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Summary:

Over on Apple’s web site are the latest ads in its “Get a Mac” campaign. The new commercials, titled “Top of the Line” and “Surprise,” continue the tried and trusted “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” theme featuring John Hodgman and Justin Long. “Surprise” sees Mac […]

Over on Apple’s web site are the latest ads in its “Get a Mac” campaign. The new commercials, titled “Top of the Line” and “Surprise,” continue the tried and trusted “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” theme featuring John Hodgman and Justin Long.

Mac Ad - Surprise 02

“Surprise” sees Mac telling a potential customer on the lookout to buy a new computer that PCs are great. The customer knows a little bit about the differences between Macs and PCs and, confused by Mac’s suggestion, adds:

“But I want one that just works without thousands of viruses and a ton of headaches.”
“That’s a PC” Mac asserts.
“Really? I thought Macs were much more stable and secure than PCs.”
“They’re not!” cries Mac, “You can’t believe everything you hear!”

Curious? Head on over and see what’s going on. It’s not a bad contribution to the series, but not a favorite of mine. This one feels sorta like they’re just going through the motions. I mean, how many more ways can they make the same point, using the same setup?

Lots of Little Fantastic

“Top of the Line” is fantastic in lots of little ways, and in one big way. The big way, of course, is the appearance of Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld’s David Puddy, and voice of Joe Swanson in Family Guy). He plays “Top of the Line” PC, a super-slick charmer.

Mac Ad - Top of the Line Smarm

Watch it a few times, and pay attention to the subtle and fantastic reactions from PC and Mac. PC in particular is brilliant, coming-across as a love-struck teenaged schoolgirl.

Oh, and pay particular attention to Warburton at around eight seconds in. Just try to watch that fake, barely modest expression and not laugh.

  1. Brilliant mendacity.

    Once again, Apple is pretending that Microsoft is still shipping Windows 98, and that Apple has no security issues.

    Perfect security is impossible. Plus, the fact that Macs have security issues is all over the web. Apple’s new OS version has memory randomization (ASLR) so in that sense is catching up to what Microsoft shipped with Vista about three years ago, but probably still has catching up to do.

    Pretending that Macs have zero security issues encourages risky behavior, and so hurts consumers.

    It’s like selling cars with this twist: “This car never ever has accidents. You don’t even have to wear a seat belt!” It might work for a while, but the risk to the consumer is huge.

    I don’t know how Apple gets away with this crap.

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  2. Hey Astrochimpo… why are you silly PC loving on a Mac site ? Your machine down ?

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  3. @catmanrog – apparently you have nothing substantive to add… typical :)

    Apple hurts people by deceiving them (about security, stability, etc. in competing products). They’re very good at it. It sells Apple hardware.

    I’m posting here because the article is carried on Salon.com, and I want to poke holes in the hurtful misinformation. It reminds me of the Republican party selling the war against Iraq, and killing so many hundreds of thousands of innocent people, for no good reason… Apple’s lies aren’t quite as destructive, but they’re dangerous anyway.

    Sorry to burst your cultish bubble :(

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    1. I own a Mac and have never had a single virus. So, who am I going to believe: You, or my lyin’ eyes?

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  4. @Astrochimp …So you troll an Apple blog?

    Microsoft and Apple both have commercials that are misleading to the general public and appeal to their respective fans. Of course Apple is going to vouch for their products, and Microsoft theirs. It’s a competitive market – and the information certainly isn’t hurtful. It’s a “commercial” meant to poke some fun. I certainly don’t go to a Windows blog and post about how much I think Microsoft is “deceptive” because of PC Lauren esque ads I see on TV.

    People will use equipment they are most comfortable with, whether it be an Apple or a Windows machine. I use both for various purposes, but I will say I am happier with a Mac as it’s better tailored for my needs. The operating system is solid, the developer community is wonderful, and there are a few glowing Mac communities around the web that are a joy to be a part of.

    If the Microsoft company and fans are going to sell Apple users and the undecided on their products, the last thing you’d want to do is call us a “cult,” because we are far from it. We’re just a group of people who love talking about the equipment we enjoy, much like how Ping or Callaway golfers might have a devotion to their products, or how Windows users might find their outlets in hardware modding forums or software customization blogs.

    In the end what a consumer purchases will not be because of a commercial, but because of what they feel comfortable with in their lifestyles.

    In terms of this article promoting the Apple commercial, of course it’s biased – it’s an Apple blog! The author is free to promote his opinion and I certainly agreed with him: the actors all did wonderful jobs, no matter what the cause was for.

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  5. In my opinion, poking holes in advertising is a pointless endeavor. You are trying to sell a product, you’re going to say whatever is necessary. At some point, every advertiser is just a glorified snake oil salesman and should be viewed as such. Is it necessarily the right thing to do? No, not really. But it is the nature of the beast.

    These ads aren’t really targeted at people who read PC/Apple related forums and know what is what. These are targeted at people that don’t know that they’re being misdirected at some way or another. Informed consumers probably already own the product (or its competition) and ignore these ads.

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  6. Oh Chimptroll, way more than your nonsense is needed to burst this fine cultish bubble….

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    1. Catmanrog

      C’mon Astrochimp — Catmanrog’s comment was hilarious!!!

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  7. C’mon people, I don’t buy this “they all do it” stuff, and never have.

    All companies hype their own stuff to a degree, including Apple and Microsoft. Apple crosses the line over to hurting people by lying about how invincible their own stuff is (hence, making them vulnerable to e.g. social engineering) and lying about the safety and stability of Microsoft products. Keeping people ignorant hurts them.

    Apple’s ads really do remind me of Karl Rove’s tactics. In this case, the ends really don’t justify the means. It’s just nasty.

    The “laptop hunter” ads from Microsoft are basically true: Apple hardware costs significantly more, and the choices are fewer.

    The “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads from Apple lie blatantly about security. Anybody who knows anything about security knows also that perfect security is impossible. Apple’s weaknesses and flaws are well-documented, as are Microsoft’s.

    The difference is that Microsoft is honest and proactive about this most important aspect of our computing experiences. Given that neither Windows 7 nor Snow Leopard have shipped yet, and taking market share out of the picture (which is not real security), Microsoft Vista is by far the most secure consumer OS shipping. Linux ain’t great either, but it’s got obscurity to beat the band.

    Apple hurts consumers with those lies, because it encourages them to do stupid stuff.

    Those of you running Apple machines – and, that includes some people very important to me – might be running keyboard loggers, and you wouldn’t know it. Apple Inc. sure isn’t going to tell you.

    I ask of you all: make this a better, safer world for our information, and implore Apple to find honesty here.

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  8. This “John Candy like” pulling of the play back ring cord is getting almost good enough for another ad, although I wish Chimpguy would just do a Palin …. or should we wait for Microsoft to start making PC’s.

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  9. Sorry, truth is just hard that way.

    I love the choices I have, enabled by staying away from Apple. While typing this, I’m using a 1920 X 1200 monitor, big and beautiful and about a third of the cost of something comparable from Apple.

    Apple does the end-user experience very well, from what I’ve heard. Their hardware is pretty to look at. For consumers’ sakes, I hope they start being honest about IT security issues.

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    1. @Astrochimp: Although you may feel strongly about this issue, an Apple blog is not the place to discuss it – for one, Apple users aren’t going to care what you have to say as it’s nothing short of trolling. In my opinion, you could gain the attention of a wider audience by writing an article or notifying a publisher on Salon.com for example.

      I sit here with my Macbook connected to my ASUS 1080p monitor. Compatibility with hardware isn’t a problem.

      In terms of Apple and their consumers being “ignorant,” Mac users are very well aware of the security flaws in their products, and deal with them accordingly. In terms of Apple being “told” to release security updates, we have a community that notifies Apple to relevant problems. Microsoft isn’t always on their A game either, and also has a community of like minded individuals who are dedicated and passionate about securing their products. We don’t know what is happening at Apple HQ, and developers may have decided to release a patch that encompasses many security issues instead of just one, thus the delay. As Apple continues to become a larger target for malware in the years ahead, they will take the appropriate measures to make their software safe to use.

      Microsoft does mislead their consumers. I remember Brad Brooks being a prime example of admittedly selling Microsoft Office 2008 on the Mac lacking features of it’s Windows counterpart when it was being sold as a “fully featured” office solution. That’s shady tactics to get Mac users to switch over to Windows just for an office suite that has everything available.

      No matter what operating system you use, all are vulnerable to an extent. It is ultimately the user, not the operating system, who needs to take precautions and be aware of what website he or she visits, what links are safe to click on, what emails are safe to open, and what not to download in order to avoid any breach in security.

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  10. @greenpaz: wow, that’s ignorant. You seem to be assuming that a) viruses are the only kind of security problem that exist, and b) if you had a virus, Apple would tell you or even help you find out.

    a) is false. Educate yourself.
    b) Apple trades in dishonesty about security, so I sure wouldn’t trust them.

    BTW, I’ve been running Vista since before it was released, and AFAIK I have never gotten a virus or worm. Microsoft has been honest and proactive about security issues for many years now.

    For example, the Conficker worm: Microsoft patched the corresponding vulnerability in October 2008, and Conficker appeared in November 2008. The only reason anybody ever experienced, or heard about, Conficker was that there were a number of people who did not do the Microsoft recommended practice and accept the default of automatic updates.

    Meanwhile, Apple has to *be told* to close security holes, e.g. http://news.cnet.com/MySpace-to-Apple-Fix-that-worm/2100-7349_3-6141031.html

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