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New Apple Campaign Target PC Flaws 819

Posted by Hemos
from the so-many-submissions dept.
sodul writes"Apple just started a new campaign to emphasize the advantages of Mac versus a regular tasteless PC. The ads represent a young cool looking man (Mac) and a white collar in his 40's (not cool, PC). In one of the ads the PC repeat itself several times because it had to reboot. In an other one (and maybe the most aggressive of all) PC is sick because of a virus, while Mac is healthy. You can watch the new spots on Apple's site "
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New Apple Campaign Target PC Flaws

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  • Doesn't work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by omeg (907329) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:24AM (#15245014)
    Pretty much all hate campaigns I've seen against another product just didn't work out. Logically, I'd also think that showing people how good your product is (rather than how bad the other product is) has a much more positive effect. But really, I'm not an expert on commercials. Anybody who can point me to some hate campaigns by major companies that seem(ed) to be effective?
    • Re:Doesn't work (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:26AM (#15245034)
      Diod you watch any television during the last US election?
    • Re:Doesn't work (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tozog (599414) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:26AM (#15245041)
      Most politicial campaigns?
    • Hate campaigns don't work? Well look at Microsoft's current campaign, they aren't criticizing their competitors, they are criticising you. You're a dinosaur. It's been running for quite a while so I guess they think it's effective. Unfortunately I think in the longer term it could backfire, as seen for instance in a recent cartoon in the Economist portraying MS as a dinosaur.
      • by ianscot (591483) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @10:12AM (#15245538)
        Well look at Microsoft's current campaign, they aren't criticizing their competitors, they are criticising you. You're a dinosaur.

        The wrongheadedness of that MS campaign is spectacular, isn't it? You can tell what they were thinking; basically the idea was to goad us into paying for upgrades to systems and app suites for which people aren't ponying up their upgrade fees. MS needs businesses, especially, to stay on that treadmill.

        Talk about insulting their audience, though. That campaign is almost up there with the RIAA folks and their "our consumers are thieves" mindset. MS even does the RIAA one better -- because the point is that we're dinosaurs who are using Microsoft's old products. They trash us, and they trash their own software!

    • Re:Doesn't work (Score:5, Informative)

      by EccentricAnomaly (451326) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:37AM (#15245154) Homepage
      I'm not an expert on commercials

      Well the PC guy (John Hodgman) is an expert. He's the daily show's resident expert and the author of "The Areas of my Expertise". Which was reviewd on slashdot [slashdot.org] and by the Onion [avclub.com].
    • Re:Doesn't work (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sometimes_Rational (866083) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @10:04AM (#15245445)
      This doesn't really look like a "hate campaign" to me. The ads give an affectionate look at what people commonly believe are Windows failings while strongly promoting what Macs can do. As played in the commercials, you don't hate the PC, he even has his strengths ("The things this guy can do with a spreadsheet"), but he isn't cool and competent like the Mac is. As to whether they work, advertisers do comparison ads all the time, so someone thinks that they work.
    • Re:Doesn't work (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Golias (176380)
      Pretty much all hate campaigns I've seen against another product just didn't work out.

      Well, Apple does have the advantage in that most people who own PC's already hate them. They are just having a little fun with the hatred that's already there.

      But really, I'm not an expert on commercials. Anybody who can point me to some hate campaigns by major companies that seem(ed) to be effective?

      Hate campaigns usually require you to identify your competition, which nobody wants to do because then you are spending you
    • by Valdrax (32670) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @11:58AM (#15246636)
      Logically, I'd also think that showing people how good your product is (rather than how bad the other product is) has a much more positive effect.

      What if your strength is that you don't do something horrible? What if your strength is that you do something better than a competitor, and you'd like to show how much better you are? What if failures are rare for both products, but you want to show yourself as better? Isn't it fair in that case to contrast your success against your competitor's failure?

      If you're selling fluorescent lights, and you want to contrast the short life and high power consumption of incandescent lighting against your product, is that bad?

      If your cell phone service doesn't drop calls and lets you communicate clearly, isn't it better to show your competitors failing at this rather than trying to show an entire month of not failing?

      If your product cleans stains effectively, isn't it fair to compare it against "the leading brand" to show how much better it is?

      I see no difference between the above commercials and what Apple is doing. However, I think it's a little like calling the Titanic "Unsinkable" before its maiden voyage to brag about how virus-free Macs are. That kind of hubris is definitely going to bite Apple when the platform reaches that critical mass of interest + talent especially now that much more common x86 assembler experience can be leveraged by malware writers against the Mac now.
    • Re:Doesn't work (Score:4, Insightful)

      by illtron (722358) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @02:28PM (#15248132) Homepage Journal
      You're an idiot. Clearly these ads show the Mac and PC as two guys who have differences, yet get along. There's a playful tone to the ads. It's not a "hate campaign." Did you just make that up?

      What did you really want Apple to say? "Macs are great, but if you don't want one, it's totally cool with us if you buy a Windows PC too, because Internet Explorer runs great on them!"

      Apple can talk until they're red in the face about how great their own product is, but there are clearly still a lot of misconceptions about them. The only way to really drive home the fact that they do some things better and lack the problems that abound on PCs is to put the two side-by-side. You're right that people don't react well to negative ad campaigns (there's no such thing as a hate campaign), and that's precisely why Apple has struck an extremely delicate balance in these ads.

      The Mac guy doesn't come out and call the PC guy a piece of shit idiot who can't install Firefox and Ad-Aware to save his life. It's a friendly dialogue with upbeat music, far from the deep voices and forboding music of negative political ads.
    • this [apple.com] does NOT scream "Mac is cool".

      What the picture does scream is hardworking father and lazy son who still lives with his parent unemployed and useless.

      If this is the image Apple wants then good luck.

      Further into the site you get asked the question "Wich mac are you". Hmmm. Well lets expand, wich computer am I? A dell (cheap crap), a powerbook (expensive, tastefull, useless), a mac mini (expensive, underspecced).

      None of the above. Me, I am a gray. HAL ain't got nothing on me baby.

      Just sell a good pro

  • ah... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by joe 155 (937621) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:24AM (#15245021) Journal
    now it all makes sense why MSN was running the other day with a story about how macs are not secure and will cause you to get viruses etc... they must have got wind of this early. Its a shame I'll never get to see these adds on TV though, the Advertising Standards Agency wouldn't let them air, they recently blocked a mac advert because it said that the CPU's job in a PC was boring... : S... I wasn't aware that CPU's could really get bored
  • by Mortice (467747) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:27AM (#15245052)
    "In one of the ads the PC repeat itself several times because it had to reboot."

    "In an other one ... PC is sick because of a virus, while Mac is healthy."

    Is the submitter actually a robot manufactured by Apple to demonstrate what happens when you make a language engine out of MS Office's grammar checker?
  • by Kymermosst (33885) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:28AM (#15245057) Journal
    Just seems to be a challenge to the virus writers. I expect it won't be long now.
    • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @10:36AM (#15245799)
      Just seems to be a challenge to the virus writers. I expect it won't be long now.

      That's what people said about various things Apple and users did last year, and the year before that. Still waiting....

      The thing is, virus writers are mostly not in it for the bravado now. It's a business, trying to scrape as many details or get as many zombie systems as possible. An Apple "gauntlet" means nothing.

      The funny thing is, just like most software is on Windows because people are too set in thier ways to learn OS X programming, so to are virus writers pretty comfortable with what they can do on Windows and don't want to really do much extra work. So macs are proteced by an inertia that should keep them pretty safe long after some arbitrarily large threshold of marketshare is reached.
      • The funny thing is, just like most software is on Windows because people are too set in thier ways to learn OS X programming, so to are virus writers pretty comfortable with what they can do on Windows and don't want to really do much extra work. So macs are proteced by an inertia that should keep them pretty safe long after some arbitrarily large threshold of marketshare is reached.

        That's a pretty astonishing theory, and I don't believe it. We've already seen spyware that attacks Firefox, and it start

        • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @05:51PM (#15249785)
          That's a pretty astonishing theory, and I don't believe it. We've already seen spyware that attacks Firefox, and it started at the about the 10% boundary. I see no reasons why virus writers, who as you say are in it for the money, would pass up the opportunity to get on up on their competitors by ignoring the Mac.

          Yes, but very little still compared to the level and sophisitcation of IE exploits.

          By stating virus writing is a buisness I am attaching to that all the typical behavious software releases have in relation to the mac - in that even though the market share for a platform grows it sometimes takea while for a company to ramp up to that new platform. Thus the greatly diminished virus profile on Firefox and also the Mac. I am not saying we'll neve see anything, just that it comes later in the marketshare percentage than you would think because for the most part it's not some really motivated kid working nights and evenings to get a virus done because he's driven, it's some guy deciding to hire X more russian hackers for X dollars to probe for Mac weaknesses.

          Actually some time ago in jest I proposed that the russian mafia all used macs and that's why we didn't see spyware - they didn't want to soil thier own nest.

          I also don't see anything in the Mac that makes it technically more resistant to viruses than Windows. You don't need administrator access to do many of the things viruses/bots usually do, and the security system it inherited from FreeBSD is basically all they've got.

          Now that part you got wrong. First of all, there's nothing like the registry - a target that gives you keys to the kingdom if you access. Furthermore as noted ad nauseum mac users are not running as admins and so have less access to the system as a whole to install things like rootkits. Even if a virus is encounterd a user would at least have to enter a password for that virus to have much of a lingering presence.

          Also, it's much harder to truly hide the precence of a virus under OS X as it's harder to hide a process where it cannot be seen by at least some tool. Windows makes that simpler.

          Given that stock Linux, MacOS X and Windows are all equally crappy when it comes to security, all with "bolt-on" security systems designed in the 70s for a totally different threat model, I would be very hesitant with making any claims that Macs are more secure than PCs (which basically means MacOS is more secure than Windows). Right now they ALL suck! Apple have had more than their fair share of stupid exploits, often ones which worked in the same way as Windows exploits released months or years before.

          But it's kind of hard to argue with the reality of the situation in that there are well over 10 million macs in use today and yet we do not see any viruses. Market share is a part of that but if they were as easy to infect that would not have been an impediment after the first million computers came online. You know how much each zombie computer fetches on the black market?

          Yes Apple computers also have exploits, but not ones that are as easy to reach and not ones that are actually being exploited. You have to make a distinction between an expploit being used in a while vs. a theoretical attack that no one is using because it's too hard to reach and wouldn't effect enough people. An example of that on a Mac is an SSH exploit - while a problem SSH is not enabled by default on OS X so the practical result is that no-one writes SSH exploits for the mac because it would not have enough payback.

          I'm putting my hopes in MAC security frameworks like SELinux and AppArmor ... I'm itching to get some spare time so I can experiment with hardening a system against malware/viruses/spyware threat profiles using them. My dissertation was on security, there's a whole lot more work that needs to be done before yet.

          Ultimatley that will probably be the best approach, or at least part of a whole defense in depth approach that we will all need.
    • by finkployd (12902) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @11:28AM (#15246355) Homepage
      Yup, any day now. What with this commercial egging them on, and CERT's "sky is falling" report that says they expect Mac viruses and spyware to sharply rise. It will happen, just you all see. Maybe not right now, but soon. Well, eventually. You will know when it does. I know we have been saying this for a while but seriously, just give it time. It has nothing to do with system security, or response to vulnerabilities, or anything like that, it is simply a function of how popular something is. OS X will soon become a cesspool of viruses and spyware, it HAS to happen if they get more popular, popularity is the ONLY reason windows has this problem.

      Finkployd
  • by boxlight (928484)
    I'm a recent Mac switcher, *love* my new iMac. These ads are funny, but Apple should be honest.

    This "restart" ad is false advertising -- Windows XP is an extremely stable platform (unless Apple is referring to people who are still using Windows 98 and Windows ME -- but I don't think so).

    The entire campaign smacks of Apple's vintage "lemmings" ad which didn't work because it offended their IBM using audience. This new campaign is flat out calling PC users fat dorks. The potential switcher I know are
    • I'm a recent Mac switcher, *love* my new iMac.

      I switched a year ago and MS would have to do something wonderful to make me switch back.

      These ads are funny, but Apple should be honest.

      The ads are cool. Apple are just playing on people's experiences with PCs. The ads wouldn't work if there wasn't truth in them.
    • by Otter (3800) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:41AM (#15245188) Journal
      Apple should spend more time making it easier to switch -- like including a "start menu" equivalent, using the defacto standard "ctrl-c & ctrl-v" type shortcut keys, better windows-style support for right-click instead of always having to use ctrl-click to get a pop-up menu, real windows-style "uninstall" functionality.

      I'll let others flame you about the start menu and shortcut keys (If you want MacOS to behave exactly like Windows, why not just use Windows?) but:

      a) Right-clicking should work the same as ctrl-clicking.

      b) MacOS doesn't have "windows-style "uninstall" functionality" because uninstalling is trivial.

      • MacOS doesn't have "windows-style "uninstall" functionality" because uninstalling is trivial.

        ...except when it's not. See any system utility like a firewall or antivirus. You get a bonus uninstall round!

    • I thought you uninstalled items by dragging them to the Trash, or have I been missing something?

      And I've always seen the right mouse button perform the Ctrl-click option, though I prefer Ctrl-click to right-clck

    • by the phantom (107624) * on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:58AM (#15245375) Homepage
      ...using the defacto standard "ctrl-c & ctrl-v" type shortcut keys...

      Why? On a Mac, I can use my thumb to hit the command key (the clover leaf), and use any other finger to hit any other key. It is a very simple reach, and works even on my laptop, where the size of the keyboard limits me to only one command key. Under windows (or Linux, for that matter), the control key requires a pinky finger, and a rather large reach (compared to, say, the shift keys). I much prefer the modifier key right next to the space bar. I am glad that Apple have decided not to change this. And, honestly, it doesn't take that long to get used to a different system, and if you are constantly switching back and forth from one kind of machine to another (I have Windows machines at work, Macs at home), it ceases to cause any confusion after a day or two.

      In fact, most of your complaints are fairly trivial, and represent the cost of moving from one OS to another as much as anything else. Why would we need an uninstaller on a Mac? Most, if not all, dependencies are contained in the application bundle. To uninstall a program, move it to the trash. There is no registry to get corrupted, and no .dlls. Why is a Start Menu needed? Open up a Finder window, and you have access to your applications, documents, movies, whatever. If you don't like that, launch applications from the dock. Put aliases (shortcuts) on your desktop. Hell, I suppose you could create a folder full of aliases and put that on the dock. A Start Menu really is not needed -- a couple of days to get used to the OS would likely demonstrate that. As for right-clicking, get a better mouse.

      Again, the complaints that you raise seem fairly minor and trivial, and would only really bother people that have been using Windows for a long time. Apple is not really targeting the hardcore Windows market, as far as I can tell. They are trying to target those people who do not have a great deal of computer experience, like the archtypal grandmother, or the computer illiterate English major. These people are not really going to care that the keyboard shortcuts are different (how many of them even know that there are keyboard shortcuts?) or that there is no Start Menu.
      • Cmd-C, V came first (Score:5, Informative)

        by ToastyKen (10169) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @01:46PM (#15247689) Homepage Journal
        And let's not forget the history: It was Apple who came up with Cmd-z, x, c, v. Windows started out with that Shift-Ins, Shift-Del stuff. It's Windows that was trying to be more like the Mac in the first place when they finally changed their shortcuts.

        Also, Cmd has been the traditional shortcut key on Macs for a long time, since the days of Apple II, when it was the Apple key, so there's a long history there. In fact, the Control key didn't even exist on Apple keyboards until years later.
        • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot@kadin.xoxy@net> on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @03:22PM (#15248627) Homepage Journal
          Agreed. Also, recall that Windows isn't exactly the Land of Standardization when it comes to shortcuts for everything else.

          With a few exceptions, I can be guaranteed that any Mac app can have it's window closed with Command-W, quit by Command-Q, a new window created with Command-N, and hidden using Command-H. There are a ton of others, I could go on and on.

          On my Windows machine, I've never bothered to learn the shortcuts because they're mostly too complicated to save much time. (Except for the applications that have adopted Mac-like shortcuts, only replacing the Command key with Control, there are quite a few of these now.) I know of a bunch of programs that use Alt+F4 to close a window -- who the hell ever thought that was a good idea? I have to move my entire arm to do that.

          It's definitely Windows that could use some serious reconsideration of its shortcuts, dump a whole lot of cruft, and maybe get on par with what the MacOS has had for a while now.

          I could accept Apple perhaps offering an option in System Preferences somewhere to reverse the behavior of the Command and Control keys, for Windows users that really can't stand using their thumb to use hotkeys, but I think ultimately Apple has a strength in its use of hotkeys, and they realize this.

          Maybe the solution would just be to have keyboards that have a little switch on them for "PC compatibility mode" that swapped the keys (my KVMP switch does this, I use it to make my Linux machine more Mac-like, although I could probably do the same thing in software somewhere).
  • Sorry to say this I'm more impressed with Microsoft telling me they're offering me options ("Where do you want to go today") than I'm impressed with Apple telling me that Microsoft doesn't offer options.

    I'm not going to be one of the "I hate Windows so much that I'll..." people who are willing to jump in with both feet to another platform (and a credit card in hand).

    Give me a reason to buy Apple, not a reason to leave Windows.
    • Here's 14 reasons to buy a Mac:
      http://www.apple.com/getamac/ [apple.com]

      One definite reason would be that you can either run OS X or Windows or Linux - that seems like a lot more choice than only being able to run Windows.
    • by the phantom (107624) * on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @10:08AM (#15245495) Homepage
      Give me a reason to buy Apple, not a reason to leave Windows.

      From the commercials:
      iLife
      plug-and-play peripherals
      fewer viruses
      ease of use
      good reviews in the WSJ

      Those seem like reasons. They are not really targeting the geek audience with those reasons, which might be why you don't care. But, to someone like my mother, they seem like very good reasons.
  • Interesting that they are saying PC not Windows ;-p Apple may be bold but apparently not willing to spell it out. OTOH most consumers associate PC with Windows, so it still gets the message across... but unfortunately is also maligning the rest of the former X86 club (former since now Apple is part of it too...).

    Yeah, I'm just assuming that they figure people who know the difference will 'know the difference' and read between the lines.

    I foresee some petty flame wars happening in tech rags though..
  • John Hodgman is my hero and intellectual better
  • Apple doesn't aim to market to people who know what they are doing with a PC (I use the term in its original context, Personal Computer, without any bias to one OS or another). They are aiming for the less tech-savvy user, and hoping to create the (not entirely incorrect) impression that Mac's are easier to use than pretty much any other OS based machine on the market.

  • John Hodgman (Score:2, Informative)

    by jacoplane (78110)
    In case you're wondering who the guy on the left is, it's John Hodgman [wikipedia.org] from the Daily Show.
  • *sigh* (Score:5, Funny)

    by Descalzo (898339) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:44AM (#15245211) Journal
    The thing that struck me about the ad I saw last night was the way the PC and Mac users were dressed up. I feel like I am not cool enough to own any Apple products. The story of my life, sadly.

    Ever notice how Macheads never comb their hair? It must be like buying a Volkswagen.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @10:12AM (#15245539)
    I think when the PC guy freezes, they shoul hit the Mac guy with a big spinning beachball!
  • by phaxkolumbo (572192) <phaxkolumbo&gmail,com> on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @11:22AM (#15246293)

    People, people!

    To the ones complaining that "PC" is not "a machine running Windows", please note that no Linux (or *BSD, or Solaris x86 or, or...) using geek/nerd/unsanitary person is ever going to call a Intel-based computer running the said operating system a "PC". It's a "Linux box". The cooler ones use the plural "Boxen"

    You know it's true, now focus on bashing either Apple or Microsoft, or maybe Dell or some big PC manufacturer, I don't know.

    (It's [trying to be] funny, laugh)

  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @12:46PM (#15247088)

3500 Calories = 1 Food Pound

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