Saturday, October 14, 2006

Annoying Boy of the Week: Mac Daddy

I've always found the pc/mac debate mind numbingly boring. It's like arguing about whether you prefer nikes or addidas. They're just stupid brands. You like what you like. Whatever.

But the new mac tv ad campaign is so annoying. You know, the ones that feature a schleby guy in a tie saying he's a PC and a smarmy guy with facial pubes saying he's a mac. I guess we're on the third or fourth commercial by now.
Anyway, the mac commercial I just saw featured supermodel Giselle. Giselle is supposed to represent an i-movie. A hairy, cross dressed man represents the pc movie.

This commercial makes me prefer PCs for the following reasons:

1. If I am asked to chose between schluby and smarmy, I'll take schluby. The mac guy is one of the most obnoxious characters I've ever seen. I hate that type of guy. If you are that that type of guy, cut it out. srsly.

2. If I am asked to chose between a supermodel and a transvestite, I'll take the transvestite; this person is much more socially-radical, and s/he promotes a fluid interpretation of gender. The supermodel is incredibly problematic.

I'm not saying I don't *get* the metaphor. I just think its premise and execution are incredibly annoying. Almost every commercial is offensive and annoying, but people are always talking about how hip and edgy mac's ad-campaigns are. Whatevs. This commercial makes me associate macs are with suburban, smarmy, white boys who think they're cool just because they read pitchfork and like the films of Quentin Tarantino.

Anyway, the new HP commercials with Jay-Z and Pharell are less annoying. And anything is better than those computer commercials that had the blue men pretending to be processors. Yikes. But it seems to me that very few commercials for computers feature women. And most representations of computer use in tv and movies seem to focus on the geeky "computer guy." Thankfully, Veronica Mars is all about the techie ladies, though the main computer whiz on that show is named -- you guessed it -- Mac.


Luke said...

the latest supermodel one is horrible and their older stuff is as well. "Hey PC, this is the new digital camera I bought from Japan!"

i'm a mac user and I can't stand a lot of their brand advertising. I mean, I can understand the jokes they have to make because they have a small share of the computing market...but it just gets annoying at some point.

and ya for Veronica's powerbook! I was always jealous of her powerbook and her school for having all those apple cinema displays...

zp said...

I like how you've made this an annoying boy of the week. My initial reaction to the ads (I think I saw the schlub/smarm as a print ad) was pretty much the same as yours. Noted how the transvestite/supermodel/film is a visual object to be consumed, the schlub/smarm is an active, user subject. But also a visual object, within the framework of the ad.

There are many young people who seem to believe that using a mac is more than just a brand choice and that differences in the way pc and mac products are developed and sold makes using the mac (and being anti-microsoft) a political act. I hear them and all, but I tend to I group these people with those who wish their food eating and buying habits were a meaningful political act . . .

porkmuffin said...

as a mac user i also hate hate hate those ads.

have you noticed on VMars that often times the apple on her mac is obscured? it's obvious 'Ronnie is a mac user, as is Mac, but i think they downplay the branding.

tobishka said...

I haven't seen the trannie/supermodel ad, but I agree the debate is pretty banal, nevermind the commercialization of it...It's also weird that the 'uncool PC guy' is played by a man I find very funny and he makes frequent appearences on the 'cool' Daily Show, so that's weird in and of itself.
I also find the new "AIDS ipod" ridiculous-- the cemmercialization of a disease/charity is gross in and of itself, nevermind the fact that I think a big corporation like Mac should be giving part of their proceeds to charity anyway (i'm fascist like that), they are only giving 10$ from each purchase to the cause-- I have the ability to donate that myself- shouldn't it be more?

Anyway, that was a silly rant. Having said the above, I AM an 'anti-anti-anti mac user' or something....I have always found Macs easier to use, but that's prolly cause I was late to the computer-using thing and 'started' on a mac, so i guess they've "got' me as a consumer-- at least they're not wal-mart(?)...oh, and i just got a new macbook and like it a lot.

Elka said...

well, i'm a macbook user, too, but i found this out after i bought mine (via

Apple makes greats computers, but the iLife isn't quite as harmonious as it might seem. The company lags behind in its recycling program for older computers, and in the elimination of toxic components in new computers. Apple will not recycle its older computers for free, they will only do so if you are buying a new Apple. Even Dell recently announced that, starting in the fall, they will take back all Dell products from individuals worldwide, even if you are not buying a new Dell product. Another important step for Apple would be to facilitate recycling at any of its Apple Stores, instead requiring customers to mail in their computers. As for Apple's newer products, they are mostly free of heavy metals, but their components still contain PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), TBBA (tetrabromobisphenol A) and PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride). See Apple's own statement on materials for details. See also these articles Social Funds and Computer TakeBack Campaign.