is upping the ante in its bid to boost
market share with a new campaign that speaks directly to Microsoft
The “Real People” campaign from Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple debuts Monday
with eight spots, each of which features an interview with a different
PC-to-Macintosh convert. Designed by longtime Apple agency of record
TBWAChiatDay of Playa Del Rey, Calif. and directed by documentary-maker
Errol Morris, the ads show interviews with consumers that represent the
traditional Mac user: a writer, an illustrator, an interactive producer and
But the ads also feature an IT administrator, a small business owner, and a
programmer — representing areas in which Apple has traditionally been seen
“More people are interested in switching from PCs to Macs than ever before,
and we hope that hearing these successful switchers tell their story will
help others make the jump,” said Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs.
A year ago, at the time of Apple’s retail store launch, Jobs said that the
company’s top priority was expanding its share of the PC market from 5
percent, despite anemic personal computer sales across the board. With the
newest ads, that priority has translated into some eyebrow-raising
advertising: “switcher” campaigns usually tend toward the aggressive — if
not the downright dirty — and Apple’s newest effort accordingly pulls few
punches in making its pitch.
“It’s like being stuck in a bad relationship,” says freelance illustrator
Mark Frauenfelder of his Windows use, in one of the spots.
In another, small business owner Patrick Gant adds, “I’m self-employed, so I
don’t have an IT department, and that’s one of the main reasons I wound up
buying a Mac … I don’t have any of the problems I used to have with a PC.
It doesn’t crash, I don’t have the blue screen of death any more.”
Another interviewee, Aaron Adams, says in a third spot that he works with
Windows all day, “and when I’m tired of fighting with that, I come home to a
Macintosh that works.” The kicker comes as Adams then identifies himself as
a Windows LAN administrator.
Spending for the campaign was not disclosed but it represents Apple’s
largest advertising effort since “Think Different” — featuring pictures of
iconoclastic celebrities, artists and historical figures — debuted in 1998.
The Apple spots will air on ABC, NBC and Fox, including during ABC’s “Boston
24/7” miniseries and NBC’s coverage of the NBA Finals. The ads also will
run on cable networks ESPN, CNBC, Comedy Central, and Fox News.
Print ads supporting the campaign will run in this week’s issues of
Time and Newsweek, and later this month in other magazines.
The computer maker also is reported to be moving Windows PCs into its 30
Apple Retail Stores, for side-by-side comparisons and demonstrations of
The campaign comes on the heels of Apple’s release of its Xserve rack-mount
server last month, designed to better position the company in the enterprise
The company also continues heavily touting its more stable, Unix-based operating
system, OS X — with Apple’s Jobs, ever the showman, dramatically “burying” the
computer maker’s previous operating system during the MacWorld San Francisco
user conference last month. Apple is banking that by encouraging OS X,
based on 4.4BSD and a Mach 3.0 kernel, high-end Unix developers will migrate
to the Macintosh.
Apple Targets PC Users in New Ads