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Media Campaign Assignment On MAC VS. PC Advertising


In this task of media campaign assignment, you are to find an existing advertising media campaign that uses a unique or innovative approach in communicating with the target audience. Address the following questions based on the chosen advertising media campaign.

  1. What is the objective of the campaign? Who are they targeting?
  2. How effective is the chosen advertising media campaign in reaching and engaging with the intended target audience?
  3. How is the advertising media campaign different from competitors/past campaigns? How is it being integrated into the overall advertising campaign, if any?
  4. Does the campaign support the notion of advertising media evolution in terms of both content and contact with the consumer? Explain.


The present media campaign assignment focuses on “advertising” which is one of the most crucial activities to be performed by a business firm. The products or services developed for the customers need to be properly advertised in order to capture the customer interests. Advertising provides the opportunity to directly interact with the customers. With the development and advancements in technology, there are new forms of advertising channels and mechanisms emerging in the market.

The Mac vs. PC campaign launched in 2006 is analysed to determine its objective, target audience, effectiveness, innovation, and content and contact with the customer.

Objective and Target Audience
The objective of the Mac vs PC campaign was to encourage people to shift to Mac in place of their PCs. The objective was to highlight the numerous benefits provided by Mac and compare the same with PCs to explain the edge that can be attained with the use of Mac.

Apple came up with the first Get-a-Mac (GAM) campaign on 2nd May, 2006. In the initial year of this campaign, there were 19 advertisements that were developed and the creative advertising agency behind the work was TBWA/Chiat/Day (Rhoads, 2007). At the end of four years of the campaign, a total of 66 advertisements were launched with the sole objective of people getting a Mac for themselves.

The 66 commercials that were launched included Mac portrayed by actor Justin Long and PC were played by John Hodgman. Mac, by Justin Long had resemblance with younger Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple. PC was dressed as Bill Gates. The various issues and troubles that the users face with PCs were enacted in these advertisements with showcasing the wide range of capabilities and benefits of Mac (Benoit & Delbert, 2016).

The target audience of the campaign was not entirely meant to be tech-savvy people. Rather, the campaign was launched for the individuals that were using the PCs but were not aware of the other options in store for them. The campaign was launched keeping the average person in perspective that may not have detailed information of the technological world or the security concerns with the PCs. It was to put in the thought of getting a Mac forward.

Effectiveness of the Campaign
After the initial commercials of the campaign, the sales of Mac increased by 12% in the first quarter of the campaign. The last quarter of 2006 witnessed the record-breaking sales of 1,600,000 Macs marking a rise of 39%. During the entire four years of the campaign involving 66 commercials, the sales kept on increasing at good margins.

The success and effectiveness of the campaign can also be measured from the runtime of the campaign. The campaign continued for over four years with first commercial launched on 2nd May 2006. Three more advertisements were released after a month on June 12th, 2006. On August 27th, 2006, three more advertisements were launched running in Emmy awards as well. The number of advertisements was then released at frequent intervals to maintain the stir in the market. The last advertisement of 2006 was released in December and it was named Goodwill (Murphy, 2015).

The following graph is included to show the Mac sales and the effectiveness of the GAM campaign.

Mac in media campaign 1

Mac Sales Figures

It can be seen from the graph that March and April of 2006 witnessed drop in the sales of Mac. However, it witnessed sudden spikes from May when the GAM campaign was launched with the release of its first advertisement. In June, there were approximately 200k Macs sold with record sales in September and December.

Differences from the past Campaigns – Integration in overall Advertising Campaign
The GAM campaign was a new strategy that was not followed by other firms in the past. When the campaign was launched PCs were suffering from a few significant concerns. The most critical out of all was the virus attacks that the PCs were susceptible to. The target audience did not have any information on the existence of Mac and the campaign targeted the people and their needs to enhance the sales of Mac.

The first advertisement called Accident showed PC stuck on the wheelchair with significant injuries and cast on arms as someone tripped on the power cords. Mac then showcased the presence of magnetic power cord in Mac to avoid such accidents (Fortune, 2016). These attempts were engaging and new to the people to develop their interest in the product. The other 65 advertisements in the campaign also pointed out the weaknesses of PCs and the strengths of Mac over the same. In the past, such direct targets were not made on the comepetitors. Dressing up PC like Bill Gates and referring to the issues clearly indicated the comparison with Microsoft systems. Apple made a bold attempt at calling out these drawbacks to offer the new product and features to the users.

The main message that was being shared through the entire campaign was the improved capabilities and features of MAC over PCs. Some of the traits used to depict the PC were slow, boring, clumsy, and a nerd. Mac, on the other hand, included the characteristics, such as care, humility, and a cool vibe.

The idea of simplicity was used by Apple in the campaign which was not something usually followed. Many of the brands were trying to arouse the interests of the customers with complex advertisements. Apple, on the other hand, stuck with the idea of simplicity. The backdrops, for instance, were kept plain white so that the viewers were not distracted by any other objects or elements while watching the advertisement. The subtle statements were released through these advertisements on the ease if usage that comes with a Mac (Livingstone, 2015).

In each of the 66 advertisements that were launched, there was a new problem or an issue highlighted with the PCs. It made the users question their choice on the use of PC rather than Mac. The flaws of the PCs were highlighted and depicted through the advertisements and the features of Mac were also shown at the same time. Another strategy that was followed was to include the element of fun and humour in all the ads. People were curious to see the next advertisement in the campaign due to the depiction of a story in the timeframe of thirty seconds. The combination of humour and satire worked well. Apple was successful in capturing the interest of the audience and could also benefit from the campaign as the sales of the product wen t up.

The campaign was different from the ones released in the past as it included the idea of simplicity, directly pointed out the flaws of the competitor’s product, and had the elements of fun and humour present in it.

Notion of Advertising Media Evolution – Content and Contact with the Customer
The advertisement does support the idea of media evolution in terms of the content and contact with the customers.

Apple directly pointed out the issues and flaws of PCs in the advertisements released as part of GAM. Earlier, advertisements were basically a method to connect with the audience and showcase the product/service and the associated features. Apple; however, took one step ahead and displayed its device as a human being. It came up with a novel idea of comparing the two humans and their personality traits based on the features of the two products. Each of the advertisement was also provided a unique name as per the content include in the ad. The advertisement was also run in Emmy Awards along with the other channels. These aspects show the evolution of advertising media and the effort put in by the organizations to connect with the customers (Quenqua, 2016).

Prior to the GAM campaign, the sales of Mac were not impressive. However, soon after the release of the first advertisement, the company saw a jump of 12%. It ended the quarter with a rise of 39% and it shows the ability to target the correct audience and maintain the contact with the customers based on the strategy adopted.

There were massive investments also made by Apple in the four-year campaign as the actors and models were included along with the development of a new story for each ad. There was also significant amount of research conducted to come up with the feature comparison of the two devices. The features also had to be enacted and amalgamated with the personality traits.

There is significant transformation and evolution that can be witnessed in the field of advertising. With the presence of multiple channels, such as social media, web channels, television, print media, etc. advertising has emerged as a core activity for a business firm. It is essential for the companies to invest in the advertising activities so that they are successful in engaging and attracting the customers. It is also necessary that the new strategies and techniques are adopted to be able to do so. Apple’s GAM campaign is one such example showcasing successful advertising with the adoption of a new strategy.

Benoit, W., & Delbert, J. (2016). “Get A Mac”: Mac versus PC TV Spots.

Livingstone, R. (2015). The Myth of Classlessness in Apple’s “Get a Mac” Campaign Randall Livingstone / University of Oregon – Flow.

Murphy, M. (2015). Apple’s Steve Jobs didn’t want those Mac-vs.-PC commercials to be LOL funny. MarketWatch.

Quenqua, D. (2016). An oral history of “Get a Mac,” Part 1. Campaign Live.

Rhoads, K. (2007). Get-A-Mac Campaign Analysis.


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