With only days left until the we go to the polls the mud slinging between Barack Obama and John McCain has gotten quite hot and heavy. Personally I think things seem much more distasteful and desperate from one side of the fence than the other, but thats not for this discussion. One thing is for sure, when politicians get nasty with each other they run the risk of turning away even their own supporters if they cross the line.
This brings us to discuss the two most recent ads produced by Apple as they try to hit Microsoft in the soft spot know as Vista. The ads are the latest in the series of “I’m a Mac…” ads that continuously take a stab at Microsoft and their poorly received Vista operating system.
The two new ads specifically target the fact that Microsoft has spent a great deal of money for a new a number of new ads campaigns. The first called “Mojave Experiment” in which hidden cameras were used to capture reactions from every day PC users who were using Vista for the first time, but thought it was a yet to be released operating system from Microsoft. The goal of the ads were to prove that the poor stigma behind Vista is false and that once you give Vista a try you will realize how great it is.
Another recent ad campaign from features Bill Gates and Jerry Sienfeld in at least two featurettes. The ads were more Sienfeld than Microsoft and did little more than try to rebrand Bill and company as a more hip and happening brand. These ads brought a mixed reception from those online, but created quite a buzz nonetheless.
The most recent ad campaign makes a direct play on the “I’m a Mac…” ads that have been going strong from Apple. Rather than putting down Apple or it’s users, Microsoft evangelized its users with a montage of “I’m a PC…” statements from celebrities and average citizens alike.
Apple’s latest two ads called “Bake Sale” and “Bean Counter” take aim directly at Microsoft’s effort to repair the reputation of its latest operating system and it’s own brand. Both ads poke fun at the fact that Microsoft has publicly spent upwards of $300 million on the new campaigns. In the “Bean Counter” the Mac guy watches Mr. PC divvy up a huge stack of cash into two piles. One large one for advertising and a much smaller one to fix Vista. The Mac guy exclaims, “Do you really think that amount of money is going to help fix Vista?”. This leads the PC guy to agree and put all of the money into advertising.
Now, I consider myself quite the Apple fan (not fanboy) and user, but I can’t quite put my finger on why Apple decided to keep hammering away with ads like this. Apple users certainly know how they feel about Apple products versus XP or Vista. Chances are thats why they are using a Mac. Can an ad like this somehow resonate with potential new computer buys who are thinking about snatching up a Mac for the first time? I am not quite sure, but at this point I am starting to feel a little disgusted by the tone of the ads. Whereas Apple was the little guy that was full of heart and defending himself from the big bad Microsoft, now they seem to be trading places. Now it seems as if Jobs and company is taking every opportunity to rub salt in the wound that Vista has created for Microsoft and it’s new CEO Steve Ballmer. We might see Microsoft lob back another series of ads that do more to insight both PC and Mac users into a fanboy frenzy of presidential proportions. I don’t use Apple products because their ads take the sharpest jabs. I have a Macbook Pro, iMac, iPhone, and more because the products are well made, reliable, and just work.
After a decade of using Windows I made the complete switch to Apple. I do not see any reason why I would ever go back, but please Apple… let to politicians take make the low blows. You’re better than that.