September 23, 2009

"Get a Mac" fail

The latest annoying "Get a Mac" commercial features Patrick Warburton as a doofus Windows PC (is he supposed to be Windows 7?). I don't get it.

Patrick Warburton is one of the funniest actors on television. Who would you rather hang out with? Patrick Warburton and the lovable John Hodgman (guaranteed to be the life of the party), or that smug, supercilious Mac guy (who you just know would be dropping words like "supercilious" all night long)?

Apple is starting to sound like a company of humorless, overprotective scolds who will save the world by wrapping us all in a big, hermetic bubble. Here's Apple's next ad campaign slogan: "Mom! Dad! It's evil! Don't touch it!" Plus, Patrick Warburton is way taller than Justin Long, an obvious marketing mistake.

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# posted by Blogger Kate Woodbury
I like these commercials precisely because I like the PC guys (I agree, Warburton is absolutely hilarious: one of those comedians who can say, "Airplane" deadpan, and you crack up). I've always rooted for John Hodgman over the supercilious Mac guy. (Hodgman is so adorable!)

I think these commercials fall into the same category as the cigarette commercials mentioned below. I'm really annoyed with Microsoft's IE right now, but commercials like this make me want to go out and buy everything Microsoft. (I felt the same way about the supercilious Volvo commercials--usually, I buy Toyota. After watching Volvo commercials, I wanted to buy domestic.)
9/23/2009 8:25 AM

# posted by Blogger Kate Woodbury
Actually, Volvo is now domestic (100% owned by Ford!). It reminds me of Starbucks' latest marketing technique: coffee shops that pretend they are not only NOT Starbucks but the anti-Starbucks. So a marketing arc goes something like this:

1. Create a product.
2. Mock people who don't buy it.
3. Mock the company who sells it.
4. Pretend the product is sold by a different company.

The next step is . . .?
9/23/2009 9:43 AM

# posted by Anonymous Dan
The well has run dry on the ad theme so I believe Apple keeps running them because it affirms their view of the world.

On an unrelated note have either of you seen this article? Quite an indictment and the criticism could extend to the University model in general.
9/23/2009 12:29 PM

# posted by Blogger Kate Woodbury
Dan: The article about teaching English is right on the money! I would like to pat myself on the back here and quote from myself: "The need for [an approach to artistic works that emphasizes creativity] cannot be underestimated. Insisting on context over content, political meaning over creative satisfaction is not the best defense for the study of the arts. It makes such works susceptible to the changing political climate, lending novels, stories, plays, and poetry a sociopolitical [and, I will add, "supercilious"] purpose while undermining the belief that these works should be studied simply because they exist. If the humanities cannot defend the essence of its discipline, it will lose the ability to defend itself at all."
9/23/2009 6:38 PM

# posted by Blogger Joe
How many books on the best seller list for, say, the last twenty years, were written by people with English degrees? (Or even Creative Writing degrees?)

(Pointing the finger at my own major; how many movies were made by people with film degrees? Don't know, but it's not many.)
9/24/2009 9:38 AM

# posted by Blogger Kate Woodbury
I automatically distrust any writer who got an MFA in Creative Writing. Unfair but, unfortunately, an accurate assessment (seriously, how many books about "my partly autobiographical journey across modern America" can be written?)

I think English literature professors have a duty not to *write* literature or even long-winded dissertations about literature (no matter how fun) but to defend it: This is good! This is great! People should love this!!

Hard to do when the discipline is single-handedly coming up with reasons, all on its own, why books are bad. (And weird. Humanities professors are like the anti-salespeople of the universe.) But then, as Joe says, rather than creating, they have become masters of uncreating.
9/24/2009 11:01 AM