Corporate Eye

Mac vs PC Guy Commercials May Not Be Over Yet

A bit of a buzz has been going on related to the famous Mac vs. PC Guy commercials that have become a highly recognizable and popular advertising campaign which successfully repositioned Apple’s brand against the personal computer category leader, Microsoft.

I wrote about the Apple brand and Mac vs. PC Guy commercials on the Corporate Eye blog in May 2008 and again in October 2008, and now, over two years later, the ads are still popular.  There aren’t a lot of companies or brands that can boast that kind of successful ad campaign longevity.

A new interview with Justin Long, who plays Mac in the Mac vs. PC Guy commercials, sheds new light on the ad campaign.  While only 66 Mac vs. PC Guy commercials have actually aired on television (you can watch all 66 ads on the Adweek website), Long explains in an interview published on Time magazine’s Techland blog, that at least 100 commercials were actually filmed.  However, he doesn’t know if those ads will ever see the light of day.

Similarly, Long didn’t know if the Mac vs. PC Guy campaign had met its demise yet or not.  When asked ‘the’ question about whether the campaign had ended or not, Long responded, “I don’t know, they don’t really tell me much. I personally haven’t heard anything. I could get a call next week.”

As the Apple brand struggles to overcome some bumps in its otherwise easy path of growth that the company has enjoyed over the past several years thanks to innovative products supported by creative advertising, it’s interesting to debate whether the time has come to charge forward with completely new advertising or if sticking with continuity is the better approach.  Only Apple’s marketing and executive teams can make that decision, but it will be interesting to see what comes next for Apple advertising.

What do you think?  Is it time to retire Mac vs. PC Guy or is there still some life left in the characters Justin Long and John Hodgman play?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
Comments

I never take Justin Long seriously in these ads because I’m always thinking about him as “Dr. Lexus” in Idiocracy.

“Don’t worry, scro! My girlfriend had a PC once. She was tarded. She got a Mac… and now she’s a pilot! You see, there are plenty of tards out there living really kick-ass lives!”

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