I'm a Mac (Smug) / I'm a PC (Stuffy)

Given the recent attention that Cristi has given to the Great Apple / Microsoft Ad War of 2009, I thought I'd call some attention to some ads that have escaped our Yankee eyes. No doubt, anyone with access to a television is keenly aware of the Mac vs. PC ads, the ones where Justin Long heaps steaming piles of smug on that unfortunate looking and woefully out of touch PC guy. What you may not have seen is how these ads were imported for the viewing pleasure of our friends from across the pond.

For those who haven't had a chance to see or have never heard of Peep Show, That Mitchell and Webb Look, or That Mitchell and Webb Situation, you should change that posthaste. The first season of Peep Show can be streamed on Hulu, the first season of That Mitchell and Webb Look can be streamed on Netflix, and That Mitchell and Webb Situation can be found on YouTube (along with the remainder of the other two series). These shows are without a doubt some of the finest comedy programs I've ever watched, and a clarion reminder of why the Brits do it so much better than we do (I'm sorry, but the American version of The Office is a waste of time, imho.) Anyway, when Apple decided to import the Mac vs. PC ads to the Queen's Country, they enlisted the help of David Mitchell and Robert Webb, who--you've probably guessed--created and starred in the above programs.

Like Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, or Winston Churchill said: America and Great Britain are two nations separated by a common language, and these ads when viewn through this lens change the tone of the ads quite a bit. They heighten the smug Mac / stuffy PC conflict to the point of ridiculousness, which has the effect, at least in my eyes, of invalidating the aim of the advertisements in the first place. Whereas they are supposed to be 'out with the old and in the with new' ads, they affect the tone of the cool kid in school making fun of sorry old Poindexter who is too wrapped up in his schoolwork to stop and smell the iFlowers.

Now, this brings me back to what Cristi was writing about with the populism of the Microsoft ads. Their recent ad where they give someone a thousand dollars to buy a computer was the most effective. While Macs may be slick, cool, easy on the eyes, and--I'm told--immune to viruses, they're still prohibitively expensive and not without their own shortcomings. If I were Microsoft's Don Draper, I'd produce a commercial where a Mac user fidgets with those oddly-designed AC Adapters that Apple makes attempting to plug it in at just the right angle so their MacBook Air will charge, gives up when they cannot accomplish this, calls tech support to find out that their AppleCare Warranty has expired, and then has to buy a new AC Adapter for 100 dollars which they will be given the option to have engraved. If that doesn't shatter Apples pretense of cool, I don't know what will. In short: To heck with Apples fashionability; all hail the rugged PC, as rugged as the hands of the proletariat.

And now for something completely different:

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