OMG – no seriously, this is too funny to be true.
According to the article in Radar Online, Apple’s current "Mac Guy vs PC Guy" commercials make people think "Mac guys" are smarmy elitists while "PC guys" are sympathetic everymen. So they fired Justin Long, the actor that plays the "Mac Guy".
Personally, I think they’re just plugging holes in a dam that needs to be rebuilt from scratch. Apple’s ads make fun of the very people they were trying to court because frankly, I think we all feel a lot more like the "PC Guy" than the "Mac Guy". Working a 8AM-to-7PM job, busting our humps trying to make a living while worrying about economic inflation, if we’re contributing enough to our 401k’s, and whether we should do 30 year fixed or 15 year interest-only ARMs. Working in Excel whether we like it or not, getting dressed in a suit-and-tie, talking about matters that frankly have nothing-to-do with our home life but everything-to-do with how we put food on the table for our families – these are the kinds of things that aren’t fun but pay the bills.
And others that have sort of recognized this have "taken to the airwaves" via the Internet. Witness the number of Mac commercial parodies doing reversals on Apple’s advertising campaigns. (See my blog entry called, Apple Advertisement Parodies Galore) There are far more parodies out there supporting the "PC Guy" than there are actual Apple commercials featuring the "Mac Guy". These ads make people with Macintoshes look like slacker trust-fund babies that edit movies and take digital photos all day instead of working for a living.
And speaking of "working for a living", "PC Guy" actor John Hodgman, still has a job.
Apple Ditches ‘Mac Guy’ In New Ads
Apple’s "I’m a Mac" campaign is almost perfect: It’s funny, memorable, and efficiently lays out the advantages of Macs over PCs. It’s only defect: Virtually everyone who watches it comes away liking the "PC guy" while wanting to push the "Mac guy" under a bus.
Small wonder, then, that as Apple prepares a new batch of commercials, "Mac guy"—aka Justin Long, of Dodgeball and Herbie: Fully Loaded semi-fame—is nowhere to be found. A rep for Long confirms that his days as an Apple pitchman are over: "Every ad you see Justin in is for that previous time period only," she tells Radar. "There’s no long-term deal with him." She adds (somewhat implausibly, perhaps), "Justin’s a movie star, not a commercial guy."
Meanwhile, the campaign’s other principals, director Phil Morrison and journo-humorist John Hodgman, are both returning for another round of spots, according to sources. Reps for Morrison and TBWA\Chiat\Day (Apple’s ad agency) all declined to comment, and Hodgman’s rep could only confirm that new ads were in the works.
Why was Long dropped, specifically? Perhaps for striking people as a "smug little twit," in the words of Seth Stevenson, ad critic for Slate. Long, he adds, is "just the sort of unshaven, hoodie-wearing, hands-in-pockets hipster we’ve always imagined when picturing a Mac enthusiast…. It’s like Apple is parodying its own image while also cementing it." Of the polymathic Hodgman, who has drawn acclaim for his work on The Daily Show and NPR’s This American Life as well as his book, The Areas of My Expertise, Stevenson writes, "Even as he plays the chump in these Apple spots, his humor and likability are evident."
Shouldn’t a computer company have known that geeky is the new cool?