Microsoft's latest salvo in the Mac vs. PC ad war seems to have hit a nerve with Apple fans.
Not seen the ad yet? Check it out:
It seems that the blogosphere is divided as to how they feel about this ad. Microsoft fans seem to think that it's about time that Microsoft took a serious stab at Apple, and that price is just the Achilles' heel to go for. Apple fans are crying foul, claiming that the ad is a fake (and the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads are real?), and that the PC chosen in the end by "Lauren" is vastly inferior to a Mac system.
But both camps are missing the point. It's not what Mac or PC fanboys think that matter, because trying to change the minds of those who are entrenched is a waste of ad money. The target audience for this ad is that segment of the market that feels no particular loyalty for any brand and just wants a system for under $1,000. And this is a massive market, and it's one that's only going to get bigger as the economy continues to take a nose dive, credit remains dried up and $1,000 seems to more and more people like a lot of dough to spend on a PC. The ad basically brands Macs as overpriced, and while it's not really subtle, I think that it could be pretty effective.
Side note: Truth be told, the ad could have been more brutal, because while Lauren says that going for a 17-inch Mac would have meant doubling the $1,000 budget, in reality a 17-inch MacBook Pro costs $2,799, and $2,000 only buys you the lowest spec 15-inch MacBook Pro.
And then there's the line that's a total slap across the face for the hardened Mac fanboy:
"I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person."
The purpose of this commercial isn't to change the minds of people who've made up their minds as to which camp they belong in, its purpose is to influence those who are floating. And as people decide to save the pennies, this ad could be very effective at labeling Mac as the expensive option. I'm guessing Apple's going to have to spend quite a bit of ad money on countering the message of this ad.