Tech News on G4

HELLO - Iím a MAC, and Iím a PC, etc...

May 27, 2008

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gaziní - G4 Canada

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HELLO Ė Iím a MAC, and Iím a PC, etc...I like commercials – well not all commercials. Since 1984, when in an Orwellian fashion Apple introduced Macintosh – and we saw “why 1984, won’t be like 1984”, not only have I been hooked on the Mac but I just can’t get enough of their commercials. So each time a new one comes out, I head straight to Apple’s site, where I can view the latest in 4 sizes including high-definition

Now, unless you’ve been living on an island somewhere with your Commodore 64, without TV or Internet access, you’ve certainly heard – a music box like intro followed by -“Hello, I’m a Mac, and, I’m a PC”.

Visually simple, the majority of the ads feature two guys usually standing against a white background. Mac, played by Justin Long is dressed in very casual clothing with his shirt hanging out. His hands are often in his pocket and he seems to have a day or two of growth on his face. PC, played by John Hodgman, is most often is dressed in typical business attire – a suit, glasses and a puzzled look on his face. Sometimes there are guests, a few suits, a dog, a girl or a cart. 

These simple yet effective ads show the casualness and ease of use of the Mac compared to the complicated, stuffy and often-frustrating annoyances often experienced in when using a PC.

39 AND COUNTING

Part of Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign, there have been 39  “Hello” commercials since 2006. There were 14 in that year, 16, last year in 2007 and 9 so far this year. The latest, entitled Sad Song (Long Version) features PC wearing a cowboy hat accompanied by a bloodhound, strumming an acoustic guitar while singing the Vista Blues.
(If you love these half minutes of hilarious hype as much as I do, stay tuned for another day; we’ll look into the characters and the music behind them)

APPLE UK THINKS DIFFERENT

What’s interesting to note, is that these are US commercials. They can also be seen in a number of countries including our beloved Canada, New Zealand and Australia. In the UK, however, Apple has regionalized the commercials. The Mac and PC characters are similar, but feature 2 UK comedians Robert Webb who plays Mac and David Mitchell who plays PC. The UK ads also feature more localized dialogue using terms like “naughty step”, for an errant unruly child, “tomfoolery” and “humdinger”, but are nonetheless humourous and effective. To find all the UK ads, you need to search YouTube to find them, as they no longer seem to appear on the Apple UK site.

Parodies & Spoofs

When you do something right, it’s only a matter of time before you’re inundated with copycats, parodies and spoofs – the greatest form of flattery. Doing a quick search there are all kinds of comparisons. Some are professionally done copies that rival the originals and merit a look to those that aren’t worth talking about. Some are as short as 20 seconds while others can run into the minutes. There are tons in different shapes and sizes, but here are just a few.

Anything  South Park, will always catch my attention. Here, South Park Mac tries to humour PC, but PC takes a poke at Mac by asking him “Played any good games lately, Mac?”  Mac retaliates by sending a suspicious attachment that triggers a Windows error message- imagine that.

Another is PC gets his revenge. PC gets back at Mac, asking what he’s up to for the weekend – in which Mac replies, without surprise, “Cool stuff, a video for my ultimate team”. PC casually responds that he is taking a bit of time off to going skiing with a friend. The rest is visual. Of course, in this role reversal, PC gets the last laugh.

CBS makes its attempt at parody in Chris Elliot’s Mac vs. PC seen as on the David Letterman show. There are 4 of them.

“Hello…” commercials are not restricted to computers. PC in this case it means Politically Correct, or not, I’ve come across, “Hello I’m a Liberal and I’m a Democrat”, to Daleks from Dr., Who to Hello, I’m Christ follower and I’m a Christian.

Appliances also get into the game and really get silly with PS3 vs. a Toaster.

My Fav – SO FAR!!!

I’ve spent more time that I probably should have, but I admit, I’m still not done. My favourite – so far, has to be the clash of the gaming machine entitled PS/3 vs. WII, as seen on G4TV.  It has nothing to do with the fact that the skit features a voluptuous scantily clad Wii, who likes go-carts and a self-professed multilayered PS/3 with a university degree. Ok, well maybe a little. Women aside this one surely defines the rivalry between any two adversaries. Not to mention, it’s just plain funny!

So now that we’re getting into summer and your favourite boob-tube shows are going into reruns, why not watch the commercials, See how many different ones you can find and tell me which one is your favourite!

 

 

Greg Gazin can be reached at gadgetguy “at” telus “dot” net.

About G4 in Canada
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