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I’m a Mac…and I’m a Surface? Microsoft’s new ad reignites an old debate

Cast your minds back a few years, to around 2006, and the start of Apple’s long-running “Get a Mac” campaign. The campaign, which starred John Hodgman as the bumbling PC and Justin Long as the ultra-cool Mac, pretty much brought the Mac versus PC debate into the mainstream. Now Microsoft has released a new ad, in which it attempts to turn the table on that old chestnut.

Gone is the PC and in its place is the Surface 3, the Redmond-based company’s latest attempt to build a tablet that can replace your laptop. This time it’s the Mac that seems bulky in comparison. With its colourful keyboard and sleek design, it’s the product that seems, to paraphrase Steve Jobs, “lickable”.

Trouble is, Surface sales aren’t quite living up to the hype presented in the ads. Maybe that has something to do with one of the disclaimers on display in the ad: “Adobe Photoshop, keyboard and Office sold separately”. One of those is understandable, but if Microsoft really wants the Surface 3 to make a dent, it has to sort out the other two.

Author | Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter

Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter
Nur is an enigma with a passion for creating words. He recently entered a love affair with technology and chorizo sausages. He travels a lot -- you catch him, if you can, at a Silicon Cape event every now and again. More
  • Frank

    Sad ad!

    Seems to me that they have to sort out all 3!

    The Surface keyboard is not supposed to be all that good; OTOH, the MacBook Air’s keyboard is like typing on a brick!

    It’s intriguing as well given how *small* the Surface’s screen looks in comparison to the MBA! Can you imagine the difference if they had shown a 13″ MBA?!

    It’s also worth noting that they keep the Mac user’s hands ON the keyboard; never really show the Surface’s; and ignore the incredible track pad on the Macs, which provide pretty solid touch-screen interaction.

  • Jurassic

    TV ads are very expensive, and these Surface ads are just “throwing good money after bad”*.

    The concept behind these ads rest on the basis that Microsoft thinks consumers are dumber than they really are, which is insulting to the viewer… That is losing proposition #1.

    Losing proposition #2 is that any (very expensive) product advertising that compares your product with a specific competitor’s product is instant failure, because a) it shows that the product can’t stand on its own merit, but MUST compete with a competitor’s more successful product, and b) it displays and talks about the competitor’s product, giving it free advertising.

    The old “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads, which used two actors to talk in general terms about the differences between Mac hardware/software vs. PC hardware/software, NEVER mentioned or showed any specific Windows PC product. This is a major difference that seems to have gone over most people’s heads (including Microsoft’s ;-).

    *The Surface has been a commercial failure for Microsoft, losing $2 Billion for the company so far.

  • Dahc Recneps

    Doesn’t matter, the new MacPad© is gonna kill the surface. Runs FULL freaking OS X, QHD, only 1.7 lbs. Plus, touchscreen and runs all iPad apps. Also, the pen is freaking magic, which is why I’m getting one for school.