I was browsing around Apple’s web site looking for new TV commercials to see Apple’s response to Microsoft’s recent ad barrage of Laptop Hunters.
What I found was a simple promo that asked, ‘Which Mac Are You?’ That’s a good question since we have one of everything in our household. Does that make us special? Probably not. But it makes life difficult for Microsoft.
It’s difficult to pity a company that has $30-billion in the bank and a 90-percent market share. But pity is what Microsoft deserves because the company is urinating customers after years of simply urinating on their customers.
No, that’s not right. What am I thinking? No, Microsoft does not deserve pity. They are a pitiful company, yes. But pity is too good for such a company.
Which Mac are you? I thought about it because we have it all here in the Kayhill Estate at the end of a cul-de-sac. All? A couple of MacBooks, an iMac, a MacPro, and a Mac mini. And iPhones and iPods.
And, a very lonely, sorely out of place PC running some flavor of Windows. We only start up the machine on Sundays to check for viruses.
In episode after episode, I’m a Mac looks calm, competent, unflappable, sometimes hip and chic, but steady and dependable. All the while poor old I’m a PC hobbles from one disaster to the next.
After a few years, dozens of commercials, perhaps billions of ad impressions, one thing became more clear than ‘Macs cost more than PCs.’ Windows PCs are not as good as Macs.
Microsoft’s market share is declining, profits are declining, customers are leaving by the tens of thousands—to become Mac users. How does Microsoft counter such a paradigm shift?
Not with a consistent, competent theme, of course. First it was Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates. What was that all about? Then it was the “I’m a PC” Frankenmetaphor. Hello? Redmond? People are not PCs. Or, are they?
Following that expensive montage of paid advertising hacks was the series of cute little kids highlighting cool things they could do on their PCs. Jesus himself as a swaddling child could not have been more cute that the point and click four year old.
Except, Microsoft quickly found that people felt insulted that four year olds could do more on a PC than they could.
Yes, Windows and Windows applications are just that complex. A four year old can do what an adult cannot.
In Laptop Hunters Microsoft goes back to the one thing that mattes in this worldwide economic slowdown—price. Macs are more expensive. Microsoft is thinking that maybe some people will remember that Macs are more expensive than PCs.
The problem, as always, is Microsoft’s execution. As many of our media pundits have pointed out, the Laptop Hunters bought cheap plastic crummy notebooks, while Mac users are just oh so cool.
Problems abound. In the first, shopper Lauren didn’t actually go into the ‘Mac Store.’ In the second, Giampaolo said he wanted portability, power, battery life. For more money than a MacBook, he got less.
See the problem? There’s a similar problem with Apple’s web page which asks, ‘Which Mac Are You?’ I’m not a Mac. I’m a Mac user.
John Hodgman merely represents the Windows PC. Justin Long represents the Mac. For Apple to imply that a customer must be a Mac is to be as inept as Microsoft.