Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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7/6/2006
10:06 AM
Mike Elgan
Mike Elgan
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Why People Hate Those Stupid Apple Ads

Apple is taking a lot of heat for its current series of TV and online video ads, which compare PCs and Macs by anthropomorphizing the platforms as two guys. The PC guy is a pudgy, uncharismatic, and unfashionable bore. The Mac guy is a younger, vaguely hipper, healthier looking down-to-earth guy.

Apple is taking a lot of heat for its current series of TV and online video ads, which compare PCs and Macs by anthropomorphizing the platforms as two guys.

The PC guy is a pudgy, uncharismatic, and unfashionable bore. The Mac guy is a younger, vaguely hipper, healthier looking down-to-earth guy.In the worst of the series, the Mac guy introduces himself by saying, "I'm into doing fun stuff like movies, music, podcasts -- stuff like that." The PC guys says he's into fun stuff too, like "timesheets and spreadsheets and pie charts."

Does Apple think we PC users somehow aren't aware that we're already "doing fun stuff like movies, music, and podcasts"? Personally, I'm doing all that with PC software products Apple itself has developed -- QuickTime and iTunes -- and enjoy it all with my PC-compatible Apple iPod.

Is Apple saying that QuickTime and iTunes for the PC doesn't work well?

Apple tries to paint the PC as boring by saying the PC guy does work ("timesheets, spreadsheets and pie charts" are business uses for a PC), compared with the Mac guy, who isn't "into" work. So, is Apple trying to tell me that if I buy a Mac I don't have to work anymore? I can instead sit around listening to music and playing with pictures? Hooray! I'm buying a Mac! No more work!

The irony is that Apple is trying to build its market share by highlighting precisely why its market share has always been so low. The company has always emphasized play over work and has ignored the fact that people have to make a living in order to have the money to buy computers.

The Mac guy says he's into "fun stuff," then talks about applications that can be done on both PC and Mac. To PC users, however, "fun stuff" includes games. And games is an area where there is no equality. Gaming sucks on the Mac because of the tiny number of titles available compared with on the PC.

The truth is that Macs are stylish and cool -- truly -- but generally compare unfavorably with PCs on both work AND fun. That's why almost everyone buys PCs.

Oh, and I implied above that PCs and Macs are roughly equal when it comes to "movies, music, podcasts -- stuff like that." But that's not really true. A really cool new application hit today called iPod Media Studio 2.5, which turns DVD movies into iPod video movies 400% faster than any other method, according to the company, and has tons of really cool -- i.e., really fun -- features, such as the ability to zoom and crop widescreen movies to fit the iPod screen.

Unfortunately, for Mac users, it runs only on the PC.

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