Since 2006 till
2009 Apple carried out an advertising campaign that was called Get a Mac. There
were 19 commercials made in the first year of this campaign, and the number
grew to 66, during the four years of work. The commercial was a dialogue
between two men who were standing on a white background. Each of these men
represented certain computer and tried to imitate the features of this
computer. Justin Long, an actor, was acting Mac and looked like Steve Jobs, and
John Hodgman, a comedian, was actin a PC and looked like Bill Gates. Each
commercial compared the abilities of these computers, and at the end of an
episode Mac always won. The emphasis was put on the limited entertainment
options of the PC, its drawbacks, and outdatedness. The man who was acting
PC was a middle-aged workaholic when the man who was acting Mac was young and
kind. Despite the fact that PC often envied and often treated Mac meanly, Mac
still was kind and indulgent in relation to PC.

During that
time, the sales of Microsoft exceeded Apple’s. After conducting the survey, Apple
found out that the satisfaction rate of Mac is much higher than PC’s. Using
this information Apple ran an advertising campaign that raises awareness about
the drawbacks of personal computers, about which most of their users already
know. However, comparing PC with Mac, they pun emphasis on the fact that Mac is
the unique alternative of a PC being free from the common problems such as
viruses, conflict of connected accessories, constant freezing, lack of the
means of creativity, and many others, all of which are so common that an
average user get used to them and decides them inevitable.

The message that
is delivered to the viewer in every of the advertisement of this campaign is
that Mac is a better device. To emphasize this message, several human features
were added to the images of the computers. Unlike Mac, which was depicted like
a young, energetic, sympathetic, and friendly man, PC is much older, supercilious,
boring, and sneaky. Despite the fact that the character of a PC always envies
the success of Mac, they are still friends but because this is Apple’s
commercial, Mac obviously looks better and friendlier.

The target audience
of the commercial is the people who use PCs and who are afraid of switching to
Mac. To convert them into Mac users, the company had to inspire the idea of Mac
as a user friendly and easily understandable product the atmosphere of the
commercial is minimalistic. Every new character of the commercial is unequivocal,
the background is white, and there is nothing excessive or revulsive. The
viewer associates everything aforementioned with Mac, and the idea of Mac being
easy to use appears in the mind of a customer.

The commercial
was successful and raised the level of sales by 12% after the first few month
of the campaign. The year of prosperous advertisement campaign helped Apple to
break the sales record with 1,6 million Mac computers sold, which was almost
40% increase. What is more, the sales were constantly growing during the whole
4-year campaign.

At that time, Microsoft
had nothing to answer with because they had troubles with their new product
Windows Vista. There was a series of advertisements I am a PC from Microsoft. In this advertisement the company did not
advertise any new product but defended their way of life. During these videos,
one of the workers of Microsoft was saying: “Hi, I am a PC, and I am not alone”,
after that different people from over the world were saying “I am a PC”. Even
participation of Bill Gated did not make this commercial successful. However,
it was not meant to be successful, it only meant that Microsoft is able to take
a punch.

Having waited
few years, Microsoft seized the moment when the situation with Macs calmed down.
It happened because of the rising concern around the tablets. In 2013, Microsoft
stroke Apple back with its own weapon. They ran an advertising company about
the tablets, and the commercials resembled Get
a Mac. Unlike those commercials, Microsoft used the products instead of
people. IPad and a Tablet spoke to each other using digital personal
assistants. The series of advertisements emphasized the advantages of Microsoft’s
products over Apple’s. Either tablets or smartphones in the later commercials
spoke to each other using names of personal assistants such as Cortana from
Microsoft and Siri from Apple. Cortana was showed as a better developed assistant
because of being able to communicate with the user as a human. The user asks to
remind him to congratulate his wife with anniversary while Nokia Lumia 653 and
IPhone stay in front of him. Cortana answers that it will do what was said and
calls the wife of the user by her name in the conversation, while Siri does not
understand all the commands and is forced to admit its defeat by saying “Now
that is smart phone.” The advertisement that features Lumia 635 Windows Phone
demonstrates the ability of Cortana to understand the command from the context of
what was said by the user. Cortana is shown to be able to react on assumptions
of the user and it makes offers such as “Should I create the reminder”? Together
with the ability to create the reminders, Cortana is shown to be able to use
geofences and automatically send messages with the condition of that specific
person calls.

To conclude, the
advertisement campaign Get a Mac was
a successful decision for Apple not only because it increased sales but also it
remained a significant part of the art of advertisement. It was decided to be
one of the best commercials of the decade, it won 3 awards but what is more, the
following commercial developers oriented on it as a sign of quality and a
working model. Get a Mac created an
impression of Mac as a cool, youth, and innovative product and at the same time
they created image of PC as outdated machinery with a lot of problems that
complicate the lives of its users. The commercial contained humor and
interesting plot, and the viewers always wanted to watch the next episode of it.

The sales of Mac
increased to the extent that they have not been ever before. Apple won an
auditory converting a great number of Microsoft customers into Mac users. It
also was criticized, which is an inevitable consequence of success. The
repetitiveness of this advertisement influenced on the customers behavior because
when they made the decision whether to buy a PC or Mac, they inevitably
recalled this commercial in the moments of making the decision. Being positive,
this commercial showed the negative characteristics of PC and the lack of these
drawbacks in Mac computers. People tend to memorize negative information better
than positive. Thus, the comparative commercial operates according to the
win-win strategy showing the drawbacks of the competitor and benefits of its
own product; reducing the audience of the competitor and increasing its own audience.

Microsoft Company
tried to repeat the strategical move of its competitor but the success was
relative, unlike the absolute success of Apple. The advertisement starring Cortana
and Siri lacked that simplicity that was in the commercial of Apple. It is also
necessary to mention that the commercial Cortana
vs Siri was criticized harder because a lot of experts and bloggers tried
to implement the plot of the advertisement in life but the digital personal
assistants’ reaction s differed from what was shown in the commercial. The effectivity
of Cortana is doubtful and Siri is still considered the best digital personal
assistant. While Cortana wins in the option of contextualization, Siri still is
able to execute more orders and is more functional. Thus, the war of Apple vs
Microsoft shifted from the wars of computers to the wars of tablets and
smartphones and the issue of whose product is better is still highly debated.

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