Apple, Inc.’s Get a Mac – Security television advertisement campaign is part of the Get a Mac series that recounts the derisions a Windows PC receives in relation to Windows Vista’s new security features. Apple’s purpose is to convey the message that this security feature slows down interactions between a PC and a Mac computer, or any other computer for that matter, as it needs authorization from the PC whether to continue with the interface or not. The Apple advertisement adopts a mocking and humorous tone to appeal to would-be buyers of computers who have yet to decide on what to get for themselves, thus, presenting another option other than the standard personal computer (Neal).
The advertisement begins with a greeting from “Mac” (played by Justine Long) followed by a confirmation message by a Secret Service Agent look-alike bodyguard that relays the message to “PC” (played by John Hodgman). The Secret Service Agent’s role represents Vista’s security feature that screens all “incoming and outgoing interaction [that PC] has with Mac” (Nudd). After the message is relayed, PC replies, “Allow. And I’m a PC” to introduce himself as well. This exchange commences the short bantering between Mac and PC, where Apple attempts to establish the flaw in how the security system works. It gives emphasis to this idea by showing how the Security Service Agent intervenes right away even before PC could respond and introduce himself. Again, the Apple advertisement highlights this part by repeating the Security Service Agent’s intervention and asking for confirmation of action before sending the message to Mac, with PC showing a bored look on his face. This gives the reader an understated idea about the issues confronting the PC.
In the succeeding scene, PC explains the situation to Mac after Mac asks, “What gives?”, saying that it is part of his new operating system, Vista, and how it constantly checks his activities considering that PC’s have a lot of security issues. All these occur while the Security Agent intrudes in the conversation. Having established the role of the Security Agent in PC’s every move, the Apple advertisement further institutes how the security feature affects PC’s speed and performance as gauged from the look on PC’s face including his hand movements. Through the image depicting Mac’s perplexed expression and PC’s annoyed look, the reader gets a sense of what the Apple advertisement wants to convey, that is, how Mac is faster, more reliable, and intuitive to use than the PC mainly due to the security feature of the Vista OS. The advertisement employs various techniques to further stress a point, such as repetition and use of declarative statements (for PC) where both long and short sentences are utilized interchangeably.
The final scenes were exchanges between the OS and the PC alone where PC’s tone changes from patience in explaining his side to a defeated tone. The language of the text is plain but loaded with computer-related terms and jargons that may be confusing for non-computer users. Despite this fact, the simplicity of the presentation of the advertisement sways the readers to think that Mac is a better option than the PC even without the benefit of much conversation lines from Mac. What the Apple advertisement achieved is that through subtle comparative techniques and by allowing PC to do all the “talking”, Mac comes out the winner by focusing on the limitations and the negative points of the PC’s Windows Vista OS. In this regard, even without badmouthing the competitor product, Mac appeals to the readers’ attitude when it comes to decisions when buying products.
With a derisive and humorous tone, the Apple advertisement appeals to a certain type of audience that may not necessarily own any type of computer at the moment, but who are considering to get one for themselves. With the use of subtle comparisons, carefully worded conversations, emphasis on limitations of the competitor product, and use of repetition techniques, the Get a Mac – Security advertisement comes across as an effective marketing tool in swaying readers to get Mac instead of the traditional PCs.
Neal, Richard. “Get a Mac Ads: The Good, The Bad, and the C++ GUI Programming Guide.” Gigaom. Web. 2 Feb 2013.
Nudd, Tim. “Apple’s ‘Get a Mac’, the Complete Campaign.” Adweek. Web. 2 Feb 2013.