It's all so obvious now! I can't believe I didn't see it before! The actors don't represent computers, they represent CEOs!
The first time I saw these ads, I thought what seems to be the general idea on Wikipedia: The Mac is more casual because a Mac computer is easier to use, while the PC is more formally-dressed because a personal computer can sometimes require complex, formal knowledge to operate. A simple example is how Macs try to minimize the wires and hookups, while PCs have a lot of connections that need to be made by a user. (Although the color coding for inputs really makes things simple now.)
Anyway, last night I was watching one of the latest "Get a Mac" ads, and I suddenly wondered, "Hey, why do they use these guys? I mean, they're not totally unappealing, but some might call them nerds. Even the casual guy. So why not use a bodybuilder on one side, like on the left, and not have the glasses and Bill Gates-style hair….!!!!!"
It was at that moment that I suddenly connected PC's image with my memories of how Bill Gates looks. He has hair like that! He's formal like that! And he's got glasses! "Can you Guess Who, do you have a clue?" I do!
And then the other guy — looks just like Steve Jobs! Jobs usually seems to dress more casually. Like on those SNL spoofs, this looks just like him!
So now it seems I've finally come to understand what millions probably already knew. I think at some level I "implicitly" understood the general CEO comparison, but not as consciously and overtly as I do now.
But am I right? I conducted a (very) short search on the web, and the first results on Google (just the headlines) seemed to convey that a Jobs vs. Gates confrontation only occurs in the real world, and is then backtracked with a reference to the "Get a Mac" ad campaign. So I thought I'd try Wikipedia. But at the top of the article, where the primary focus is on the American version of the ad, the one I'm referencing, they focused only on the original interpretation of the Mac and PC style, which again had more to do with the feel of each machine, and not the style of the men behind the machines.
I think it makes sense. Jobs vs. Gates. Right.If you enjoyed this post, I'd be delighted to have you as a subscriber to my RSS feed.