Intel’s new PC ads bring back the ‘I’m a Mac’ guy out of of desperation

by Emma

So it’s come to this. Intel, eager to fight back against the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Apple’s (very fast!) M1 chips have unleashed a set of attack ads featuring Justin Long, the former star of Apple’s “I’m a Mac” ads. In the new campaign, dubbed “Justin Gets Real,” Long pits Macs against some of the more innovative aspects of Windows PCs, like their ability to function as convertible 2-in-1 devices or the prevalence of touchscreen PCs. At the same time, Macs are stuck with the (admittedly useless) TouchBar.

Intel’s new PC ads bring back the ‘I’m a Mac’ guy out of of desperation

These are all good points, to be sure, but reviving your competitor’s almost 20-year old ad campaign (the “I’m a Mac” ads started in 2002!) is such an obviously desperate move; I’m shocked nobody at Intel thought twice about this. What makes it worse is that Intel’s ads just aren’t as catchy and compelling as Apple’s: Long spends every commercial touting the benefits of PCs like a Home Shopping Network regular, rather than the hip guy who helped make Macs cool. Basically, Intel is trying to sell you a bullet point of features, whereas Apple knew it had to deal with the aspirational vibe of being a Mac user.

Despite giving the M1 Macs glowing reviews, I’m primarily a PC user. I’m more comfortable with Windows, like playing games, and appreciate the ingenuity PC makers are bringing to notebooks these days. Intel already has plenty of solid selling points over Apple — so maybe it shouldn’t spend so much time reminding people of the competition.

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