Let us start with two of the major consumer computer brands Apple and Microsoft, which are fiercely competitive with each other. Both obviously have a very strong in web presence and hence, virtual advertising. I remember the Apple campaign where they broadcast videos comparing Apple Computers to “normal” PCs, clearly focusing on its own strengths compared with the PCs weaknesses. The following video that runs on YouTube shows a great summary of the ads with the “Hi I am a Mac” and “Hi I am a PC” characters.
These ads caused quite a stir amongst web communities and people generally like them – whether they have PC or a Mac. On YouTube these videos receive lots of comments and the number of views per video shows their popularity. Of course there were also those that took offence to Apple’s attaempt to undermine PCs (read Windows, although Apple never actually used the word).
These commercials are made on a very low budget with simple techniques, but deliver a clear message, which I see as a highly efficient way of advertising. The global distribution of the video and the interest generated via word-of-mouth occurs at such an immense speed, it is incredible. Organisations that do not believe in the power of the virtual world, new media technologies and social communities are definitely not up to date and should hurry up with changing their obsolescent mindsets. Apple succeeded in inspiring ordinary people like you and me through their ads. Some so much so that they created their own versions and interpretations of it. Successful or not, high or low quality – it is all some form of positive advertisement as does makes a statement about one or the other. One of my favourite and an example for very good technology and quality is demonstrated in the following clip by Dan Chianelli and Nick Greenlee:
It is incredible how many people are arguing with great passion in the comments section of YouTube about whether PC or Mac is the best. According to CultureBuzz this clip won the “Best Compositing Artimation 2008” award and with reference to The Daily Anchor Dan Chianelli and Nick Greenlee have done a great job (besides the poor and uninspired start of the clip) without Apple or Microsoft being involved.
Not only do such self-made videos by non-corporate individuals or teams make a statement which is in the favour of either Apple or Microsoft and will be distributed amongst social communities, it also opens an opportunity for these creative individuals to promote themselves. New media offers the opportunity to produce and distribute an idea worldwide in order to get immediate feedback and see what happens with it, whether it is successful or not or whether one of the big companies will offer you a job.
Apple’s ad’s also inspired other companies. Microsoft came back with an answer, of course one that cost much more as is also broadcast on TV and tries to engage viewers emotionally. They are trying to improve the “uncool” image Apple painted of PCs by showing how versatile and interesting PC users are. Microsoft even put the nerdy PC guy from the Apple adverts at the start of their clip and next to him many others including Microsoft founder Bill Gates himself.
The battle “Apple vs Microsoft” is a never ending one and excites or annoys users all over the planet. And now guess… exactly! Apple came already up with an answer.