September 29, 2008

Hi. I'm a MAC. And I'm a PC. (Edit: and He's Damien Lewis)

Speaking of TV (which I am about to do just under this) the new season of my favorite show from last year (which ALMOST got lost in the writer’s strike but was simply too awesome to die) premieres TONIGHT after Heroes on NBC.


It stars the righteously talented and smokin’ Damien Lewis, a shiningly hot beacon of sexy hope for pale red-headed fellows everywhere: Yes, my pasty Irish laddies, as it turns out, you CAN be delicious:


It also has a great supporting cast, smartly written scripts, a hooky premise, moral complexity, and is exactly the sort of show that keeps me from hurling my TV through the window whenever I see commercials with that peppery whiney chef fellow hollering about cockroaches or hear that there WILL be a THE BACHELOR SEASON 115.


For YEARS now, MAC has been kicking PC butt when it comes to the AD CAMPAIGNS. In spite of being a devoted PC user who has bought two MORE PC’s since the MAC ads began, those commercials really MAKE me want to be a MAC girl. MAC is cool. MAC is FRINGE. MAC is jeans and ease and so geek-chic relaxed it becomes cool by not caring if it is cool. It is excellent branding that hits me right in my demographic. Hard:

I Love these ads. I have YET to tire of them.

Sadly, the PC ads have been SO SO SO awful in return. Like the one where they have people try windows Vista without KNOWING it is windows Vista and then the people say, “Wow, I like it!” in overly cheerful voices. Terrible. It’s like PC commercial itself is trying to be the moonfaced gent in the brown suit, without having that actor's deadpan humor and terrific timing. Those commercials ACCEPT the identity MAC has created for them as “perceived as a sucky dork” and are DEFENDING against it. Once they have ACCEPTED MAC’s premise, they have already lost. Whoever helmed that campaign should probably be working in the insurance industry.

If I were to break the MOJAVE commercials down to their central message in the form of MAC/PC dialog, it would read like this.

MAC: *kindly* I am easy to use and great. Meanwhile, I am sorry to gently point out that you are slow and buggy and prone to viruses.

PC: *defensive and overwrought* “I do not suck NEARLY as much as everyone THINKS I do. HERE let me TRICK you into using me! Which no one would ever do without being tricked! But once I HAVE tricked you into using me, I think you may well conclude that I hardly suck at ALL!”

If I think this – me, a dedicated PC girl with FOUR high end PC’s currently in my home (mine, Scott’s, our private laptop and Scott’s work laptop) then you KNOW it is very bad.

Then last night, I was lying in bed whining because I am STILL sick and am going to miss my HIKE today, and I saw THIS:

It’s like SOMEONE on the PC ad campaign accidentally turned it to Discovery channel and saw the COOLEST COMMERCIAL EVER (Boom De Ah DA!) and LEARNED by watching and came up with an ANSWER that is not self effacing and awkward and downright embarrassing. EMBRACE THE DORK!

Yes, Eva, yes, Deepak, yes, Vera, and hellsya guy in shark cage!
I do not have a beard.

Posted by joshilyn at September 29, 2008 9:36 AM

I LOVE the new PC ad! I am a grad student and nearly everyone in my program has Macs, but I have a PC. I feel like this ad was created for me in retribution for all those Mac users who mock my lovely PC laptop! I like my PCs! I love my laptop! So there!!!

Anyway. Yes. Love that ad. It makes me feel so happy and proud to be a PC.

Posted by: Erin at September 29, 2008 9:45 AM

I had the same reaction to the mojave ads. When I saw these new ones, I thought someone was finally paying attention. Now all they need is Adam and Jamie blowing up a Mac :)

Posted by: Laura L at September 29, 2008 10:24 AM

I'm a Mac girl myself (who has a soft spot for Bill G), but these ads are LOVELY and yes - the connection to BoomDeYaDa is right on. Makes me wonder if Mac will have to cease with their campaign, since basically M'soft is putting themselves on a higher (moral?) plane with these new ones.

Posted by: el-e-e at September 29, 2008 10:35 AM

Great post-- I hate that Mojave commercial, too. Espeically when the one guy says something along teh lines of "I guess you just have to know how to use it " in a way that suggests that the problem with Vista is our (the users) own fault and we are so very sorry to have offended then, Oh Mighty Microsoft.

The new PC commerical is much better.

Posted by: Jill W. at September 29, 2008 10:47 AM

I hadn't seen that ad before - the marketing people finally got it right!

Hope you're feeling better!

Posted by: Holly at September 29, 2008 11:09 AM

I'm a Mac myself - have been apple since the early 80s. The ads with Jerry and Bill were awful and beyond, but I do very much like the new PC ads.

Posted by: Kristen at September 29, 2008 11:38 AM

Dude, I feel the need to point out that those PC commercials were made on Macs. Yes.

We ARE jeans and ease and geek-chic. Come to the dark side. ;)

Posted by: Mir at September 29, 2008 11:39 AM

Hmph, your blog ate my link. Here 'tis:

Posted by: Mir at September 29, 2008 11:40 AM

But you can't play DECENT GAMES on a MAC, dude. Minesweeper anyone? BLEH! PC forever.

Also, I am uptight!

Posted by: joshilyn at September 29, 2008 1:44 PM

I thought it was cool too. We have a PC just 'cause that's what we have, and I hated always being the one in "sensible shoes."

Posted by: Roxanne at September 29, 2008 1:44 PM

Well it's about time- nice commercial.
But not for me-I just threw away a laptop and am ready to junk the Dell PC which is more trouble than it's worth...all because I am so so so so so in love with my Macbook and my I-Mac and my 3 i-pods and my i-touch.
Macs are simple to use, look better, act faster and kinda make you feel smart when you see that the people who could choose any computer in the world have chosen Mac too.
If people love their other Apple products so much, what is keeping them from the computer? Is it the cost?

Posted by: lindasands at September 29, 2008 2:10 PM

Well, what's keeping me from a Mac is that my boss got me a PC. I'm all Mac at home, and it really is easier to use.

And, as the young man in the ad said, so thoughtfully designed. Now, if they could just make them more recyclable...

Not that I have an obsession or anything.

Posted by: Diane (TT) at September 29, 2008 2:19 PM

Saw that add this weekend with some Mac users and even they were impressed. (They're in advertising.) We all liked it... it's about time!

Posted by: justAcliche at September 29, 2008 3:04 PM

Have you seen the Jerry Seinfeld slash Bill Gates PC commercials? They make absolutely NO SENSE at ALL, but are very enjoyable.

Posted by: Mel at September 29, 2008 3:31 PM

try the south park version:

i'm still giggling....

Posted by: the planet of janet at September 29, 2008 5:32 PM

Haha so the commercial was good, but Mir's comment was teh awesome ;)

Posted by: Heather at September 29, 2008 6:09 PM

Yeah! And there's a facebook group, too.

Why are we not mac people, if we can be anything? Well, I grew up a mac person and I remember using my first PC with windows at work and feeling like--hey! this thing is right handed! I'm not confused anymore!

I still sit in front of a mac and have to think too much about where things are.

Posted by: dynagirl at September 29, 2008 6:37 PM

I'm a PC because I'm old, and I learned on PC and there's something out there about new tricks, and frankly, I'm not up for it.

Besides, my resident geek knows PC, not Mac, and one does not challenge the resident geek if one is addicted to one's laptop (and I am).

Posted by: Fran at September 29, 2008 10:31 PM

I just thought I'd point out, in case anyone didn't know:

The guy who plays PC in the Mac/PC ads is John Hodgman. He is a writer. He really is just about the funniest person ever.

I especially like his work on This American Life.

Posted by: Jason at September 30, 2008 3:01 AM

I am a Mac, a very newly converted Mac, and to respond to one of the other comments--you CAN'T play cool games, unless you know how to play chess (that's the one that came with my Mac Book Pro, though I'm told that the desktops have more selection_. However, that is the ONLY thing I don't like about my Mac.

It is good that the PC ads are catching up to Macs--and if you've ever seen the other commercial with the same people, you will notice it's a WOMAN in the shark cage, which is EVEN COOLER!

Posted by: Kate at September 30, 2008 10:16 AM

I love my Mac leopard ALMOST as much as I ADORE Damien Lewis! Hands down my favorite show (of the three (no kidding) I watch).

Posted by: Rikki at September 30, 2008 8:56 PM

I'm i-lingual; both macs and pc's, but I still laugh out loud at the Mac commercials and it's so nice to laugh at SOMETHING these days! The new pc ads are nice, but still missing something ... maybe it's music! Can they borrow the boom-de-ada, boom-de-ada?

Posted by: Marty at September 30, 2008 9:31 PM

I am a Gemini. All about duality. Perhaps that's why I can say "I am both." Or perhaps it's b/c Macs made computers accessible to me (an "artiste") and actually like technology. But I've got a PC at work and tend to think two are better than one (when it comes to skills).

Jerry & Bill were funny together but I had the same reaction as an earlier commenter: what was the point?

But the new I'm a PC commercial is brilliant. *Some*body's going to get a bonus even in this economic free fall.

But most of all, I love Damian Lewis too and am glad Life is back.

Posted by: Elizabeth J at October 1, 2008 11:45 AM

I have long since made my peace with being the dorky moon-faced guy in a suit. My PC is my job, and when I sit down at my step-mother's Mac, I just can't take it seriously, it's like candy for breakfast. All those cutesy colors and scampery animations make me wonder how Mac people ever get anything done.

Posted by: alala at October 5, 2008 5:04 PM