Anyone with even a simplistic understanding of computers knows that they are broken into two basic categories: PC’s and Macs. The more perceptive of you have also noticed that certain individuals often find the need to aggressively identify with one of the two. Such emotional devotion would seem more suited to a cult than a computer. These folks are known as “Mac owners.”

The pride Mac owners have in their computers would be inspiring if it wasn’t so freaking annoying. Truly, if you have ever participated in a discussion about computers with an Apple owner you know the script. They go on and on about how wonderful their machine is and how lame and stupid your backwards PC is. They stare at you, wide-eyed in their disbelief that anyone (you) could be content operating such a ridiculous anachronism. These discussions sometimes devolve into condescension. Sadly, this is likely due to the Mac owner coming to view the PC owner as mentally deficient and incapable of carrying on a serious discussion.

Now, here’s what I bring to the table. My house has both. We’ve got Apple and we’ve got PC. We also have an Apple snob in the house, and uh, me. I am more or less technically illiterate concerning computers. Honestly, I would not argue if someone explained that all computers on earth emanated from a mail order catalog of otherworldly gadgets handed down to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs by a group of drunken extraterrestrials at a campus mixer. Really, it could have happened that way.

I’m not trying to take shots at Apple snobs. We all have things that we view with an importance or devotion that supersedes logic. For example, I know that Batman is the greatest superhero of all superheroes ever, period. I am not open to discussion and will argue anyone on the point. Obviously, I am living comfortably in a glass house so I generally refrain from pitching stones. No, my interest in Apple comes from a belief that the appearance of elitism built into ownership has created a problem for sales.

And I think the new ads on TV were created specifically to address this issue. They’re great. The ads star two men. One is an actor who usually plays a lovable geek and is identified as “a Mac” while the other actor is a balding forty-something who identifies himself as “a PC.”

Look at the picture accompanying this article. Right out of the gate, before any sales pitch is really present they slap PC’s hard. The PC is older, balding and wears a suit that looks uncomfortable and frumpy. His tie and shoes are strictly old school. He is so hopelessly yesterday that it almost isn’t funny.

Then we meet Mr. Lovable Geek. Firstly, he’s not so geeky, just subtly so. He dresses casual but cool, and could mix in anywhere. He has hair, is a little unshaven, and definitely not establishment. And then the kicker. He’s nice. He is not an obvious Apple snob. He always tries to help the PC, to compliment him, to think the best of him. He never chides the PC for being a PC.

As an effective counterpoint, they have the PC trying to be nice but failing. Saying something positive and then taking it back because he really does hate the Mac and think that PC’s are better. He is a PC snob. A creation I was not aware of until this ad aired.

The Apple doesn’t hate. He wants everyone to be happy, just like him. His confidence is his shield.

These ads are perfect. By making “the Mac” accessible they are making Apple as a brand accessible. Not only have they opened up their market but they managed to simultaneously fold the other brand inside a box marked un-hip, uncool, unloved and unwise to purchase. You really can’t ask for more from an ad campaign than that.

Check out the ads. They are running on Apple has taken their “snob” label and successfully removed it, only to immediately and effectively drape it around the neck of the PC. That is an amazing bit of misdirection.

God help us if these people ever enter politics.

Leave a Reply