Get a Mac

The Get a Mac campaign is an advertising campaign by Apple Computer, Inc.

The ads, directed by Phil Morrison, are slightly similar to the switch campaign ads of 2002, where a person (or people in this case) explain why to switch from a PC to a Mac computer in front of a white background. In the Get a Mac campaign, Accepted star Justin Long represents the Mac, while author and Daily Show cast member John Hodgman represents the PC. The ads set out to show how Macs have certain strengths over the PC, and can do the same things a PC can.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs mentioned the campaign during a shareholders meeting the week before the campaign started. The campaign also coincided with a change of signage and employee apparel at Apple retail stores detailing reasons to switch to Macs.

Each ad starts out where Justin Long introduces himself as a Mac and Hodgman introduces himself as a PC. As of September 2006, there are 15 advertisements (all viewable on

* Viruses - PC has caught a virus that's been going around and continues to sneeze as Mac tries to help him. PC warns him that there are over 114,000 viruses for the PC. Mac replies that none of the viruses affect him. PC commences to "crash" which is simulated by fainting.

* Restarting - Mac and PC explain how they both have a lot in common, and how Microsoft Office is Mac compatible as well. Shortly after, PC freezes, and wakes up again repeating "I'm a PC". PC explains to Mac that he had to restart and "you know how it is." Mac replies that he doesn't. PC freezes again and Mac leaves to get help from I.T.

* Better - Mac praises the PC's ability with spreadsheets, but explains that he is "better with life stuff," such as music, pictures, and movies. PC defensively asks what Mac means by "better" to which Mac replies that it's easier for Mac to make a website or photobook. PC replies, "oh, that kind of better. I was thinking of the other kind." The ad cuts to the ending splash screen with Mac saying off-camera, "What other kind?"

* iLife - PC is listening to an iPod and praises iTunes. Mac replies that the rest of iLife work just as well and come on every Mac. PC responds by listing the "cool apps" that he comes with, listing utilities like "calculator" and "clock".

* Network - Mac and PC hold hands to demonstrate their ability to network to each other. A Japanese woman, representing a new digital camera, enters and takes Mac's hand. Mac introduces himself with the standard Japanese ("Hi, nice to meet you"). After handing him a digital print she tells Mac, referring to PC, ("Hey, who's that guy? Is he an otaku?").

* WSJ - Mac begins reading the Wall Street Journal." PC snatches it and reads that Walt Mossberg, " of the most respected technology experts on the planet...", called Mac "the finest desktop PC on the market at any price." PC then boasts that he also received a great review that morning. Mac congratulates PC and asks which publication it was in. PC is caught offguard and makes up the name "The Awesome Computer Review Weekly Journal."

* Out of the Box - Mac and PC are in boxes discussing what they will do with they get out of the box. Mac talks about what he can do right away (make home movies, create a website, or try his built-in camera), while PC says he must download new drivers and rid himself of pre-installed trial software and read many manuals. Mac gets out of his box and goes to get started while PC stays in his box and states that "the rest of him is in some other boxes."

* Touché - Right after PC gives his "I'm a PC" introduction, Mac replies, "And I'm a PC too." PC is confused and Mac explains that he can run both Mac OS X and Windows XP, calling himself "the only computer you'll ever need." To this, PC mutters, "Oh... touché." Mac explains that one only says "touché" after he or she makes a point and someone else makes a counterpoint, but PC continues to misuse the word.

* Work vs. Home - Mac explains how he likes doing "fun stuff" like movies, music, and podcasts. PC says he also does "fun stuff" like time sheets, spreadsheets, and pie charts. Mac says it's hard to capture a family vacation using a pie chart, however PC rebuts by showing a pie chart representing "hangout time" and "just kicking it".

* Accident - PC, in a wheelchair and wearing casts, explains that he fell of his desk when someone tripped over his power cord. Mac points out that the MacBook’s magnetic power cord guards against such an occurance.

* Angel/Devil - Mac gives PC his iPhoto book to look at. Suddenly, angel and devil versions of PC appear behind him. The angel encourages PC to compliment Mac, while the devil prods PC to insult Mac and destroy the book.

* Trust Mac - PC is in a trenchcoat with dark glasses and a false moustache, trying to hide from spyware. PC offers Mac a disguise, but Mac declines, claiming he doesn't have to worry about spyware and viruses with Mac OS X.

* Counselor — Mac and PC visit a counselor to resolve their differences, and they try to compliment each other. However, the resentment is too deep and the counselor recommends seeing the two together twice a week.

* Self Pity — PC asks Mac why he is wearing a suit. Mac explains that he "does work stuff too" and has been running Microsoft Office for years. PC grows panicky and then despondent and collapses on the floor, begging to be left alone and depreciate.

* Better Results — PC and Mac discuss making home movies. PC asks to see Mac's and Gisele Bündchen walks out as his movie. Mac asks to see PC's and he reluctantly reveals a stereotypical stoner man in the same dress as Gisele.

While not strictly a part of the ad campaign, Hodgman and Long appeared in a video prior to the keynote at the 2006 Worldwide Developers Conference. Hodgman's character, PC, claimed to have a message from Steve Jobs, in an attempt to stall Mac development. He starts to go off-topic about his vacation with Steve, but when Mac arrives he says he's just preparing for the next ad and starts to sing.

The different spots were released gradually:

* The original set of "Viruses," "Restarting," "Better," "iLife," "Network," "WSJ," were launched on May 2nd, 2006.
* "Work vs. Home," "Touché," and "Out of the Box" were released on June 12th, 2006.
* "Accident", "Angel/Devil" and "Trust Mac", were released for the campaign on August 27th, 2006 for the 2006 Primetime Emmy Awards.
* In September, three new commercials made their debut on Canadian television, one features Gisele Bundchen alongside Hodgman and Long in an advertisement which had been sighted certain Apple Stores. They were published to Apple's website on October 9th, 2006.

* On an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Hodgman was portraying a computer expert on a story about the internet. During the bit, host Stewart prodded Hodgman to utter his "I'm a PC." line from the ads.

There have been a several parodies of this ad campaign on the internet, such as:

* A series of spoofs by TrueNuff which have received over two million downloads and introduces a Linux character into the mix.

* A video by Canadian video house Loading Ready Run highlights the fact that Mac computers have limited game libraries -- whilst still listing the short comings of non-Macs.

* A comic strip made by Ctrl+Alt+Del creator Tim Buckley, which specifically parodied the original "virus" ad, though with jabs at the commerical's presentation and Mac computers themselves.

* The introduction video of Intel Developer Forum 2006 opening keynote is a spoof showing that both PCs and Macs are both using Intel Core 2 Duo chips.

* Many videos found on YouTube:
o A spoof by Vh1's Best Week Ever, which presents the "Mac" character in a less kind light, and the "PC" character in a more flattering light, than the "Get a Mac" ads.
o Another spoof features the Nintendo Wii (represented by a chipper, attractive woman) vs the PS3 (represented by a serious and overweight woman). The Wii talks about its ease of use, and price, whereas the PS3 claims that "good things cost good money", and that she has better features. The video was removed from YouTube in a terms of use violation.It can be found at Google Video however.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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