Are Apple ads hurting Microsoft's brand?
No, I think Microsoft hurts Microsoft's brand. It's the responsibility of the company to manage it's brand. Apple's Mac/PC commercials don't just target Microsoft (In fact in some they point out Windows will run on a Mac) but they also target HP, Dell, Gateway, Sony, etc. The bloatware indicated in the graphic on that site has a lot less to do with Microsoft than it has to do with some of their vendor.
Interestingly enough I don't think the "Mac Guy" helps the Apple brand as much as they think he does. Instead it perpetuates a stereotype.
I've always had a mindset that I should always consider if I am helping or hurting my own brand. As an Apple customer I get annoyed at those who love to bash Microsoft. Microsoft does make some good stuff or Apple wouldn't partner with them otherwise.
It would be more interesting to ask if Apple ads are hurting HP, Dell, etc.
I'm sure the ads aren't helping, but the "PC" identity doesn't represent Microsoft. He represents a huge bucket of products used by the corporate masses.
Funny how the Apple commercial that started it all (you know the one: The Olympian-like Apple heroine throwing Thor's hammer at the 1984-ish "Big Brother" screen, thereby liberating the masses from a tyranical, brain-washing PC despot) have now toned down their imagery to show a friendly and somewhat pathetic nerd in a bland Kmart suit that you're supposed to kind of feel sorry for.
At least, Apple commercials today don't show the world of PCs as being evil and controling - just kind of bland, complicated and uncool, which is more a statement about corporate stereotypes (the tools of the trade being guilty by association) than a statement about PCs themselves, or Microsoft.
What I see in these ads is simple: Creatives using the brand of their computers of choice to scoff at their nerdy clients. Nothing more.
The reality is this: What type of computer you use has about as much impact on the quality of your work, your creativity, your coolness or your worth as a human being as the brand of jeans you wear or the brand of coffee you drink: As much as I dig Apple, every time I see some douchebag typing away on his Macbook at Starbucks, all I see is another dumbass trying hard to be something he isn't: Original or cool. Or rather, what I see is a douchebag silently screaming "LOOK AT ME!!!! I HAVE A MACBOOK AND I DRINK STARBUCKS!!!! I AM SO COOL!!!!"
Could the same ads work with VW vs. Chevrolet or Starbucks vs. Folgers?
Oliver, I don't type away on my MacBook Pro at Starbucks but I have been seen at Coffee Underground, Port City Java and Leopard Forest. However I do run Windows XP under VMWare fusion. So umm, yeah.
It's really funny that both the Mac and PC guy look like they got their duds from Kmart! Umm.... Why the heck are we talking about and giving Kmart props. I don't know.
Well, that's South carolina for you.
For the record, my tailor doesn't wear a name tag or a brightly colored apron. (I'm just sayin.)
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