Mac vs. PC: truth in advertising hurts

I could not help sharing the new Mac ad called “elimination” from Apple:

Disclaimer: I switch back to a Mac a little over two years ago and I believe I made the right decision for me.


Why this ad works is it because it is based on truth or at least perceived truths and I would argue that in a consumers mind these are the same. What is Microsoft‘s next play? Who knows, but I would encourage them to focus on the core product to increase stability and work with partners like Dell, HP, Acer and Lenovo to clean up the messaging for the “PC” solution.

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  1. This of course hits close to home for me…so I’ll tread carefully.

    I have found that in most conversations when I ask why Apple has been able to dominate from a branding perspective I get answers like “design, or easy to use”…both are true but are a very small part of the larger reason why Apple is Apple and PCs have become vehicles for Microsoft and Intel but possess little identity of their own to consumers.

    Apple owns the entire experience…they dictate how consumers become aware of products, how they research products, the entire shopping experience, the hardware and the software, and service. Their brand is entirely controlled by them and only them…mixed messages can not be sent through “partners” or “channels”. The OEM’s and MS “share” the 4P’s…and it is messy, that is why messaging is such a challenge…MS wants one consistent message where they are in the spot light, each OEM wants a differentiated message so they can steal share from each other.

    Consequently, Apple doesn’t allow great hardware to be undermined by sloppy or cumbersome software; or vice versa. The value of what may be an outstanding product can’t be diminished because the buying process is so inconvenient.

    Those are the details that distinguish Apple from PCs…but the difference, in my opinion, can really be boiled down to two basic things…which are related to each other.

    Apple is marketing driven (control over all 4 Ps), while PC’s are operations/cost-cutting/efficiency driven.

    Metrics: Apple cares about margins, PCs care about market share

    But hey, what do I know I use Google as much as possible over MS products

  2. A Mac guy eh? Oh that’s right, you always did love fruit being shoved up your a$$.
    Rob has instantly become my new favorite person on the internets.

  3. Hey Alan. I’ve been thinking a lot about attack ads and when companies should use them. I’m split my time between a PC and a Mac. Sometimes I even use XP on my Mac.

    Microsoft’s PC campaigns response ads have moved the needle toward PC sales to more cost conscious consumers.

    I hate the perception that Macs don’t crash. All of these ‘truths’ that ad claims in Mac’s favor (with the exception of no viruses) are actually advantages that PCs enjoy, not to mention that PCs are less expensive and have more compatibility with open source tools. For me, I choose which OS to use depending on the who I’m working with and tasks I need to complete.

  4. My experience using both is that I use the mac for creative ventures/interests (e.g. photos, video, music) and the pc for business ventures (e.g. spreadsheets, quickbooks, stock trading). I have had infinitely more trouble with the pc and almost none with the mac.

    The Apple ads resonate with me based upon my experience. My first Apple product was a 30″ cinema display, to date never equaled for best resolution on a large screen. My second was a macbook pro, which I’ve fallen in love with due to 17″ screen size and portability.

    Ultimately, marketing should, as Alan points out, hit the truth buttons. This is one of the most interesting “attack” ad campaigns because it is direct, but reasonably nice in its approach. The response is price, but the dismembered competition (Dell+Microsoft+HP+others) has not come across with a well articulated answer. So, just like the “Dude, it’s a Dell” campaign, if it is working, keep it up. Apple has leveraged its strengths and its weaknesses have not been pointed out by its competition.

  5. Why didn’t Mac leave when she asked for no viruses, crashes or headaches?

    MacOS has quite a few viruses and since MacOS users are generally clueless about viruses (and computing as a whole), that makes them more susceptible.

    MacOS X crashes like a mofo, it was particularly fun with Photoshop recently being almost unusably unstable. What’s worse, is MacOS crashes don’t tell you what’s wrong, so there’s no way to easily fix them, whereas Windows gives detailed information that can be used to track down and repair the problem.

    Windows Vista and Windows 7 have almost no crashing or virus problems whatsoever.

    Of course, virus problems are generally caused by bad user habits, no matter what OS a person is on.

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