Apple’s ‘Get a Mac,’ the Complete Campaign

Hodgman and Long, ad characters for the ages

Steve Jobs could sell. He did it in person, he did it on stage, and he did it on television—in the form of advertising campaigns that were often the envy of the business. Among the most beloved was the long-running "Get a Mac" series with John Hodgman and Justin Long as the bumbling PC and the hip, unflappable Mac—an odd couple who would entertain viewers for years with their quips, barbs, sight gags, and one-liners. In 2010, Adweek declared "Get a Mac" to be the best advertising campaign of the first decade of the new century. Below are all 66 TV spots (plus the long version of 2008's "Sad Song") that aired during the campaign's run, from May 2006 to October 2009. All 66 ads were directed by Phil Morrison of Epoch Films for TBWA Media Arts Lab.

  1. Better
    Better
    Click to view.May 2006. Mac admits PC is good at business stuff like spreadsheets, while he's better at "life" stuff like photos, music, and movies. PC doltishly asks Mac what he means by "better." Hodgman trips up a little on his second line—an amateurish moment that wouldn't be repeated.
  2. iLife
    iLife
    Click to view.May 2006. PC is seen rocking out to an iPod and praising iTunes. Mac replies that the rest of the iLife suite works just as well and comes on every Mac. PC defensively responds by listing the cool apps that he comes with, but can only identify Calculator and Clock.
  3. Network
    Network
    Click to view.May 2006. Mac and PC, holding hands to demonstrate their ability to network with each other, are joined by a Japanese woman who represents a new digital camera. Mac and the camera speak to each other fluently, but PC, lacking the proper driver, is utterly confused and unable to communicate.
  4. Restarting
    Restarting
    Click to view.May 2006. Mac and PC explain how they both have a lot in common, like running Microsoft Office, but their discussion is hampered by PC's unfortunate habit of freezing and restarting.
  5. Viruses
    Viruses
    Click to view.May 2006. PC has caught a virus and is clearly under the weather. He warns Mac to stay away from him, citing 114,000 known viruses that infect PCs. But Mac isn't worried, as viruses don't affect him. PC then announces that he's going to crash and falls backward onto the floor.
  6. Wall Street Journal
    Wall Street Journal
    Click to view.May 2006. Mac is reading a favorable review of himself by Walt Mossberg in The Wall Street Journal. PC then claims that he also received a great review but is flummoxed when Mac asks for details. PC says the review came from the esteemed Awesome Computer Review Weekly.
  7. Out of the Box
    Out of the Box
    Click to view.June 2006. Mac and PC, still in their boxes, talk about what they'll do when they get unpacked. Mac says he'll get started right away, but PC, who's doing exercises, is held up by tedious startup tasks. Mac hops away, leaving PC waiting for other parts of himself that are in other boxes.
  8. Touché
    Touché
    Click to view.June 2006. Mac tells PC that he can run both OS X and Windows, making him the only computer you'll ever need. "Oh … touché," PC says. Mac says PC is using the word "touché" the wrong way. PC listens intently, then moronically misuses the word again.
  9. Work vs. Home
    Work vs. Home
    Click to view.June 2006. Mac says he enjoys doing fun stuff like podcasts and movies. PC says he also does fun stuff, like spreadsheets and pie charts. Mac thinks it might be difficult to capture a family vacation on a pie chart. "Not true," says PC, who shows off just such a chart.
  10. Accident
    Accident
    Click to view.August 2006. PC, who's all banged up, explains that he fell off his desk when someone tripped over his power cord. Mac says his magnetic power cord allows it to simply pop off. PC then recalls seeing his life flash before his eyes, which Mac recognizes as the Windows wallpaper.
  11. Angel/Devil
    Angel/Devil
    Click to view.August 2006. Mac gives an iPhoto picture book to PC to inspect. Angel and devil versions of PC appear behind him. The angel tells PC to compliment Mac, while the devil prods him to destroy the book. In the end, PC says the book is nice, but he's clearly haunted by the apparitions.
  12. Trust Mac
    Trust Mac
    Click to view.August 2006. Trying to hide from spyware, PC is seen wearing a trench coat, a fedora, dark glasses, and a false mustache. He offers Mac a disguise, but Mac declines, saying he doesn't have to worry about such things with OS X. Hodgman is clearly cracking Long up in this spot.
  13. Better Results
    Better Results
    Click to view.October 2006. The campaign gets a dose of celebrity, as supermodel Gisele Bündchen is called on to represent a home movie made on a Mac. PC's movie, meanwhile, is represented by dude in a blond wig and a dress like Bündchen's. PC says his movie is a work in progress.
  14. Counselor
    Counselor
    Click to view.October 2006. PC and Mac visit a therapist. Mac finds it easy to compliment PC ("You are a wizard with numbers, and you dress like a gentleman"), but PC's resentment gets the better of him. The therapist would return 18 months later in the "Breakthrough" spot.
  15. Self-Pity
    Self-Pity
    Click to view.October 2006. Mac is seen wearing a suit for a change, and he explains that he does work stuff, too, and has been running Microsoft Office for years. Upon hearing this, PC becomes despondent and collapses on the floor, begging to be left alone to depreciate.
  16. Gift Exchange
    Gift Exchange
    Click to view.November 2006. Mac and PC exchange gifts for the holidays. PC, who is hoping for a C++ GUI programming guide, is disappointed to receive an iPhoto album of images from previous "Get a Mac" ads. Meanwhile, PC gives Mac the C++ GUI programming guide, and Mac is just as disappointed.
  17. Meant for Work
    Meant for Work
    Click to view.November 2006. Haggard and covered in stickers, PC complains that he's being worn out by kids trying to use him to make movies and blogs, when he's really made for balancing checkbooks. He says he cries himself to sleep mode every night. He then trudges off to listen to some emo.
  18. Sales Pitch
    Sales Pitch
    Click to view.November 2006. "Hello, I'm a Mac," says Mac. "And BUY a PC," says PC, who explains that he has to be more forceful with his marketing, now that Mac is getting more popular. PC is reduced to spouting infomercial clichés and holding up signs that read "Amazing!" and "Totally cool!"
  19. Goodwill
    Goodwill
    Click to view.December 2006. Wrapping up their first year together, Mac and PC agree to put aside their differences for the holiday season. But PC slips and says Mac wastes his time with "frivolous pursuits." Mac is the bigger man, though, and suggests that they "pull it into hug harbor."

  1. Sabotage
    Sagotage
    Click to view.January 2007. PC introduces himself, but in Mac's place is an impostor, who's clearly been hired by PC to say bad things about Macs. The guy recites poorly memorized line to flatter PC. The real Mac arrives soon after, and the impostor Mac says he's a big fan.
  2. Surgery
    Surgery
    Click to view.January 2007. PC, seen in a hospital gown, explains that he is upgrading to Windows Vista, which requires "major surgery" internally. PC admits he is worried about the process and bequeaths his peripherals to Mac should he not survive.
  3. Tech Support
    Tech Support
    Click to view.January 2007. A technician is set to install a webcam on PC, using masking tape to attach it to his head. PC is extremely pleased, but upon hearing that Mac has a built-in webcam, he storms off without waiting for the camera to be fully installed.
  4. Security
    Security
    Click to view.February 2007. The campaign really hits its stride here, as PC is a joined by a tall Secret Service-style bodyguard, who represents Vista's much-criticized new security feature. He intrusively demands that PC cancel or allow every incoming or outgoing interaction he has with Mac.
  5. Computer Cart
    Computer Cart
    Click to view.April 2007. PC and three of his kind sit on a computer cart, waiting for be fixed after getting error messages from Vista. Mac explains that he doesn't get cryptic error messages. PC figures he'll be back, but isn't confident about the PC with the fatal error. "He's a goner," PC whispers.
  6. Flashback
    Flashback
    Click to view.April 2007. Mac asks PC if he'd like to see a Web site and home movie he made. This provokes a flashback to when they were kids: When Mac asks PC if he'd like to see some artwork he did, PC uses a calculator to gauge the time he just wasted. Back in the present, PC does the same thing again.
  7. Stuffed
    Stuffed
    Click to view.April 2007. A hilariously rotund PC enters, explaining that all his trial software is fattening him up and slowing him down. Mac says he only comes with the software you want. As PC gets to center stage, Mac begins his intro again, but PC says he's forgotten something and slowly leaves.
  8. Choose a Vista
    Choose a Vista
    Click to view.May 2007. The campaign continues to hammer on Windows Vista. Confused about which of the six versions of Vista to get, PC spins a big game wheel. "Come on, big operating system!" he cries. But he lands on Lose a Turn, and Mac questions why that space is even on the wheel.
  9. Genius
    Genius
    Click to view.May 2007. Mac introduces PC to one of the Apple Geniuses from the Apple Store. PC tests the Genius, starting with math questions. He eventually asks her, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much he loathes Mac. To which she answers: "11." PC responds: "She's good. Very good."
  10. Party Is Over
    Party Is Over
    Click to view.May 2007. PC throws a party celebrating Vista, but it's a sad affair. He complains to Mac that after upgrading, he can't use some of his old software and peripherals. PC then talks with another partygoer about throwing another party in five years, but they can't agree on a day.
  11. Boxer
    Boxer
    Click to view.November 2007. PC is introduced as a boxer, and says he's not going down without a fight. Mac says it's not a competition, that people just want a computer that's simpler and more intuitive. The ring announcer then admits his brother-in-law got a Mac and loves it.
  12. Podium
    Podium
    Click to view.November 2007. PC stands at a podium like a politician, urging those who are having compatibility problems with Vista to just buy new hardware. ("It's not about what Vista can do for you, it's what you can buy for Vista.") But he then admits to Mac that he himself downgraded to Windows XP.
  13. PR Lady
    PR Lady
    Click to view.November 2007. Mac and PC are joined by a PR woman, whom PC has hired to put a positive spin on Windows Vista. But PC keeps shooting himself in the foot. The PR woman helps him out, but when he says people are switching to Mac, all she can muster is a meek "No comment."
  14. Misprint
    Misprint
    Click to view.December 2007. PC is on the phone with PC World, attempting to report a misprint that said Macs can run Windows Vista faster than PCs do. PC says that's impossible, but Mac says it's true. PC then says he'll put Mac on the phone to sort things out, but then he impersonates Mac.
  15. Now What?
    Now What?
    Click to view.December 2007. PC shows off his new book, I Want to Buy a Computer … Now What? to help people navigate the buying process. Mac says Apple Stores are there to help, before and after a purchase. PC says he thought of that and brings out another volume, I Just Bought a Computer … Now What?
  16. Santa Claus
    Santa Claus
    Click to view.December 2007. The campaign gets animated for the holidays, with PC and Mac joined by Santa Claus to sing "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." PC spoils the song by inserting a sales pitch. "That's how I learned it," he says.

  1. Referee
    Referee
    Click to view.January 2008. PC brings in a referee to make sure Mac plays by the rules and doesn't keep saying Leopard is better and faster than Vista. Mac says the Wall Street Journal said that. PC complains, but the referee sides with Mac ejecting PC, who has nowhere to go.
  2. Time Machine
    Time Machine
    Click to view.January 2008. The first spot in the campaign to truly focus on a Mac feature. Instead of one Mac, we see 10, who represent Time Machine, a Leopard feature that regularly backs up your hard drive. PC admit it's awesome, and receives a load of thank yous.
  3. Breakthrough
    Breakthrough
    Click to view.April 2008. The therapist from 2006's "Counselor" ad is back. This time, she tells PC that he's not to blame for his problems—that it's the result of clunky software and hardware. "It's not my fault!" PC keeps repeating, but then his breakthrough is compromised when he says, "It's Mac's fault!"
  4. Office Stress
    Office Stress
    Click to view.April 2008. As Microsoft Office 2008 is released for the Mac, PC gives Mac a stress toy for him to use when he gets overwhelmed. But in fact it's PC who is overwhelmed by stress over Mac's ability to run the Office software, and he puts the stress toy to good use himself.
  5. Yoga
    Yoga
    Click to view.April 2008. Continuing the stress theme, PC is seen doing yoga to try to relax after a tough year of dealing with that "bad Vista energy." But the yoga instructor complains that Vista screwed up her billing practices, and she storms off. PC considers switching to pilates.
  6. Group
    Group
    Click to view.May 2008. PC attends a support group for PCs living with Vista. The other PCs there tell him to take it one day at a time. One of them seems to be doing well, and says he's been error-free for a week. But then he repeats the line over and over, clearly needing to be rebooted.
  7. Pep Rally
    Pep Rally
    Click to view.May 2008. Hodgman takes one for the team, as PC becomes a cheerleader, ready to "fight, fight fight!" as Mac gains popularity on college campuses. But the cheerleaders cheer, "Mac's No. 1!" After PC complains, they cheer, "PC's No. 2!"
  8. Sad Song
    Sad Song (Short)
    Click to view.May 2008. (Short version.) PC says Vista has him feeling down, so he sings a short country song called the "Vista Blues." Mac doesn't want to hear it, but PC goes ahead anyway. (Long has a pretty funny reaction shot during the song.) A hound dog howls at the end, which Mac admits is a nice touch.

    Sad Song (Long)
    Click to view.(Long version.) This extended version has more verses and brings back the profile camera angle not seen since the first batch of spots in 2006. At the end, Mac asks PC if the dog is his. It isn't.

  9. Calming Teas
    Calming Teas
    Click to view.August 2008. Hitting the stress theme yet again, PC says he's come up with a line of calming teas to make things a little easier for PC users frustrated by Vista's annoyances. Mac says they should move on to some other topic. So, PC also introduces some new bath salts.
  10. Off the Air
    Off the Air
    Click to view.August 2008. A Mac Genius says it's easier than ever to switch to a Mac, as Apple can switch a PC's files to a new Mac for free. PC objects to this news, saying, "Fear of switching is the foundation of customer loyalty for PCs." He pulls a cover over the camera and says they're off the air.
  11. Pizza Box
    Pizza Box
    Click to view.August 2008. PC tries to attract college students returning to school by posing as a free box of pizza. He mentions once again that Macs are the No. 1 notebook on college campuses, but figures if he masquerades as free pizza, he still has a shot.
  12. Throne
    Throne
    Click to view.August 2008. Sitting in a king's robes on a throne, PC says he isn't worried about losing his "subjects" because switching computers is such a hassle. Mac reminds PC that Apple can switch a PC user's files over to a Mac for free. PC then declares Mac banished.
  13. Bake Sale
    Bake Sale
    Click to view.October 2008. The first of two spots criticizing Microsoft for airing the expensive "I'm a PC" ad campaign instead of spending the money to fix Vista. PC tries to raise his own money for a Vista fix by having a bake sale. He gets Mac to bite into a cupcake, then says it costs $10 million.
  14. Bean Counter
    Bean Counter
    Click to view.October 2008. Continuing the theme of "Bake Sale." PC is seen doing some budgeting, but he allocates the vast majority of the money to advertising rather than fixing Vista. Mac says the ratios seem off, and PC agrees, reallocating the Vista money to advertising.
  15. V Word
    V Word
    Click to view.October 2008. PC says a decision has been made to stop referring to the troubled Vista operating system by name, calling it simply "Windows" instead. He uses a red buzzer to interrupt Mac whenever he tries to say the word Vista, but has trouble when Mac says it a few times fast.
  16. I Can Do Anything
    I Can Do Anything
    Click to view.December 2008. Animated Mac and PC return, and PC is pleased, because he can do anything, like talk to animals. A bunny hops past, and PC asks where he's going. Off to the Apple Store for some last-minute gifts, says the bunny. PC responds by dumping a snowman head on him.
  17. Tree Trimming
    Tree Trimming
    Click to view.December 2008. Animated Mac and PC are seen decorating a Christmas tree. Much as they did in 2006's "Goodwill," they appear to be setting aside their differences in the spirit of the holidays. But once again, PC ruins it, this time by writing "PC Rules" in lights on the tree.

  1. Biohazard Suit
    Biohazard Suit
    Click to view.April 2009. The campaign revisits the issue of PC viruses directly for the first time since the "Viruses" spot in May 2006. PC appears wearing a biohazard suit to protect himself from viruses and malware. He eventually takes mask off to hear Mac better, then shrieks and puts it back on.
  2. Legal Copy
    Legal Copy
    Click to view.April 2009. PC tries to say positive things about himself, but every time he does, a bunch of legal disclaimers appear on the screen. Eventually he says PCs are now 100 percent trouble-free, and the legal copy fills the whole screen.
  3. Stacks
    Stacks
    Click to view.April 2009. A rare moment (like 2008 "Time Machine") in which a spot is built around a specific Mac feature. This time, it's the "Faces" option in iPhoto, which recognizes faces. Lacking this feature, PC resorts to flipping through his thousands of photos one by one.
  4. Time Traveler
    Time Traveler
    Click to view.April 2009. PC uses a time machine to travel to the year 2150 to see if PCs have resolved their major issues like freezing and crashing and are as hassle-free as Macs. But as soon as PC arrives, future PC freezes, which answers the question.
  5. Customer Care
    Customer Care
    Click to view.May 2009. This spot returns to the theme of how helpful Mac Geniuses can be. Asked if PCs have something similar, PC thinks back to endless frustrating phone calls he's had with customer care over the phone. "Eh, it's about the same," he tells Mac.
  6. Elimination
    Elimination
    Click to view.May 2009. The campaign addresses Microsoft's "Laptop Hunters" ads directly by introducing Megan, who's looking for the perfect PC. She has lots of demands, but her insistence that the computer have no viruses, crashes or headaches sends all the PCs fleeing.
  7. PC Choice Chat
    PC Choice Chat
    Click to view.May 2009. PC gets his own radio talk show called PC Choice Chat, offering advice on which computer to get. But each caller wants something he can't deliver—a virus-free machine or Mac Genius support. The final caller says he's getting a Mac, and PC hangs up on him.
  8. Surprise
    Surprise
    Click to view.August 2009. Mac appears alone with a customer, who asks him what kind of computer she should buy. He tells her she should buy a PC no matter what. After she leaves, Mac peels off his mask, revealing himself to be PC in disguise. The real Mac arrives and says, "I don't even wanna ask."
  9. Top of the Line
    Top of the Line
    Click to view.August 2009. PC and Mac appear with a customer who's looking for a new computer. PC introduces her to the "top of the line" PC, played by Patrick Warburton. But when she says she doesn't want thousands of viruses and tons of headaches, he says she's asking for too much.
  10. Trainer
    Trainer
    Click to view.August 2009. PC is seen doing sit-ups, as a personal trainer barks at him. PC explains that it's been a rough time, with lots of accolades for Mac, so he working out to get back in shape. He asks the trainer for some positive reinforcement, so the trainer compliments Mac.
  11. PC Innovations Lab
    PC Innovations Lab
    Click to view.September 2009. PC introduces some advances made in the "PC Innovations Lab," like bubble wrap to protect the machines and a long cord instead of a better battery. One PC has a very special addition: cup holders. PC takes a cup and says, "Cheers! To innovation!"
  12. Broken Promises
    Broken Promises
    Click to view.October 2009. The final three spots of 2009 focused on the newly released Windows 7. Here, PC is happy to announce the software's release, and says it won't have any of the problems his last operating system had. Mac feels like he's heard that before, and we see he has.
  13. PC News
    PC News
    Click to view.October 2009. Acting as a news anchor, PC goes "live to the Windows 7 launch" but is shocked to see people upgrading to a Mac, since they have to migrate their files anyway. PC: "Let's go to a commercial." Mac: "We are a commercial." PC: "Let's go to another commercial."
  14. Teeter Tottering
    Teeter Tottering
    Click to view.October 2009. A woman holding a box of her belongings says she's excited for the upgrade. PC figures she's talking about Windows 7, so he tries to grab the box. But she's decided to go with Mac instead, which she says would be "the real fresh start."