Apple and the PC image

I saw the actor who plays “PC” in the Mac versus PC commercials in a bit part on a television show. Odd, I thought, that he would be permitted a role outside of his corporate representative commitment.
Apple's popular PC and Mac mascots
Usually mascots like the Maytag repairman, the Dunkin’ Donuts and Frito-Lay guys, even Juan Valdes and Mr. Goodwrench, sign exclusive contracts to prevent them from diluting their brand identity with competing entertainment images. What distinguishes Apple’s PC guy is that he is a defamation of himself. The Mac strategy seems positively libelous.

It could be that since “PC” doesn’t represent an Apple product, whatever other screen time the actor got would matter little to Apple. But let’s not be so naive. More probably Apple has a say over which acting gigs PC can take. As long as PC portrays a feeble, emasculated frump like his Mac versus PC persona, Apple’s campaign is extended beyond its ads, right into the world of television. But is that playing fair? Can you create a straw man to represent your competitor, just to take the Mickey out of him at every opportunity, outside of the scripted ads, even in real life possibly. PC in real life could be painted to be quite the Wally if Apple if so desired.

The brilliance too of Apple’s singular circumstance is that “PC” represents no actual corporate rival. PC is not an IBM anymore, he’s part Windows, part Intel, and part PC clone maker. Microsoft would have to join Dell, HP, Gateway, eMachine, et al, to sue Apple for defamation.

Microsoft is trying some of Apple’s medicine pitting the Zune against the iPod, using representatives cleverly similar to the original actors, but my favorite adaptation of the me-better-than-you genre was Nintendo’s fun with Sony.

Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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4 Responses to Apple and the PC image

  1. Avatar Tony says:

    Why do people just accept all this psychic litter as normal? If we saw others throwing out trash from their house or car in this manner we would call the police. But let it come out from our TVs or from billboards everywhere, we just let it go.

    It is even legal, whereas we the people have all sorts of preachy admonitions telling us not to throw trash into the environment and even to pick up our pups poop! It’s like our laws on everything else. The rich are allowed to destroy the environment in every way possible, and even praised for doing so. The poor get threatened constantly when they do the exact same in miniature, and ticketed and at times even thrown in jail for their toxic dumps out the redneck pickup trucks.

    It was a peppy post! Sexy…. funny….. Yet about garbage trash yet the same.

  2. Avatar Jonah says:

    Microsux can’t make a commercial funny enough to make me want to buy their trash software. Their commercials for People Ready Business are insulting and demeaning. They say bluntly that the American people are too apathetic and lazy to learn the better software offerings, like MacOs and Linux.

    Maybe when they tell people things like that, over and over, people start to believe that they are too dumb to understand anything, and they start to believe that they must leave the leadership and the thinking to the professionals.

  3. Eric Eric says:

    …and buy instruction manuals for dummies.

  4. Avatar Jonah says:

    yeah, I always thought Windows for Dummies was kind of redundant….
    At least with the Linux and Java books you get a free software disk as a bonus.

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