Safety. Ease of use. Intuitive free software. Stability.
These are the highlights of the four new Apple commercials starring the bickering married computer couple we’ve been enjoying since 2006; Mac and PC. In light of Microsoft’s recent “Laptop Hunters” campaign, the duo returned for the first advertisements of 2009, focusing on the things that set Macintosh computers apart from PCs – things that matter more than getting a computer for as little money as possible.
The safety advertisement, called Biohazard Suit, shows PC living his life trapped in a super biohazard suit thanks to the 20,000 new viruses and malware that are discovered every day – something Macs don’t have to worry about.
The Ease of Use ad, Legal Copy, comments on the simple and intuitive interface of the Mac OS. A lot of the troublesome aspects of Windows that cause many people difficulty, such as updates, drivers, and patches, are generally automatic on a Mac.
The third ad, called Stacks, shows PC attempting to find a certain photo file on his machine. Mac tells him how a free piece of software that comes with every Mac has a facial recognition feature, where you can tag a face and it’ll find all the other photos in your machine that have that face. That’s an example of the type of intuitive free software that doesn’t come standard with any PC.
Finally, we have the Time Traveler ad, which showcases Mac’s stability. Freezing, crashing, error messages – these are plagues of Windows. They are troubles Mac has never had as much, and the ad shows PCs still suffering from freezing in the year 2150. This one is the most subjective, because it’s doubtful that Apple has any prophets on staff, but it’s a statement about the history of both computer systems, and Apple’s superior stability between them.
As mentioned, Mac has been using these Mac Vs. PC ads since 2006. They’re focused, well-targeted, slick and funny – and aim to tell you exactly what’s what.
The recent Microsoft “Laptop Hunters” ads, which were discussed on this blog last week, are taking a somewhat similar approach to their new campaign by directly targeting Macs. The ads are focused on cost, and follow people who have limited budgets as they journey through a computer purchase. None of them end up with a Mac because, well, Macs cost more. The ads are the product of a worried economy, where Microsoft is hoping naïve people will pay less money for a crummy, low-level PC instead of a more expensive Mac.
To see our thoughts about the whole campaign, see the other blog post.
What Mac is doing here is an answer to the “Laptop Hunters” campaign. Using characters people have become familiar with and enjoy, they’ve created four ads focusing on categories where Apples are almost always superior – Safety, ease of use, intuitive free software and stability.
In effect, they’re saying, “Yes, our computers cost more. This is why.”
In effect, they’re saying, “There is a reason Gilbey’s and Tanqueray are different prices.”
I think it’s a smart move on their part, and they are not as much of a low blow as the Microsoft ads. They hit the mark on four points that are very important to informed computer buyers. They also indirectly tell consumers about things that will save them time and money in the long run. Safety means no need to spend money on expensive virus protection systems. Ease of use means less time fiddling with drivers and updates, and more time working. Intuitive free software means less software that needs purchased, because it comes on your machine. And stability – well, who can put a price on never seeing the blue screen of death again?
All around, it’s good to see more of these ads, and good timing for them as well. Well played.