful to look at, and
simply work seamlessly. And in response to Amazingant, there
are plenty of advanced user control options. I've used both
platforms and they both have advantages, but I'll always be a
Mac guy. It's kind of like comparing a Benz and a Taurus.

I'm still looking for a Windows sticker... it will probably be in a
Taurus.
Posted by (6 comments )
Link Flag
lingsun
You've got to be some sort of whacko. We hate windoze because it's pathetic junk. Why would you want to embrace some sort of inferior OS when there is something so much better? We're fanatics because the quality is there, the innovation is there, and it ain't in windoze!

Speaking of getting a life, why don't you get a life! You're the one stuck on the old crappy OS!
Posted by andyengle (74 comments )
Link Flag
You don't need to be a Mac fan
to hate Microsoft. You just need common sense and a sense of ethics.
Posted by freemarket--2008 (5058 comments )
Link Flag
Yes, you're hunghang!
Mag-isip-isip ka muna bago mo ibuka ang bibig mo. Walang
saysay iyang pinagsasasabi ng bunganga mong hindi kontrolado
ng maayos na utak.
Posted by benjiernmd (123 comments )
Link Flag
A "Rowling" of the 'Dice' "Ro Prophecy" Cult ; I wish!
Shake'm Mr. Apple Head! A' Round of R423(65nm); my fingers are crossed for this one, we can only hope in a dual-gpu configuration.
Posted by Pop4 (88 comments )
Link Flag
No Software?
Personally, I think that anyone who has not used a Mac should keep
their opinions to themselves.

I don't think you here many people hating Microsoft's Apple
products as it sits on a UNIX machine

Walk a mile in someone else's shoes and see things from their
perspective before you go public and embarrass yourself...
Posted by devilsecret (2 comments )
Link Flag
Campaign should be called, "Join a cult!"
Campaign should be called "Join a cult." Mac fanatics are religious fanatics who love and worship everything Apple and hate everything Windows. It's really weird. I'd never own a Mac. I think the whole idea of buying an overpriced computer without any software is for idiots. But I can't help but be amazed at the fanatic hatred of anything Microsoft. Hey guys, get a life!
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Huh? Which planet are you on?
Without any software? You obviously haven't watched the ads,
or even seen a Mac in the last 5 years. Ever hear of iLife?
Y'know, that kickass bundle that comes with every Mac? Also
Front Row, Photo Booth, Comic Life, Big Bang Board Games &
OmniOutliner.

Oh, wait -- maybe what you mean by "software" is
"Minesweeper." Gee, ya got me there. Macs don't come with
that one. Well, hope springs eternal.

As to "overpriced" -- you're welcome to your opinion. A
Windoze box is overpriced at $49.99 in my opinion, since I
wouldn't actually get any work done on it.
Posted by Splashes (423 comments )
Link Flag
"Fanatics", "Cult", You Don't Hear of it from Windows People
Ever wander why you see little Apple stickers in car windows,
etc. and never Windows stickers? Mac users ENJOY working on
their computers. They are easy to use, beautiful to look at, and
simply work seamlessly. And in response to Amazingant, there
are plenty of advanced user control options. I've used both
platforms and they both have advantages, but I'll always be a
Mac guy. It's kind of like comparing a Benz and a Taurus.

I'm still looking for a Windows sticker... it will probably be in a
Taurus.
Posted by (6 comments )
Link Flag
"Fanatics", "Cult", You Don't Hear of it from Windows People
Ever wander why you see little Apple stickers in car windows
etc., and never Windows stickers? Mac users ENJOY working on
their computers. They are easy to use, beautiful to look at, and
simply work seamlessly. And in response to Amazingant, there
are plenty of advanced user control options. I've used both
platforms and they both have advantages, but I'll always be a
Mac guy. It's kind of like comparing a Benz and a Taurus.

I'm still looking for a Windows sticker... it will probably be in a
Taurus.
Posted by (6 comments )
Link Flag
lingsun
You've got to be some sort of whacko. We hate windoze because it's pathetic junk. Why would you want to embrace some sort of inferior OS when there is something so much better? We're fanatics because the quality is there, the innovation is there, and it ain't in windoze!

Speaking of getting a life, why don't you get a life! You're the one stuck on the old crappy OS!
Posted by andyengle (74 comments )
Link Flag
You don't need to be a Mac fan
to hate Microsoft. You just need common sense and a sense of ethics.
Posted by freemarket--2008 (5058 comments )
Link Flag
Yes, you're hunghang!
Mag-isip-isip ka muna bago mo ibuka ang bibig mo. Walang
saysay iyang pinagsasasabi ng bunganga mong hindi kontrolado
ng maayos na utak.
Posted by benjiernmd (123 comments )
Link Flag
A "Rowling" of the 'Dice' "Ro Prophecy" Cult ; I wish!
Shake'm Mr. Apple Head! A' Round of R423(65nm); my fingers are crossed for this one, we can only hope in a dual-gpu configuration.
Posted by Pop4 (88 comments )
Link Flag
No Software?
Personally, I think that anyone who has not used a Mac should keep
their opinions to themselves.

I don't think you here many people hating Microsoft's Apple
products as it sits on a UNIX machine

Walk a mile in someone else's shoes and see things from their
perspective before you go public and embarrass yourself...
Posted by devilsecret (2 comments )
Link Flag
Message has been deleted.
Posted by sysjunky (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
May Be Offensive to some PC Users?
I can see how some PC users may be offended by these adds, but
then again it sometimes takes a slap in the face to make some
people come to their senses...

Mike
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.SwitchingToMac.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.SwitchingToMac.com</a>
Posted by mkaye (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
May Be Offensive to some PC Users?
I can see how some PC users may be offended by these adds, but
then again it sometimes takes a slap in the face to make some
people come to their senses...

Mike
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.SwitchingToMac.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.SwitchingToMac.com</a>
Posted by mkaye (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Silly commercials
The commercials probably play well to the Mac-faithful, but my 11-year old daughter laughed and rolled her eyes at the one which shows the PC rebooting constantly and said "my PC doesn't reboot like that, they're being silly!".
Posted by danak6jq (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Silly commercials
The commercials probably play well to the Mac-faithful, but my 11-year old daughter laughed and rolled her eyes at the one which shows the PC rebooting constantly and said "my PC doesn't reboot like that, they're being silly!".
Posted by danak6jq (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
don't come across as particularly arrogant or elitist
surely you jest.....

MacTurdz are NOTHING but arrogant elitist little libstains
Posted by NRecob (78 comments )
Reply Link Flag
don't come across as particularly arrogant or elitist
surely you jest.....

MacTurdz are NOTHING but arrogant elitist little libstains
Posted by NRecob (78 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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