I was watching the NFL season opener yesterday between Pittsburgh and Tennessee when I got a nice surprise. A new “Get a Mac” ad aired during a commercial break, along with the existing Patrick Warburton “Top of the Line” spot.
The new commercial, called “PC Innovation Lab,” once again brings John Hodgman and Justin Long back to reprise their iconic roles as PC and Mac. This time around, Apple (s aapl) seems to have shifted focus away from the standard “Fewer bugs, no viruses” line and towards highlighting Apple’s value-add features and services.
The Innovation Lab is designed to come up with technologies that counter some of Mac’s genuine innovations. PC comes up with an “air-cushioned enclosure” to rival Mac’s MagSafe adapter technology, for example. And in response to Apple’s new day-long built-in battery tech on the MacBook Pro line, PC offers an “extremely long cord.” Finally, the last PC innovation turns out to be built-in cupholders.
It’s an amusing ad, and it puts focus on things Mac has to offer besides greater virus resiliency and ease of use, which is a refreshing change for the series. Looked at closely, what claims is it really making about PCs and what kind of features they emphasize, though? Is it true that PC manufacturers ignore basically useful innovations in favor of flashy but ultimately flimsy upgrades of questionable utility?
I couldn’t help but remember my Eee PC 1000HE when watching this commercial. The netbook from Acer was the first non-Apple computer I’ve purchased in many years. And it came with an eight hour battery designed for all-day computing…before the MacBook Pro introduced such things for the Mac.
I realize the point of advertising isn’t to present a balanced perspective, but I have a hard time coming up with a solid example of actual PC models that justify the caricatures in this latest ad. Still, funny, as always, and definitely better than the competition’s latest efforts.