Vantage point

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sucky Ads

This is one of those posts that was conceived months ago, but never quite found its way out of the pipeline. As you know, when exams are looming on the horizon, your brain empties the entire time-wasting pipeline. So instead of worrying about what I must do when the assumptions of the classical linear regression model are cruelly stripped away, one skedasticity at a time, I am composing a post about the series of ads that I have found most pathetic over the last few months.

The ads were not being telecast in India when I left, so maybe this will be fresh news for some of you. The "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" series of ads is the lamest and most wannabe one that i have seen in recent times. It features a young actor (whose name I forget) dressed in "cool and hip" clothes. He is a very laid-back and chilled-out guy. He is Mac. With him is an awkward, stodgily dressed, bespectacled PC, played by John Hodgman. PC is shown to be nerdy, desperate, inadequate, and incompetent.

Here's one of the ads -

To me, these ads make Mac seem more pathetic. "Very subtle!!" is a comment that should be directed at Mac. I don't know whether Apple managed to pull off whatever they were trying to pull off here. Whether there is a significant jump in Mac sales. But to me, a fence-sitter who uses Windows, and is wondering about switching to Mac, these ads seem crass. It is not like they are poking fun at an equally matched rival here. Microsoft's marketshare is a multiple multiple of Apple's. It makes ads, especially like the one above, seem like the desperate pleas for attention from an insecure kid. And they actually seem to strengthen the stereotype of a Mac as being very pretentious and high only on the "cool" value, but with little substance.

Here are a few spoof ads by Truenuff that poke fun at Mac and also at Linux. Offered without a plug for any platform. I've had enough evangelical brainwashes from Linuxalites recently to last me a lifetime.