I’m going to rail against Apple ads for a minute

Here’s a quick paraphrase of how a typical Apple Mac ad goes:

Cut to a white background. John Hodgeman, dressed in a suit nobody’s worn since the 90’s, is on the left. Justin Long, looking like he’s about to audition for the guy in ‘Best in Show’ who met his wife when they were in adjacent Starbucks, is on the right.

Hodgeman: I’m a PC, and Windows 7 just came out.

Long: Well, I’m a Mac. Wait a minute, PC, isn’t Windows 7 a kind of Windows?

Hodgeman: Uh – you – uh – yes, Mac. I suppose so.

Long: And isn’t Windows inherently bad?

Hodgeman: I guess you’re right. That means Windows 7 is inherently bad.

I can’t begin to tell you how sick I am of these TV spots. They are just so…spiteful. They rarely ever have anything positive to say about Macs, and they never have anything substantive to say about PCs. They just say, over and over again, “Macs GOOD, PCs BAD!”

Particularly the Win7 ads. The whole campaign seems to revolve around the assertion that Windows is just bad in general, and therefore Win7 is bad. So far as I can tell, the writers and directors of these ads never laid their hands on Win7. I’ve been using it since early October, and I have yet to even press Ctrl-Alt-Delete, let alone see it crash or even bog down.

It’s really telling to compare this style of advertising to Microsoft’s Win7 ad campaign. First, they showed cute kids, unicorns, and puppies, played over glowing quotes from reviews. (Wait – you mean they showed evidence for their claims?!) Then, they showed short TV spots focusing on some new feature on Win7 and how it’s useful, presented by a normal, average-looking person. It just shows how militant Mac is, iwth their tiny minority market share.

I think this mirrors the contrast between Steve Jobs’ and Bill Gates’ characters perfectly. Apple hasn’t produced anything new in years (Apple today = OSX + iPods), while MS has been evolving new features and putting forward new services. MS has even been opening up a bit, while Apple’s business practices are all about locking their devices down to prevent anyone from doing anything that rubs their snootily discerning noses the wrong way. While Jobs is just full of vitriol at his competitors and tries to survive on hero worship from his devoted minority, Gates just doesn’t care. He’s off filling impoverished schools with computers and trying to cure AIDS in Africa.

Fortunately, one of the Discovery Channel “Boom-dee-atta” ads came on immediately thereafter and made me feel better!

4 thoughts on “I’m going to rail against Apple ads for a minute”

  1. Not that I care to be caught defending Apple, but it’s unfair to say that “Apple hasn’t produced anything new in years”. The iPhone, for one, made an enormous impact on the market and one which its competitors (probably due in part to Apple’s marketing) have yet to completely catch up to. That said, Apple does have a powerfully annoying tendency to release a slightly different version of an existing product every so often and instantly have scores of fanboys (especially on the Internet) slobbering all over themselves to be first in line to get it while town-crying about how it’s the most amazing piece of software/hardware ever created.

    You’re completely right about the ads, though. I hate them. On the other hand, I get tempted to make ads that say, “I’m a PC and I use Linux Ubuntu.” Though, technically, at work it’s, “I”m a Mac and I use Linux Ubuntu.”

  2. How about “Apple hasn’t produced anything fundamentally new in years,” which is more what I meant to say. After all, the iPhone is basically a souped-up iPod, but with a cellular transmitter added almost as an afterthought.

  3. Apple reminds me of BASF. They don’t make the products they make them better or rather they steal already functional ideas and allow their marketing department to brainwash the en masse that they NEED their products. It’s not surprising to me how Apple is without a doubt condescending. Then there’s their approach to products which dictates that their business model have you convinced to buy one of their devices every 8 months. Brilliant from one point of view, while very evil from another. I too use Ubuntu at work I triple boot Win98 SE, Win XP and along with the aforementioned Canonical Release. To add to what Jennifer said, the ipod/iphone wasn’t anything special, I believe Palm was doing this all along with PDA’s in the mid 1990’s and as far as a mobile operating system RIM’s Blackberry could be considered the first. Furthermore, openMoko beat google to the punch with a FOSS on a mobile phone..just some food for thought.

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