In 2006 Apple launched the “Get a Mac” campaign asking the simple question yet inquisitive question “are you a Mac, or are you a PC?”
A series of 66 commercials directed by Phil Morrison of Epoch Films for TBWA Media Arts Lab, also known as “Mac vs. PC,” featured comedic actors John Hodgman personifying Bill Gates – a nerdy workaholic dressed in a plain ordinary looking suit – PC, and Justin Long, as a Steve Jobs, personifying a hip Mac computer. The ads were playful and funny but also incorporated an underlying competitive side and were seen in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The ads were targeted at not so “tech-savvy” computer users, individuals who had a PC, but weren’t sure what else there was and were produced with the intention for these consumers to make a switch from PC to a Mac. After the release of the iPod and iTunes, Apple gained a following of a young audience who before that had little knowledge of the brand and the advertising assisted in creating a new generation of young Mac users (Bulik, 2016).
These ads were memorable, and provided succinct and straight forward information to its viewers, fitting well with the themes and aesthetics of the Apple brand. Previously Apple tried a “Switchers” campaign with real people who had happily moved from PC to Mac, and while it was popular with Apple fans, it was far less successful, and didn’t result in much “switching”. After the first few commercials, sales increased dramatically by 12% in the first quarter of the campaign, by the end of 2006 after more commercials came out, Apple sold a record breaking 1,600,000 Macs, showing an increase 39%. And in the last quarter Apple sold over 2,300,000 MACS. Sales continued to dramatically increase throughout the entire four-year campaign (Leap, 2014).
The series were successful in creating a high degree of magnetism, were targeted at the right audience, were logical, succinct, engaging, reflected on the companies character and most importantly the product actually backed up the promise delivered. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Well done Apple!
Bulik, B. (2016). Top 15 Ad Campaigns of the 21st Century – Advertising Age. [online] Adage.com. Available at: http://adage.com/lp/top15/#getamac [Accessed 29 Apr. 2016].
Leap, A. (2014). “Get-A-MAC” Campaign Analysis. [Blog] Academic and Personal Blog. Available at: https://sites.psu.edu/aubreyleap/2014/07/23/get-a-mac-campaign-analysis/ [Accessed 29 Apr. 2016].