The Devil’s Advocate: Is Apple or Microsoft more insulting to users of the other brand with their ad campaigns?

In Columns, Opinion

By Eric Broude

Daily Titan Staff Writer

It’s difficult to trust television commercials these days. Ad agencies will stoop to any means to try and trick viewers into buying their products.

The war between Apple and Microsoft over the world of computers has been an ongoing struggle and some people may not know what to believe.

Apple commercials use misinformation to push the idea that Macs are better than PCs.

Their infamous “I’m a Mac I’m a PC” commercials are filled with messages that either don’t give the whole story.

For example, many of these commercials talk about how many viruses PCs have and claim that Macs are entirely virus-free. This is entirely misleading. It is no more difficult to program a virus for a Mac than it is for a PC. The only reason there are more viruses for Windows machines is that Microsoft owns 95 – 97 percent of the market.

The people who design computer viruses aren’t going to go through the trouble of designing a virus that only targets 3 – 5 percent of all computer users.

Many of these ads simply use psychology to undermine the viewers’ beliefs about Windows. They present an argument from the Mac’s point of view and have the “PC” fail to address the argument.

This gives the viewer the message that there is no reasonable response to said argument. It is meant to make the viewer forget that the “PC” is not someone who actually represents Microsoft. It’s just an actor hired by Apple.

Microsoft commercials, on the other hand, don’t spend their time attacking the competition. Instead, they focus on the customer, a much more honest strategy. The “Laptop Hunter” line of commercials have a simple premise.

A consumer is offered a certain amount of money with which they can use on a laptop. The consumer is always shown looking at both Windows machines and Apple products and, of course, they always choose the former.

However, the reasons for their decision are always explained on camera. In one commercial, for example, “Lauren” specifies that she wants a computer with at least a 17-inch screen at less than $1,000. When she is shown checking the Apple computers, she finds that they only offer one computer for under $1,000, and it has a 13-inch screen.

A quick check to the Apple Web site shows that the cheapest Mac with a 17-inch screen starts at $2,499.

By the end of the commercial, Lauren has purchased an HP computer with her preferred screen size for $699.

Simple. Clear. No lies.

By Skylar Smith

Daily Titan Staff Writer

Before I put my thoughts to text, let me just make one thing clear: I am writing this on an Asus laptop running on Microsoft Vista and plan on building my own very powerful gaming PC in the future, so therefore have nothing major against the “PC” world.

In fact, I support it and have no problem wading through the aisles of products to build the perfect PC for me.

However, what I do have a problem with is the Microsoft users who claim that Mac users are “idiots” when it comes to technology because they use a simpler operating system, or because their hardware is lacking but costs more.

To put it simply, Mac knows how to make a quality product, there is a lot of research that goes into the process, and most professionals in fields such as graphic design, animation, video editing and sound editing agree that Macs are the way to go.

So what if Mac’s advertising is a bit one-sided, that’s why it’s an advertisement and not a news story. The Mac and its OS are meant to be simple, easy to use and offer an expansive number of options to any type of user. It is literally the computer anyone can use – except for Windows elitists apparently.

As far as the price point issue, Macs are more expensive because they are well built, secure and well designed.

Mac hardware is specifically built to run on Mac software, and because Macs do not allow for much hardware customization, it means the OS can focus less on adapting to the user and more to usability.

Macs are therefore more expensive because everything is Apple designed and approved.

But people are willing to pay for this security.

Because of this, the OS runs all programs much smoother, which is why major software companies such as Adobe regard them so highly and why professionals prefer the Mac OS.

Some people buy a crappy Toyota because it’s cheap to upgrade and customize it to their own standards. Some people buy a Porche or a BMW not because it is expensive but because they trust that, in its stock state, it is still secure, will last a long time and can perform well.

Advertising is advertising, get over it. Mac knows that some Windows users get upset and playing off that rivalry is great advertising. This does not mean Mac is a propaganda machine.

Underneath all the hype, advertising and “Mac vs. PC” state of mind, Macs are quality machines, made by a company that consistently produces quality products, which is why people pay more to begin with.

6 commentsOn The Devil’s Advocate: Is Apple or Microsoft more insulting to users of the other brand with their ad campaigns?

  • Mac advertising is obnoxious, especially since macs are PCs. Once ye’old hipsters of the computer world started using intel chips they no longer had any claim of being different. So you’ll say oh well they use a different operating system, yeah well so do linux based system (ubuntu anyone?). Price for price the build quality of Macs is equal to their non-marketing hyped equivalents. Sure there are reasons to buy a Mac, but most of those are the result industry platform choices. The Porsche and BMW vs Toyota comparison isn’t a valid one either. There are plenty of high end Windows based systems that still price for price outstrip Macs. There are even some that are even more marketing driven than Macs are– Alienware.

    So enjoy your hype and a lighter pocketbook.

  • Macs and PCs are completely different. Macs are sleek and interactive, and graphically stimulating. PCs however are dull and boring, there is nothing exiting about them, sure you can use programs like photoshop and what not to make them more fun, but really all they are good for is writing, and makeing spreadsheets. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind PCs too much, I have one. But I also have a Mac. The only reason I even get on my PC ever is 1) to play Sims, which is a PC version, 2) to listen to music, because the speakers are louder. Other then that all of the things I need to do, get on the internet, write a term paper, etc. I can do on a Mac.
    Plus, the simple act of doing things on a Mac is easier. If you have a lot of programs running, you can set it so that they all come up on the screen at the flick of the mouse, you can also make it so they clear the screen, just as easy. Also, Macs have constant spell check. No matter where you type it has spell check on. You will never make a spelling mistake ever again. I find them incredibly fun and functional.

  • Eric is a perfect example of a person who builds a case on incomplete information, coming to conclusions that sound correct but aren’t.

    Anyone who has to be in the position of using a PC at a job all day, and who has a Mac at home or at another job, requiring extended use of both platforms, will tell you they come to hate using a PC and appreciate their Mac more each day. The difference is is beyond tolerance.

  • Mac loves are boring and uninteresting people that buy into corporate marketing like ignorant sheep. PC platforms can do everything Macs can do, do it for cheaper, and when you’re done doing all your work, hey you can even play a video game! Hell, whenever I go to use a computer in the library I’ll find all the PCs are filled up, with people waiting, despite a row or two of Macs open for use.

  • Apple has shown itself to be a very creative company. Its too bad that its applying its creativity to Mac vs PC ads when it could apply it to more creative ads as it did before. Don’t know what the ads have done for its market share, but I for one, will no longer buy Apple products.

  • I have a list of companies I will never purchase from because of their commercials (sometimes among other things). That list includes McDonalds, Chevrolet, and Apple. I have no problem with macs by default, but those commercials are annoying.

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