Not one to be baited into a direct reprisal of Microsoft’s (s msft) latest “laptop hunter” series of commercials, Apple (s aapl) is firing back in their own way with the release of four new installments of their “Get a Mac” ads. The Get a Mac ads, in case you haven’t seen them (how’s life under that rock, by the way?), star John Hodgman and Justin Long as human representations of a PC and a Mac, respectively. The four new installments are the first to be released since Christmas, when animated versions meant to resemble Rankin/Bass classics like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” came out.
”Biohazard Suit” features Hodgman wearing just that, and Justin Long asking why. The ad targets the vulnerability of Windows systems to viral attack, and though it doesn’t mention it by name, conjures up the recent “Conficker” worm that has infected over 3 million PCs and whose ultimate purpose is not yet clear. Apple is playing it very smart by just repeating in televised form the same arguments Mac users have been using to convince their PC friends to convert for years.
”Legal Copy” has PC claiming to be easy to use, which causes a growing amount of legal copy to appear across the bottom of the screen with each similar additional claim he makes. This one again mentions the virus susceptibility of Windows, and seems to sort of be a response to Microsoft’s recent “I’m a PC and I’m 4 and 1/2″ ad, since it rebuts claims of simplicity.
”Stacks” deals not with the OS X Leopard feature as you might expect from the name, but with PC searching through huge stacks of photos one by one for pictures of his friend, at which point Mac tells him about iPhoto’s new facial recognition features. Personally, I think this is one of the best ads in this series so far, because it emphasizes a positive point about OS X instead of just noting what you won’t get by avoiding Windows. iPhoto’s Faces technology is just the kind of thing that would appeal to most computer users but that people who aren’t regular Apple customers might now know about.
Finally, “Time Traveler” presents a glimpse of Windows’ future. PC travels through time to the year 2150 to see if PCs have finally become as stable and hassle-free as Macs. This causes future PC to freeze, answering the question. This one seems more forward-looking than most, and might be a subtle advance jab against Windows 7.
Honestly, I found this batch fell kind of flat compared with previous episodes in the same series, but at least they’re not just plain misleading like the latest from Redmond.