Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Apple slams Microsoft with rubber chickens

April 20, 2009: 9:20 AM ET

Biohazard still frameLike a politician with high approval ratings, Apple (AAPL) has responded to Microsoft's (MSFT) attack ads by ignoring them.

After a four-month hiatus with no new "Get a Mac" spots, Apple released four in a row Sunday (available at Apple's website and pasted below the fold).

None of them deal with the charge Microsoft has been hammering home in a series of 60-second TV ads and a quasi-independent "white paper": that spec-for-spec, price-conscious consumers get a lot more bang for their buck with Windows PCs.

Instead, Apple's new ads stay relentlessly -- and entertainingly -- on message, sticking with the "Hello, I'm a Mac ..." conceit and focusing on the one thing Microsoft's campaign never mentions: the difference in terms of the user's experience between Windows and Mac OS X.

The joke may be getting a little tired after three years and more than 50 variations on a theme, but humor is always more appealing than hard sell.

And unlike Lauren De Long -- whose career as a paid actor undermined the credibility of her decision to choose an HP (HPQ) Pavilion on camera over a Mac -- John Hodgman and Justin Long aren't pretending to be real people.

The game could change if Windows 7 turns out to be as good as beta testers say it is, and Microsoft can start to challenge Apple on its home turf.

See also:

Below the fold: the You Tube versions of Legal Copy, Biohazard Suit, Time Traveler and Stacks.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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