24 May 2010

Get A Mac, 2006-2009

Many of you knew that Apple decided, perhaps last year, to conclude the "Get A Mac" campaign, in which actors Justin Long (the Mac) and John Hodgman (the PC) carried on a three-year, 40-commercial compare-and-contrast between the two operating systems.

This week Apple confirmed that they're ending the campaign; MacRumors pointed out last week that they even took down all the commercials from their website. It's all sad because this was a campaign of great strategy and great execution.

Two great things about "Get A Mac"

There were at least two other great things about this campaign.
  1. They proved demos need not be boring. One of the least imaginative feats of advertising is to insert a side-by-side product demo emphasizing the advertised product's advantage. It's much more effective -- and entertaining -- when the demo and the story are one and the same.

  2. They proved operating systems can be an advertised product. Most of the campaign emphasized Apple's user-friendly operating system instead of its user-friendly hardware. An operating system really can't have a product shot, which makes this campaign such brilliant storytelling.
A walk down memory lane

Here is a 3' 45" tribute video of great moments from the campaign: click here.

AdFreak has the complete campaign all on one web page: click here.


  1. I'll miss them - especially since we only rarely see John Hodgeman on the Daily Show these days.

    I'd add that they also proved that TV advertising can focus on the product and succeed. Seems so often that the created drama dominates the commercial and the product is secondary.

  2. This is really a shame. The Mac/PC was absolutely brilliant. And I would add one more great thing to your list:

    It came from solid research. Before this campaign Mac was perceived as cooler than PC. Apple focused on this perception like a laser, and hammered it home until it became a universally accepted fact.

    In my opinion, the iPhone ads are pretty boring. They may be effective, iPhones are selling well, but the iPhone is an amazing product that practically advertises itself.

    Do you think "There's an App for That?" will be remembered with the same regard as Mac/PC or the original iPod ads?

  3. So sad. Such a great ad campaign.

  4. "It's all sad because this was a campaign of great strategy and great execution."

    What's sad is the juvenile fixation our culture, the world's culture, has with gadgets and gizmos. These devices, while clever and appealing, are undermining the natural systems that support life on this planet. It's not a matter of moderation or refinement, it's too late for that. The processes of their development and delivery are so destructive to the delicate biological web. These petty, near sighted, irresponsible concerns are obsolete, though tragically persistent. It's just a matter of time, now....