Get-A-Mac Campaign Analysis
Among the beloved and successful advertisement campaign by the Apple Company was the “Get a Mac” series that featured two prominent personalities being used in a way that personified the PC and the Mac. This campaign was created by Apple’s longtime advertisement agency, it was launched in the year 2006 may 2nd , and ended in the year 2009, the campaign had a total of nineteen advertisements. The all-19 advertisements featured “Mac” (a part that was played by the actor Jusin Long) and the personal computer (PC) played by his partner (John Hogman).
In this advertisement campaign, the actors personified the computer products, additionally, the actors had some similarity to the founding fathers, i.e. the PC resembled plump Bill Gates, while the Mac was embodied the youthful Steve Jobs.
The Mac/PC campaign ended up being the most successful campaign of all times by Apple Company. This campaign led to an increase of the company’s market share growth by 42%. The campaign was clear and understandable; the campaign clarified anything a consumer needed to know about the product without overt, from this advertisement, it is recommendable for the advertising firm not to hit the audience over the head with the product but rather explain clearly and precisely the benefits and the important features of the product (Encyclopedia of business, 2009, P. 203)
The target audience to this advertisement campaign was not the loyal PC users but somewhat those who were willing to adopt Apple. In this marketing campaign, loyal PC supporters were not the target. According to the famous marketing principle, it is more likely that the Apple company were looking for the “low-hanging out fruit,” those that have high chances of being picked. The Apple Company targeted mainly the average home personal computer users, the target audiences were those consumers that that are not predominantly technically perceptive and won’t quit hard won, platform particular technology to switch platforms.
Additionally, the Mac/PC campaign targeted those people who do not actively choose a Personal Computer over the Mac, somewhat those who have computers since they do not have any extra option. This advertisement’s target market was not aimed at those people who know more about viruses and have already chosen PC over a Mac. Rather this campaign aimed at those average people who have computers at home to do some work but have no knowledge or information about Mac, when deciding to purchase a computer.
The Apple Company normally targets those people who value quality things at heart; this advertisement is no exception to their tradition either. The advertisement targeted middle/upper income persons who are enthusiastic to recompense more for a quality product and a better user experience rather than those who go for low quality things that are normally short lived. The advertisement was aimed at reaching to those people who are technologically informed; this includes those people who are more conversant with the use of computer features such as webcam, video chatting, and the common social sites that are interesting when using an efficient computer.
The advertisement was aimed at youths whose ages range between 15-25 years, this group constitutes the music enthusiasts and fanatics. Who have passion on entertainment and fun; this campaign also targeted the skilled personnel in the media and design.
Market mix elements
The GAM advertising campaign was a television campaign produced by TBWA/Media Lab purposed for marketing Apple computer. The GAM advertising campaign was shown in Australia, America, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Japan. The advertisement campaign along with its promotions was meant to bring the Apple computer into light against its counterpart (Windows personal computer) so that their product could not only destroy the reputation of its opponent but also increase its sales. As a way of advertisement, the Apple Company associated its product with the celebrities since the celebrities have a strong influence to the community.
Influential tactics that were used.
A number of influential tactics were use by the Apple Company to market its product successfully. This included:
Comparative Advertisement Genre- an advertisement that relates itself with the competition constructively is referred to as a comparative advertisement (Richardson, 2002, p. 45). It is a genre that is increasingly becoming trendy because of the way it influences the human judgment process. Notably, human judgment can easily be manipulated by negative than the positive information. (Stevenson & Maule, 1993, p. 274). A more insightful observation into this campaign of Mac/PC will point out the aggressive undertow in the marketing campaign. The spots in this campaign are visually simple but make it points clear to the audience.
Commentators have established the negative effects of Apple’s comparative marketing campaign, from a comment on the Slate Magazine; this campaign was titled “Apple’s Mean Spirited Advertisement Campaign” Comparative campaigns are known to be very unpredictable, it has the likelihood of creating repercussion effects. However, they are highly effectual when done using the correct method and can explode when poorly conducted (Shimp, 2010, p.270).
Personal Computer (PC) as Aggressor- one way that the Apple Company applied is the use of PC as an occasional personal aggressor. The PC use statements that are annoying whereas its counterpart the Mac’s genius remains polite and pleasant throughout the conversation, often taking the role of supporter or peacemaking. It is a clever but unethical campaign to personify their product as a peacemaker while making that of their counterpart appear to be the troublemaker.
Making the product (Mac) seem friendly and empathetic – the rear side to the PC’s aggression is Mac’s empathy and kindliness. Empathy or goodwill is one of the key fundamentals in credibility (Makay, 1980, p. 31), Mac in this campaign is used to demonstrate goodwill to the consumers, this was considered the most consistent and notable tactic that was used by in the Apple campaign. In one example as shown in TV advertisements under this campaign, Mac is portrayed as a loving and caring about the caretaking, he is shown wiping the nose of his partner the PC. In the whole advertisement, Apple product the Mac is being depicted as that kid that does not have pride but he is in ultimate ease with himself. This was meant to show the target audience that the product would never disappoint you in anyway.
The product presented as humble- the Apple company brags about its product in a way that suggests to the customers that actually the product is the best of all. It personifies the product and depicts it as humble; the company exaggerates the humility in the product to further sweeten the comparative campaign further.
The product s presented as humorous- according to the various commentators, there is a growing trend of humanized advertisements in big businesses currently as compared to more elevated self promotional advertisements of 70’s and 90’s (Msafiri, 2008, p.61). Communication goals of businesses have advanced recently, companies use different tactics to win affection from the target market. In the Mac’s campaign, humor is used as an influential factor to win consumer’s trust and affection, in the campaign, Mac is depicted as a friendly and solicitous towards the competitor the PC, this comparison between the two products is the one referred to as the “nonaggressive direct comparison”. The message in the campaign was deeper in a sense that, all the weaknesses of the PC were plainly played and incorporated. The genius in this campaign is being played under this tactic. The campaign made use of satisfactory concealment so that the commentators could not even notice the slush-and-burn effect that takes place in the customer’s mind after being exposed to such comparative campaign.
Aligning the campaign with prejudice- from the commentator’s analysis, it is clear that the campaign made use of repetitive prejudice of the Mac’s and the PC’s. The campaign should be guilty of reinforcing the stereotypical nature of geek and cool people. This advertisement tries to align the common and carved up stereotypes that exists in the minds of the consumers so as to achieve the best outcome from them.
The “Get a Mac” campaign timeline
The “Get a Mac” (GAM) campaign first appearance was in the year 2006, 2, May. The campaign at its launch had six 30-minutes television advertisements, in June of the same year; three more GAM television advertisements were released. During the August Emmy Awards, there more advertisements were launched. After a short period, three advertisements were launched in the Canadian television program; the same advertisements later appeared in the U. S television in October the same year.
Following the desire to fire one of the advertisement personalities Justin Long, the company carried on a little advertisement activity in early November of the year 2006, this was under the claims that he was not efficiently sympathetic as Mac. In late November, the GAM released three advertisements and one more the ‘Goodwill,’ was launched in December the same year.
The Apple insider testified on August 2006 a few weeks after the campaign’s commencement that the company was planning to launch 20 extra advertisements in addition to the seven advertisements that had already established by the company (Gitman & McDanel, 2009, p. 285).
Effectiveness of the campaign
One of rule of an advertising campaign is that: when a campaign runs for a long time, the all process should realize a successful outcome in the long run. Following the consistent addition of advertisements by the GAM, it is clear that the campaign was successful. The campaign collapse should have resulted to a no supplementary advertisements by the company, the company persistently adding advertisements shows that the campaign was on track all the way.
Prior to the launch of the Mac/PC marketing campaign, in the year 2006, Apple realized a huge sale of the product in the 2005-2006 periods. Immediately after the ‘Get a Mac’ campaign was initiated, the Apple Company realized an increase in the sale of its product by over 200,000. In the year 2006, the company announced a remarkable sale of about 1.3 million Macs; the overall estimated increase in the sales of the company was 19% for the fiscal year.
Generally, it is unfeasible to determine the extent that the sales of the product can be accounted to the campaign, this is because increase of sales can be attributed to many factors that include; Apple switch to Intel processors, market forces or to a strong economy. Sales will therefore not give a clear measure of the campaign effectiveness. Similarly, Apple stock prices cannot be used to measure the GAM campaign effectiveness given that there are many other factors that affect stock prices.
Campaign Backlash and Parody
In any comparative campaign similar to GAM, there must be instances of Backlash, additionally; popular campaigns should have a portion of parody as well (Freitas, 2008). This campaign is no exception, due to its popularity and the negativity towards the PC, this suggesting that the campaign was successful.
- If you are a PC user, the GAM advertisement campaign will infuriate you rather than convert you.
- The advertisement could have the unintended effect on the audience. Some people hate overbearing statements without credible justifications and backings.
- The advertisement got many people angry, but only supplemented to the general media coverage.
Commentators say that backlash and parody is good if your pessimistic advertisements is working and the competitor is feeling the bite off, it is important though unethical since the reactions from the competitor serve to maintain the company’s image in the eye of the target audience (Bausmeitr & Bushmanp, 2011, 240). The following are examples of Parody used by the GAM.
Criticism about the campaign
Most of the comparative campaigns do not consider the effect of their negative comments and prejudice on the counterpart product but rather does everything in favor of their product. The following are some of the criticisms that have been made about GAM campaign.
- The GAM claims of PC’s freezes and inappropriateness are not convincing since the problems mentioned only happened more frequently in the old versions of windows, but not the current ones. This point undoubtedly make realistic psychological sense hence persuades the target market.
- Some commentators criticizes the Mac on the grounds that Mac’s compatibility is overstated, from the research findings, the compatibility of the Mac is more similar to other modern PC applications.
- Most criticisms stem from the comparison of “cool’ and “nerd.” It is contradictory for the Apple Company to term the Mac as cool without credible backing from the customers. It also makes little intellect of the company to expose counterparts’ negative side in order to rise their vending.
- Whereas Mac is considerably unsusceptible to malware, Hackers may be provoked by the GAM, they will therefore write software for Macs. If Mac’s sales rise, malware becomes vulnerable to Macs making it a false claim.
Criticizing the critics
The Apple Company claims that people who do not understand well the advertisement campaign contribute most of the discussions online. Some people see it as fun commenting on the advertisement campaigns, majority of this people do not have the knowledge on the psychology behind the advertisement. From the Slate magazine, the advertisement report card articulated that the advertisement just did not work , based on the view of the company. It reaction to the Slate magazine allegation, the Apple company termed the companies allegations as inadequate.
It is usually important for your target market to know the key features of your product over the other competitors. However, crossing boundaries in a way that impair with the competitors profile is murky. The GAM advertisement campaign prejudicing the windows PC, was unfair on ethical grounds. Comparative advertisement is a good idea for gaining sales, but it is recommendable for the company to proceed with lots of diffidence to avoid any criticisms that may arise because of its campaign.
It could have been recommendable for the GAM campaign to adopt the following in order to avoid any inconveniences and criticism from counterparts.
- The Apple Company could have ensured that the use of PC’s trademark did not bring misunderstanding or take an undue advantage of the trademark.
- It could have been important for the company to generate grounds to validate their claims rather than just mention the weak points of the PC’s with no convincing reason.
- The Apple Company had the liability of clearing the air that there was nothing personal about the campaign then go ahead and bring to light the inadequacy of the PC.
- It is recommendable that a comparative advertising campaign be approached in a way that it will not appear negative. The GAM use of parody is not recommendable since it portrays the other product as inefficient.
Arguably, the comparative campaign by the Apple Company was successful though it was received with many criticisms from both the windows loyal users and the commentators that critically analyzed the claims. Notably, the campaign could have been better and more successful if it adopted a better perspective rather than directly criticizing the counterpart product.
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