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Get A Mac ads jump the shark

by Brandon on August 19th, 2008

These may have been kind of cute or clever in the past, misleading as they were.  But now they’re just plain obnoxious.

When I bought my new car last year there was a car salesman at one dealership who only seemed concerned with what other options I was looking at.  He tried to tell me that I shouldn’t buy an Audi because they’re unreliable.  And so were BMWs.  His friend had one and a wheel fell off.  The engines “explode” sometimes he said. 

And you know what?  Maybe he really did have a friend who had a wheel fall off somehow, maybe he left a dealership or a mechanic and they’d forgotten to properly reattach one of them.  I know he didn’t like it when I mentioned I’d heard a similar story years ago from a friend with the brand of car he was trying to sell me.  I also know there were a tiny handful of people who did have problems with the old BMW M3 engines breaking on them (“exploding” being a technically correct, but incredibly misleading characterization).  Years ago I saw a website devoted entirely to people who’d experienced the problem.  There were about 60 of them, who all posted various pictured of their damaged engines for all to see.

There’s also a site like that for TTs.  And one for Mercedes SLs.

The thing is, he was never going to convince me that Audis were “unreliable” since I’d already owned 3 of them – each of which worked magnificently, and the ownership experience was always a great one.  Of course, I never miss any scheduled maintenance and always have any warning lights checked out immediately, which I’m sure greatly reduced the chances I’d have a problem.  He told me, “Well you must be lucky.”  I nearly told him to shove it.

What I really wanted to know when I went there was why I should buy the car he was trying to sell me.  Not why the other ones I told him I liked were bad choices.  It’s strange, but John Hodgeman is starting to remind me of that guy, which is funny because he plays the role of the PC.  But he’s really the only one of the two that even talks in the ads anymore, and he’s always going on about problems “he” has running Vista that I have never seen on any of my machines.

Just like that salesman, these ads are having the opposite of the intended effect on me.  You see, I’m planning to buy a new laptop in the next month or two.  I was waiting to hear what Apple is going to release.  But Dell’s recent announcements have had me start to seriously consider their new machines, like the new Latitude models – and I’ve seen some really nice lightweight Lenovo models recently as well.  So I’ve been torn… do I replace my trusty Macbook with another Mac?  Or do I save money and get a better system from Dell or Lenovo?

Watching these latest Mac ads is actually pushing me even more toward the latter.

From → Other

  1. dovella permalink

    Dell for ever

  2. David permalink

    The Mac adds are taking things to new levels every time it seems like. Like you, they used to be entertaining, but now, not so much. I wish the tech industry would chide Apple for this, but they are the darlings right now. I know of very few other companies that blatantly make fun of other products in the manner they do.

    I’ve been thinking on and off about buying a 13′ Macbook, but am really struggling with giving my money to a company like this.

    I’ve had those experiences with salesman too and am always blown away by it.

  3. Mike permalink

    Unless you have a need to run OS X, there’s no need to put blinders on and ignore a better solution to your needs. Nab a Dell or Lenovo if they hit all your wants and cost less than the Mac. (I’d personally never consider a Macbook, but only because my Tablet PC has spoiled me rotten ^_~ )

    Ugh, Mac ads. I can’t remember the last time they were anything but demeaning and insulting. Sure, a smirk here or there over something that probably wasn’t intended to be hilarious (a certain Switcher ad comes to mind), but overall the message is “Windows sucks, thus OS X is better.” It’s a rather stupid argument (being a logical fallacy and all). Honestly,
    Apple’s ads for their other items are all about what the device can do or how much fun they are, not how much the competition sucks. If they could just do that across the board, I’d at least stop changing the channel every time one of those commercials come up.

    “I know of very few other companies that blatantly make fun of other products in the manner they do.” Actually, I remember the whole Pepsi Challenge ad campaign had the same air to it. Coke has, for years and year, put out ads that basically say “Coke is awesome, wouldn’t you like to have one?” Pepsi, though, comes out with a set of ads saying “Coke sucks! A collage of edited together taste tests prove it!”

  4. Ian permalink

    Yes, the adverts are long-due for the boot. But I wouldn’t recommend making a purchase choice on the quality of the marketing department. Apple obviously are in a minority position and need the aggresive advertising. And in some of the ads, they do speak to frustrations I personally have with Vista, so I can see how the negativity may pay off. But marketing is one thing and technology is another. I wouldn’t give up my macbook for a Dell or a Lenovo, as I simply prefer the hardware (best laptop keyboard for me, two-finger scroll, magnetic lid, elegant power supply that doesn’t end up tangled like mating snakes in my bag, nice case build). I don’t work on Vista so I suppose I wouldn’t take them personally.

  5. Theo Stauffer permalink

    So, did you get a Mac or a “better system”? Lol, trolling your own blog. Really, truly, sad.

    You know, I really detest Mac fanboys, deeply and honestly, because they’re about as blind to the reality of real flaws in Macs and OSX and Apple’s business practice as, (wait for it), you are. I’m a sysadmin for a company that mainly uses Macs both client and server, and I often get incredibly upset about the shoddy, poorly documented junk that Apple releases in its server OS. It’s often just a hodge podge GUI over some OSS software that worked fine before Apple got their black turtle neck sweater paws on it, whereupon it became a rigid, difficult to customise POS.

    I know that working at Microsoft would make posting anything anti-Microsoft or pro-Apple semi-suicidal, but really, try at least to show some impartiality.

  6. Thanks for the feedback, and welcome to my site. As you apparently missed, I’ve posted plenty of positive content about Apple, including early guides about how to run Vista on a Macbook before Bootcamp supported it and various posts about my iPhone, and plenty of praise for things they’ve done well in OS X.

    This post was about their tired ad campaign, which the other commentors (and plenty of people I’ve spoken to in person) agreed with at the time, and still do today.

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