And even more Macintosh parodies

I think my fascination with these homegrown parodies of Apple’s Macintosh ads has to do less with the fact that I work for the "other" company and more to do with the fact that none of these parodies are in any way generated or encouraged by Microsoft.  I mean think about it:  The public have taken the time to completely produce these parodies & digs on their own.

See, the irritating feeling that we vendors have is that there’s a company out there that’s persistently & publicly pissing on their competition – a tactic that most professional companies view as low brow.  While everyone mutters things behind closed doors, bashing your competition in public is essentially negative campaigning and there’s an unsaid agreement between vendors that you just don’t engage in these tactics because it creates he-said-she-said fingerpointing between vendors that ultimately hurts and frustrates customers and distracts from their real needs.

Take for instance their stab at Windows Vista’s User Account Controls.  Y’know, the whole "Allow or Deny" ad where PC guy is asked insistently whether to allow or deny an action.  They make a big deal about this except their naturally fail to mention that:

  • This doesn’t happen if you’re running signed, authorized software
  • This clearly informs users of what level of rights/ability the application requires before proceeding to do it… like, I don’t know, FORMATTING YOUR HARD DRIVE
  • Windows Vista is the only consumer operating system to provide this facility in an insecure world

While slamming your competition might be what you’d expect, what’s annoying is that it’s similar to the run-and-gun guerilla tactics that you see terrorists take to get people’s attention.  Blow up building, distract people from the real issues, and defocus on your own inadequacies.  (This also sounds like a certain prominent politician’s tactics around addressing a domestic agenda, but I digress.)

From an inexperienced computer user’s viewpoint, the fear, uncertainty, and doubt generated by these ads act as a deceptive "shiny object" that defocuses their attention from their personal computing goals. "PCs have to add on cameras.  Macs have them built in.  PCs have user access controls.  Macs have no such ‘annoying’ protection."  From a experienced computing customer’s perspective, it’s usually a sign that a vendor is desperate – after all, if no one’s talking about you,

But it’s admittedly effective.  People pay attention. 

What’s been entertaining about all of this however is that so many people have watched these ads over and over again that it’s generated a backlash.  So much so that there’s an entire COUNTER CULTURE around Apple’s ads.  Just take a look at the oodles of 3rd party Macintosh ad parodies.  And I haven’t even listed HALF of them:

There’s also the "historically interesting" videos that have been sprouting:

And then there’s the "avant garde" videos:

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