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Author Topic: Seriously, wtf is going on with Apple's Mac vs. Pc ads?  (Read 23634 times)
mouser
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« on: November 24, 2007, 06:33:26 PM »

We've talked about this before, and my general feeling is just mild annoyance at the cult of apple stuff and the emphasis of apple on marketing and "image".

And unlike some other apple products imho, i think OS X is a quality product.
Furthermore, i do not like MS Vista.

But the latest apple ad i saw was, except for the briefest of mentions, a commercial dedicated totally 100% to making fun of VISTA (and even going so far as to basically recommend XP!).  There was a total lack of any mention of positive features of Apple's product.

Which i found kind of shocking.. Even as someone who dislikes Vista this really took me aback, like wtf is the aim of this -- just to try to increase negative feelings of your competitor?  I have a hard time thinking of other "attack" commercials that didn't at least make a cursory attempt to promote the companies own products..

I really wonder if these ads aren't on one hand really working for Apple, but on the other hand really cementing and increasing an anti-apple feeling in another population of users...

The commercial i'm talking about can be watched on youtube here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=0GWYaviIzCU



note: i don't want this thread to turn into an anti-apple fest, i'm just responding to the oddness of this one particular commercial which i think is different from the other mac-vs-pc ads, which make fun of windows but while playing up the beneficial comparison to apple features, something notably lacking from this commercial. furthermore, i'm not complaining that the add is "unfair" -- i'm just struct by it's unusualness.

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Deozaan
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2007, 06:41:20 PM »

Strangely reminiscent of those political ads that run every 4 years here in the USA. . .
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2007, 06:45:20 PM »

Seems pretty pointless to me - Apple buffs will chuckle, non-Apple people will scratch their heads and wonder what Jobs & Co are on ...

Actually I often wonder how advertising works - I know it does but the ads I remember are always for products I have never bought and am unlikely to buy. For example I love the Honda ads - but I have never owned a Honda and never likely to. Similarly Carling Black Label (lager) and Guinness ads in the UK are often hysterical but it doesn't make me want to drink either (even though I drink both types of beer from time to time - just not those brands).

Stranger still are the ads that you come away from thinking "I wonder what that was an ad for?"

Maybe it is just me but the Apple ad seems to fall into the latter category!
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2007, 08:19:01 PM »

Honestly, since the first one i was of these i saw, I've been furious at apple (specifically, that one where mac claims he can't get viruses, and vista is getting slaughtered with them, i yelled at the TV and my mother nearly fell off the couch). But i've reached a point where i've realized i can change nothing about the way apple chooses to portray itself in the media, and i now find them to be rather comical. Although they do occasionally speak the truth, mostly they're just funny. This one, ironically, seems to mostly speak the truth.....

Ehtyar.
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2007, 08:33:00 PM »

Well, I like Vista. It just works well once UAC is turned off. I don't have any problems with it. It's beautiful to look at. Sure a few things are different and that requires an adjustment, but it's not that bad.

As for the Apple ads - I don't like them. Sure they're a bit clever sometimes and in some ways humorous, but they really are insulting as well. The first ad like it that I saw a while back basically said that if you develop for Windows, then you write crappy software. Huh? WTF? F^(k you! It was baseless garbage that insulted hundreds of thousands of developers in a very tasteless way. It would be like me saying, "If you use Apple computers, you're a pig-headed jackass." Huh? How does being a jackass come out of using a computer? Just silly. (Though if you're a member of the Cult of Apple, then it's likely true. Wink )

If they're trying to polarize people against them, they've got me. I'm firmly in the "Apple is run by @$$holes" camp. I have nothing against their products (except for when they don't work properly, e.g. iTunes on a PC), but they really are a bunch of jerk-offs.

Vista has a lot going for it, and the new feature list for Vista certainly beats the new feature list for the new OSX where most are tweaks to things like iWhatever.

However, I think the purpose of the ad is to throw doubt on Microsoft and undermine their image. It's not about OSX - it's clearly about saying that MS spent 5 years writing a POS. It's trying to get people to "jump ship" in favor of Apple. Can you trust MS? Will they deliver? Are their products improving? It's FUD at it's best. Or, maybe not best, but certainly FUD.

That kind of marketing is, well, it is what it is. I find it entirely slimy though.





For a company that prides itself so much on "style", they certainly have no "class".





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Deozaan
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2007, 08:46:53 PM »

I think I hate it because it reminds me of high school. The "cool" guys making fun of the "geeks." It doesn't matter what they say, true or not, because anyone else who wants to be cool laughs--they don't want to be associated with, and thus ridiculed like, the loser who is the brunt of the mockery.

Another popularity contest.

The weird thing about this one, though, is that Mac isn't as widely used as PC, and it could therefore be argued that Mac isn't as popular.
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Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2007, 08:54:33 PM »

The weird thing about this one, though, is that Mac isn't as widely used as PC, and it could therefore be argued that Mac isn't as popular.

That, my friend, is part of the allure.  Owning a Mac is automatic membership in an exclusive club of smarter, wittier, more artistic folks than the vast sweaty mob of PC users.
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f0dder
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2007, 08:58:56 PM »

Artists are fruity.
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- carpe noctem
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2007, 09:10:42 PM »

The weird thing about this one, though, is that Mac isn't as widely used as PC, and it could therefore be argued that Mac isn't as popular.

That, my friend, is part of the allure.  Owning a Mac is automatic membership in an exclusive club of smarter, wittier, more artistic folks than the vast sweaty mob of PC users.

I have a mac. Do I get to be in the club? I never use it... But I have one...

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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2007, 09:11:43 PM »

Are you a fruity artist?
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app103
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2007, 10:33:39 PM »

Whenever I see any Mac ad, no matter what its content & message, I can't help but see this support page in my mind, and this little box on the sidebar:



It really does keep it all in proper perspective.

The people these ads are meant to appeal to are the same ones that will need a page like that, once they buy a Mac. This is Apple's target consumer. They want the frustrated people that can't seem to be able to get any version of Windows to work right. They want the people that blame their computer, Windows, etc...anything but their own inexperience and mistakes, for things not working right.

If Apple made lamps instead of computers, the ads would be making fun of the chandelier with tons of bulbs, crystals, and the dimmer with the timer...telling people that they need a disposable one with a single lightbulb and a simple push button on/off switch, blaming the chandelier for being crappy because the user didn't read the instructions and can't figure out how to set the timer, clean the crystals, change the bulbs, etc.

Apple's business model is based on this:

"We will convince the ignorant user they are already smart don't need to learn anything, and that the product they have been using is stupid, then take their money and treat them like children."
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mouser
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2007, 10:54:40 PM »

Quote
If Apple made lamps instead of computers, the ads would be making fun of the chandelier with tons of bulbs, crystals, and the dimmer with the timer...telling people that they need a disposable one with a single lightbulb and a simple push button on/off switch, blaming the chandelier for being crappy because the user didn't read the instructions and can't figure out how to set the timer, clean the crystals, change the bulbs, etc.

smiley

I think Apple makes some good products, and I think some of their approach to and focus on usability is very helpful.  Their approach with OS X seems particularly smart.

But their marketing approach seems focused on invoking an emotional reaction against their competitors, and towards some lifestyle that their products will somehow magically impart to you.  Their commercials are either like perfume or clothing commercials where they are selling popularity, or like political commercials where the game is to scare you away from buying the competition.  Features and facts are unimportant -- the important thing is to instill a strong emotional reaction. Of course Apple is just one of many advertisers who take this approach -- and clearly it works.

I guess what's so interesting to me from a marketing and psychology standpoint is they really seem to be pushing the idea that there is some "cool" in-group clique of kids, which are the ipod/iphone/mac users.  And the other people are pathetic losers.  The commercials just have that "mean girl" feel.  I would just think they would want to put out a more inviting, inclusive vibe.  As was mentioned before, these commercials really have the flavor of negative political ads.

I suspect this "mac vs. pc" commercial series won't last much longer -- it's probably gotten its maximum appeal and i suspect they are getting some blowback from it.  I'll make a prediction here, that by January we won't be seeing these much any more.. Let's see if i'm right.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2007, 10:58:32 PM by mouser » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2007, 11:02:25 PM »

And just to make sure we don't lose our sense of humour, here's that funny mac vs. pc rap video:
http://www.macorpc.org/
« Last Edit: November 24, 2007, 11:06:42 PM by mouser » Logged
app103
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2007, 11:29:52 PM »

There is another ad in their "Give Up on Vista" campaign...

First take a look at the ad that is appearing on web pages all over the place...

Then take a look at the same ad on a Mac.  Grin

Notice that on the Mac, the ad appeared on a page selling Vista.

I think Apple makes some good products, and I think some of their approach to and focus on usability is very helpful.  Their approach with OS X seems particularly smart.

FisherPrice has a long history of making good products too, but I am not about to go walking around in public with their almost indestructible umbrella over my head, even if it was the safest, highest quality umbrella ever made, in the history of umbrellas. (but my daughter carried the same one for 5 years, till it became embarrassing to be seen with it)

Who the target consumer is, makes a big difference sometimes.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2007, 06:48:56 AM »

So when will MS make an ad about Leopard issues? Wink

Seriously I think negative advertising is really counter productive - mud slinging just makes you think they are all useless tossers.

I think I hate it because it reminds me of high school. The "cool" guys making fun of the "geeks."

The trouble is that Jobs & Co don't realise that their own public image is just as geeky as Gates & Co ... its what comes of living in Geekland!
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2007, 08:32:13 AM »

There is another ad in their "Give Up on Vista" campaign...

First take a look at the ad that is appearing on web pages all over the place...

...


More alienation...


...

Who the target consumer is, makes a big difference sometimes.


As both a user and a developer... Apple is doing a very good job of alienating me completely. Every ad I see like that makes me hate them more and more.

At this point I'd almost feel dirty if I started developing on my mac.



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Darwin
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2007, 09:34:02 AM »

Quote
So when will MS make an ad about Leopard issues?

Guaranteed that if they did the shitstorm of outrage from Mac, Linux, and Windows users alike would be monumental. Not to mention negative publicity in the media...
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2007, 09:47:16 AM »

I imagine Apple users are universally amused by the ads.  Also, it reaffirms their feeling that they've made the right decision by not going with that horrible Vista. 

And if Windows users get pissed off, so what?  Apple's not targeting that demographic.  The overlapping set of Mac+Windows users is so small they probably don't even register on their demographics radar.

By now "conventional wisdom" has condemned Vista to a defensive position; even if MS gets all the bugs fixed and Vista becomes the Windows of our dreams, 13 months of Vista Sucks word-of-mouth has done its work.  Even MS knows this, which is why we're hearing more and more mainstream chatter about Windows 7.
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Darwin
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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2007, 10:10:37 AM »

True, Ralf, true. Still, I'm sure that even if MS had run a PC vs. Mac series of ads 18 months ago the howls of protest would have been epic... There is this ingrained perception that Apple can do no wrong and that MS is a lumbering behemoth that does nothing right (except screw over unsuspecting millions with shitty code and make a fortune vs. the true visionaries and geniuses at Apple who are only in this for the love of producing products that are unassailable in design and exectution).
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« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2007, 10:40:38 AM »

Personally, I take these ads as what they are, ads. And pretty funny, by the way, except for the one about boxing (W-T-F, that one is terrible). It's not that they're going to change anything, people is not going to flock from Vista to Leopard overnight, even if all over the Internet people continues to talk about the BIG Vista migration (I can count with one hand those people who REALLY passed on Vista, despite bashing it to no end).

I suppose this particular one is for fan service, talking about something that is boiling on the Internet (not on the real world though), and making some fun of it. An ad is an ad, nobody takes them seriously, so don't get so angry about it.

Just for some laughs, a friend of mine is running Vista AND Leopard... and XP as well, although he rarely uses it. And he does not complain about any of the three.
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nontroppo
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« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2007, 02:14:23 PM »

I really wouldn't take advertising any more seriously than I take celebrity gossip; all froth, no coffee. If we were to see the world through the lens of the advertisers, it would be worse than taking too much mescaline at a Las Vegas Casino. My classic observation: girls shaving their shiny long legs for ladies shavers have fully shaved legs already. WTF? Advertisers can't show the product "working", as it would show the perceived imperfection the product aims to eradicate. Smoke, mirrors, superficiality.

I think I hate it because it reminds me of high school. The "cool" guys making fun of the "geeks."

Or you can see it as the business class against normal users, depends on your cultural stereotypes. But this is just classic advertsing psychology, not specific to Apple.

I think the "Don'tgive up on vista" campaign is pretty funny though (turn brain off first though), and great advertising for XP....  Wink

mouser: what is a "mean girl" feel?
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p3lb0x
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« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2007, 02:41:54 PM »

The evil fashion whore from school that constantly pries on your every mistake, that eventually becomes the bitch when you find out her dad is drinking.

And I think some of those mac vs pc commercials are pretty funny, but it ends there.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2007, 02:57:52 PM by p3lb0x » Logged

Stop mousering people so much - Mouser
mouser
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« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2007, 02:48:05 PM »

Quote
mouser: what is a "mean girl" feel?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_Girls
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nontroppo
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« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2007, 04:06:14 PM »

 smiley
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mouser
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« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2007, 04:39:08 PM »

Someone needs to make a movie: Mean Nerds.
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