Mac In The Firing Line

A vinceunlimited blog article from 14 May 2007

Wherein I discover Apple Products

A MacMini on top of a matching back-up drive powers a 23 inch Mac monitor filled with photo icons, coupled to an optical mouse, printer and small stereo speakers, all on a dark wood desk unit with matching shelving and adjacent file system.  Files are in the filing system and an iPod Classic is on one of the shelves
This is the screen that turned me into a Mac user. Most just get there from using their iPhone

I’m in the long process of converting one of my bedrooms into a home office and central to this new environment will be a shiny new PC.

I have been looking for a machine that hits the right aesthetic notes as well as performing magnificently.

My major problem area was finding a decent screen and I stumbled into a corker in the new Apple Store that someone kindly set up in my nearest town.

This got me thinking all Mac and I’ve decided that I would suit a quirky set up.

Now, whilst I await latest product news, I am getting all keen and buying up all the Mac magazines and trawling the website constantly.

As a result I’m very familiar with the Mac adverts [both US and UK versions].

Naturally, being me, I immediately turned my attention to thinking up a new ad.  As with all the other ads it opens with the familiar ‘PC’ and ‘Mac’ characters.

PC: “Hello, I’m PC and I’m very popular, though I sometimes don’t get on with everyone.”

Mac: “Hi, I’m Mac and although not as commonplace as you PC, I get on with anyone.  Straight out of the box.  This makes me smugly better.”

A third party joins.

PC: “But, who is this Mac?  I can’t seem to make it out.  You’re so cleverly compatible Mac, tell me who it is.”

Mac: “No. Sorry.  At a loss there for once.”  [To third party]  “Who are you?”

Third party: “Hello, I’m Amstrad emailer.”

Mac: “Nope.”

PC: “Does not compute.”

PC/Mac [together]: “You’re fired!”

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Blog and Geek sections of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 6 Jul 2018
First published on 14 May 2007

The advertising campaign for Apple at the time was the “Get a Mac” campaign and used two contrasting characters.  The informally dressed Mac character, performed by Justin Long, appeared cool and composed and usually got the better of the more stuffy, formal performance of John Hodgman as the PC character.  The campaign was created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab.  A UK version of many of the ads were re-shot using Robert Webb and David Mitchell
The image is of the author’s first converted bedroom Apple Mac set up showing the MacMini on top of a matching back-up drive powering a 23″ Mac monitor displaying many photo icons, coupled to an optical mouse, printer and small Bose stereo speakers.  An iPod Classic and webcam are on one of the shelves.  The image was taken by the author, in Jul 2008 and was added in Version 5.147 6 Jul 2018

Birth Of A Car

Birth of a car

A remarkable thing happened two days ago.  I saw a TV advert for a car I had not previously seen.  No, not an unforeseen TV advert.  They happen frequently.  Not frequently enough to make the programme intermissions tolerable but frequently enough to make my opening gambit a little more interesting.  No, it was the car I couldn’t recall seeing before.

Now this may be relatively common to many of you.  After all that is one of the three key objectives of advertisements, to introduce new things and you are forgiven for not being as interested in new cars as I am.  Few are.

In case you were wondering what the other two main advertising objectives are, the second is the necessity to ingrain concepts, products and trademarks into our subconscious.  After all we all know beans, hamburgers and replacement glazing products exist.  But just as importantly you are already subconsciously thinking Cross & Blackwell, Wendy’s and that annoying, shouty man who knocks over the window panes.  Weren’t you?

The third key element in advertising is the attempt to make you purchase that which you had no intention to do so.  Chocolate, trips to the Isle of Wight and the unnecessary replacement of perfectly good settees fall into this category.

I too am subjected to many new things in advertising, be they two for ones, money squirrelling or feminine hygiene products only an engineering graduate could master.  Although I think I’ve acquired all knowledge a man ever needs to know about comparing insurance rates.  However it is rare that I ever see a TV advert for a car that I had not seen before.

I am a confirmed petrol head.  In the past I have confessed more to worshipping at the feet of Clarkson than showing any affinity for God, Buddha, Ganesh or any of the other normal deities.  And I use a diverse method of feeding my brain so consume much news, commentary and opinion from a wide range of sources.  I really should have it all covered before an expensive TV advert is launched.

After all a car is not cracked out of an egg suddenly.  It does not emerge from a birth canal.  It isn’t dropped from an alien spacecraft.  No, it is conceived, presented in an wildly, exaggerated form, discussed and touted long before spanner meets galvanised panel.  And at each process the media is fed snippets and prose to both build the tension and test the theory.  And my collated media covers all this with animated glory.

Yet yesterday I saw a vehicle I had never set eyes on before.  And it wasn’t even one of those dreary, soulless, forgetful Korean products either.  This was a curvaceous sports coupe.  And not even from a tinpot niche maker.  This was from one of Japan’s mega machine suppliers.

In truth the car was already in my radar scope.  It was on the front page of TopGear magazine which was given to me the day before.  I had not yet had a chance to read this so it had languished in the magazine rack.  I suspect it was also in the car blog I follow but work has prevented much blog reading lately.  So it got through my net.

By now you may be wondering what this magical beast was.  That is if you’re not wondering when this diatribe will eventually end.  But I have chosen not to do the final reveal as it isn’t really the point.  The denouement should not weaken the preceding opinions and in this case the mystery will be more tantalising.  Whether your head is made of petrol or not.

Apart from that I saw another one today.