You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

July, 2006

I Am a Mac

Have you seen Apple's newish ad campaign? The one with the 'hip' Mac guy and the 'square' PC guy? I hate them. Really really hate them.

If you haven't seen them, Apple's got them all online for you to watch. The gist of it, for those that have missed it, is Macs are cool and PCs are not. The guy representing the PC gets a virus causing a literal crashes and he shows off his vacation moment: A pie chart displaying 'hang out time' and 'just kicking it.' All the while, the twenty-something jeans and t-shirt clad Mac guy acts like a condescending asshole.

As Seth Stevenson puts it, "As the Mac character, Justin Long (who was in the forgettable movie Dodgeball and the forgettabler TV show Ed) is just the sort of unshaven, hoodie-wearing, hands-in-pockets hipster we've always imagined when picturing a Mac enthusiast. He's perfect. Too perfect. It's like Apple is parodying its own image while also cementing it. If the idea was to reach out to new types of consumers (the kind who aren't already evangelizing for Macs), they ought to have used a different type of actor." He's the embodiment of just the person I don't want to be: A smug, condescending know-it-all who thinks he's far cooler than he really is.

Luckily bestweekever came out with a spoof that puts it perfectly. After the Mac guy says he's into doing movies and music, the PC guy replies, "I'm into important stuff like spreadsheets, time sheets and pie charts." Obnoxious Mac guy is quick to respond, "That's cool, but you can't capture your family's vacation on a pie chart." That's when the PC guy hands it to him like you wish he would in the real commercial. "Yeah, but a podcast about your favorite hoodie as an independent film won't help you pay for that vacation." The Mac guy's only reply is, "No, that's what my trust fund is for."

Now ignoring the cheap joke at the end, the point is that these commercials make it uncool to be doing business on your computer. Who made that decision? When did Apple become the arbiter of cool? I would much rather associate myself with a successful 'square' than a pompous creative. As if going to work in a suit every day is some sort of eternal damnation. Now I'm not saying that's my cup of tea, but I certainly respect people who do it. What's more, the commercials make me feel alienated as a geek. To me I'm into important stuff like spreadsheets, time sheets and pie charts.

I'm a Mac user and a fairly recent convert. I bought a Mac because I was tired of dealing with my needy PC. I also bought a Mac because I thought it would make me more creative. Maybe it was silly, but I thought if all these creative people use Macs there must be something to it. You know what? There is something to it. The computer makes me feel more creative and though it's just in my mind, in this case there's no doubt that perception is reality. I am more likely to do creative things because it feels like the computer was made for it. Just the same way I feel like I should write important things down in my Moleskine.

Now I love my PowerBook, I really do. I think it's a great computer and it really does make me feel more creative, however cheesy that may sound.

July 17, 2006
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.