By Harry McCracken | Monday, October 20, 2008 at 12:59 am
Apple released a couple of new “Get a Mac” ads today, and while I wouldn’t usually bother to mention that here, these ones are noteworthy: They make direct reference to Microsoft’s current $300 million ad campaign for Windows. Which itself makes direct reference to earlier ads in the “Get a Mac” series.
Here’s “Bean Counter,” which makes mention of the cost of the campaign and wonders if the dough might have been better spent–a point I’ve been known to make myself:
And here’s one called “The V Word,” which seems to riff on the fact that the new Windows ads don’t mention Vista by name:
I kinda wonder whether these venture too far into the realm of insider baseball: The first one appears to assume that you care about Microsoft advertising budgets, and the second one doesn’t make much sense at all unless you’ve noticed the downplaying of Vista in recent Microsoft ads. Both bash Vista without saying anything positive about the Mac, and they bash it for its promotion as much as for the product that’s being promoted.
Then again, Microsoft’s ads are also kind of insider baseball, since one large component of them is indignation over Apple’s portrayal of PC users in its commercials. The Microsoft ads seem designed to neutralize the Apple ads by suggesting that Macs are soulless except for their snobbery, and PCs are for everyone. But it’s hard to imagine Microsoft responding directly or even indirectly to Apple ads that just slam Windows in the way these new ones do.
(Speaking of which, just how is Microsoft spending its $300 million? I see Windows billboards here in the Bay Area, but I don’t know of any new TV spots since the “I’m a PC” ones.)
Me, I’d like to see ads from both Apple and Microsoft that point out ways in which their products make consumers happier and more productive, not ones which snipe at each others’ marketing campaigns. And oh yeah: Yes, it is funny to see Apple mock another technology company for spending vast amounts of money on advertising…