Yesterday TAB writer Tom Reestman took a shot at Microsoft over their latest attack ad on Mac pricing, and today Apple is defending itself against Redmond’s advances with three new “Get a Mac” ads starring Justin Long and John Hodgman. This time around, Cupertino seem to be responding directly to the Microsoft Laptop Hunters series of ads that feature “regular people” shopping for a new notebook within a certain price range, which inevitably excludes Apple machines. They also take a jab at the “I’m (person’s name), and I’m a PC” tactic Microsoft has been using in all of its recent advertising.
“Customer Care” compares the kind of customer service you get with Apple, and with a PC. Mac has a friendly, nice-looking Genius to give him one-on-one help anytime he needs it, while PC calls up a customer support hotline and is given the runaround. I think this is the farthest Hodgman has ever stretched his acting chops in one of these ads.
In “Elimination,” Apple is pretty clearly responding to Microsoft’s tossed glove. A computer buyer joins the pair on-screen, and PC brings along some friends to offer her a wide range of buying choices. Eventually, though, she eliminates them all based on her search criteria, which almost match that of Lauren and Giampaulo, with one final, key exception. Apple, in giving the customer a very clever last line, gets in a nice parting shot with this ad.
The third and final new ad, “PC Choice Chat,” finds Hodgman hosting a radio talk show, the format of which ostensibly consists of talking to PC users about their variety of choices and options. It ends up following the same lines as the other two commercials, mentioning both Apple’s superior customer service, and its resistance to security threats. Obviously Apple knows its strength and doesn’t feel the need to stray too far from its core message: we’re easier and safer to use.
Good batch overall, and the dig at the end of “Elimination” is priceless.