What they’re saying about the new Mac ads

With Apple’s new Mac TV campaign now out for a week, comments have been flying over whether the ads—which use a hopelessly unhip man to personify the PC and a groovy, unshaven, twentysomething to represent the Mac—do too much preaching to the converted. Over at CNET’s news.com, Mike says, “I can see how some PC users may be offended by these adds [sic], but then again it sometimes takes a slap in the face to make some people come to their senses…” Another news.com commenter writes, “Mac fanatics are religious fanatics who love and worship everything Apple and hate everything Windows. It’s really weird. I’d never own a Mac.” Meanwhile, much of the staff of Apple Matters has posted comments about the campaign. Says Greg Ng, "Apple has fallen into the same trap once again—putting out ads that are highly amusing to existing Apple users. … I know, let’s try to convert PC users by representing them as big, bald, and unhip!” One reader of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Microsoft blog, strangely, uses the Mac ads as a chance to express an apparently deep-seated hatred of the Geico gecko: “The advertising is not too insulting; at least they don’t use a talking gecko spouting philosophy and business advertising psychology, who talks down to anything that is thinking and could reply to this dribble.” As for what the experts think, BusinessWeek’s Arik Hesseldahl says that the ads—particularly the one claiming that Macs are less susceptible to viruses—“served as the starting gun for another round of the endless debates in computer-security circles over how secure the Mac actually is.” He notes that the first thing on a list released last week by the SANS Institute of the 20 important trends in Internet security is “rapid growth in critical vulnerabilities being discovered in Mac OS X." Apple, and its agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day, might be relieved to know that Hesseldahl disputes the notion.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor