This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Get a Mac" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

John Hodgman as PC and Justin Long as Mac

The "Get a Mac" campaign is a television advertising campaign created for Apple Inc. (Apple Computer, Inc. at the start of the campaign) by TBWA\Media Arts Lab, the company's advertising agency, that ran from 2006 to 2009.[1][2] The advertising campaign ran in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany.


The Get a Mac advertisements follow a standard template. They open to a plain white background, and a man dressed in casual clothes introduces himself as an Apple Macintosh computer ("Hello, I'm a Mac."), while a man in a more formal suit-and-tie combination introduces himself as a Microsoft Windows personal computer ("And I'm a PC.").

The two then act out a brief vignette, in which the capabilities and attributes of Mac and PC are compared, with PC—characterized as formal and somewhat polite, though uninteresting and overly concerned with work—often being frustrated by the more laid-back Mac's abilities. The earlier commercials in the campaign involved a general comparison of the two computers, whereas the later ones mainly concerned Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The original American advertisements star actor Justin Long as the Mac, and author and humorist John Hodgman as the PC, and were directed by Phil Morrison. The American advertisements also aired on Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand television,[citation needed] and at least 24 of them were dubbed into Spanish, French, German, and Italian. The British campaign stars comedic duo Robert Webb as Mac and David Mitchell as PC, while the Japanese campaign features the comedic duo Rahmens. Several of the British and Japanese advertisements, although based on the originals, were slightly altered to better target the new audiences. Both the British and Japanese campaigns also feature several original ads not seen in the American campaign.[citation needed]

The Get a Mac campaign is the successor to the Switch ads which were first broadcast in 2002. Both campaigns were filmed against a plain white background. Apple's former CEO, Steve Jobs, introduced the campaign during a shareholder's meeting the week before the campaign started. The campaign also coincided with a change of signage and employee apparel at Apple retail stores detailing reasons to switch to Macs.

The Get a Mac campaign received the Grand Effie Award in 2007.[3] The song in the commercial is called "Having Trouble Sneezing" by Mark Mothersbaugh.


The advertisements play on perceived weaknesses of non-Mac personal computers, especially those running Microsoft Windows, of which PC is clearly intended to be a parody, and corresponding strengths possessed by the Mac OS (such as immunity to circulating viruses and spyware targeted at Microsoft Windows). The target audience of these ads is not devoted PC users, but rather those who are more likely to "swing" towards Apple. Apple realized that many consumers who chose PCs did so because of their lack of knowledge of the Apple brand. With this campaign, Apple was targeting those users who may not consider Macs when purchasing but may be persuaded to when they view these ads.[4] Each of the ads is about 30 seconds in length and is accompanied by a song called "Having Trouble Sneezing", which was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh.

North American campaign

The following is an alphabetical list of the ads that appeared in the campaign shown in the United States, Canada,[5] Australia and New Zealand.

Web-exclusive campaign

Several advertisements have been shown exclusively in Flash ad campaigns running on numerous websites.[6] Unlike the ads shown on television, these advertisements have not been posted as high-quality QuickTime videos on Apple's website. These ads run for approximately 20 seconds each and reference specific online advertising features (such as banner ads), making it unlikely they will ever appear on television.

The titles are taken from the Flash-video file names.

UK campaign

Mitchell and Webb as PC and Mac

For the British market, the ads were recast with the popular British comedy double act Mitchell and Webb in the lead roles; David Mitchell as PC and Robert Webb as Mac. As well as original ads, several ads from the American campaign were reshot with new dialogue and slightly altered scenes. These ads are about 40 seconds long, which is slightly longer than the US advertisements.

The following ads are exclusive to the UK:

Several American ads were modified for the UK market. In some of these ads, the events that occur in the narrative differ significantly from the original American campaign. Others follow the original ads more closely, with only minor differences (many based on the differences in characterization from the actors involved or language differences between American English and British English). These ads are also performed by Mitchell and Webb.

The adapted ads are

Japanese campaign

On December 12, 2006, Apple began to release ads in Japan that were similar in style to the US Get a Mac ads. The Mac and PC are played by the Rahmens, a Japanese comedy duo. The ads used to be viewable at Apple's Japan website.

The following ads are exclusive to Japan:

Several American ads were modified for the Japanese market. In some of these ads, the events that occur in the narrative differ significantly from the original American campaign. Others follow the original ads more closely, with only minor differences (many based on the differences in characterization from the actors involved).

The adapted ads are

Keynote videos

While not strictly a part of the ad campaign, Hodgman and Long appeared in videos during Steve Jobs's keynote addresses at the 2006, 2007, and 2009 Worldwide Developers Conference and the 2008 MacWorld Expo. Hodgman alone appeared in the November 2020 Apple Event.


Before the campaign's launch, Apple had seen lower sales in 2005–06. One month after the start of the "Get a Mac" campaign, Apple saw an increase of 200,000 Macs sold, and at the end of July 2006, Apple announced that it had sold 1.3 million Macs. Apple had an overall increase in sales of 39% for the fiscal year ending September 2006.[4]


In an article for Slate magazine, Seth Stevenson criticized the campaign as being too "mean spirited", suggesting, "isn't smug superiority (no matter how affable and casually dressed) a bit off-putting as a brand strategy?".[13]

Writing in The Guardian, Charlie Brooker criticized the casting of comedians Mitchell and Webb in the UK campaign, noting that in the sitcom they were then starring in together, Peep Show, "Mitchell plays a repressed, neurotic underdog, and Webb plays a selfish, self-regarding poseur... So when you see the ads, you think, 'PCs are a bit rubbish yet ultimately lovable, whereas Macs are just smug, preening tossers.'"[14]

PC Magazine Editor in Chief Lance Ulanoff criticized the campaign's use of the term "PC" to refer specifically to IBM PC compatible, or Wintel, computers, noting that this usage, though common, is incorrect, as the Macintosh is also a personal computer. In a 2008 column, he recommended that the characters instead introduce themselves as "a Mac PC" and "a Windows PC", adding, "Of course, the ads would then be far less effective, because consumers might realize that the differences Apple is trying to tout aren't quite as huge as Apple would like you to believe."[15]

I'm a PC

Main article: I'm a PC

Microsoft responded to the Get a Mac advertising campaign in late 2008 by releasing the I'm a PC campaign, featuring Microsoft employee Sean Siler as a John Hodgman look-alike. While Apple's ads show personifications of both Mac and PC systems, the Microsoft ads show PC users instead proudly defining themselves as PCs.

Justin Gets Real

In the wake of the Mac transition to Apple silicon, in March 2021, Intel made a similar advertising campaign, known as Justin Gets Real, featuring Justin Long as himself promoting Intel PCs over Macs. These commercials typically start with Long stating, "Hello, I'm a..." against the familiar plain white background before he suddenly says, "Justin, just a real person doing a real comparison between Mac and PC.". He is then seen interacting with the computers in a realistic setting and/or with others using them.[16][17]

In popular culture/parodies

This article contains a list of miscellaneous information. Please relocate any relevant information into other sections or articles. (March 2020)

See also


  1. ^ "Apple's 'Get a Mac,' the Complete Campaign". Adweek. April 13, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  2. ^ Leonard, Devin (August 29, 2009). "Hey, PC, Who Taught You to Fight Back?". The New York Times. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  3. ^ "Effie Awards : Winners Showcase : 2007 : Get a Mac campaign". Archived from the original on June 16, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Rhoads, Kelton. "Get-A-Mac Campaign Analysis" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 17, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  5. ^ Nudd, Tim. "Apple's'Get a Mac,' the Complete Campaign". Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  6. ^ "The "Get a Mac" ads you won't find on your television". Retrieved May 30, 2007.
  7. ^ "Apple Mac "Easy As 1-23" 300×560, 898×110". Archived from the original on June 20, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  8. ^ "Apple Mac "114,000 Viruses? Not On A Mac" 300×250". Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  9. ^ "Apple Mac "Still The Most Advanced OS" 300×250". Archived from the original on June 20, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  10. ^ "Apple Mac "Emergency Banner Refresh" 300x600, 948x90". Archived from the original on June 19, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  11. ^ "Apple Mac "Give Up On Vista" 300x600, 728x90". Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  12. ^ "Apple Event - November 10". YouTube. Timestamp 45:28. Archived from the original on December 14, 2021.
  13. ^ Stevenson, Seth (June 19, 2006). "Apple's mean-spirited ad campaign". Slate Magazine.
  14. ^ Brooker, Charlie (February 5, 2007). "I hate Macs". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
  15. ^ Ulanoff, Lance (August 6, 2008). "Macs Are PCs, Dammit!". PC Magazine. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
  16. ^ "Justin Long switches sides in new Mac vs PC commercials". CNN. March 17, 2021. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  17. ^ "'I'm a Mac' guy Justin Long, known for Apple ads, now touts Intel PCs in new commercials". USA Today. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  18. ^ "Novell Linux, Mac, PC". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 14, 2021. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
  19. ^ "Mac Spoofed". TrueNuff TV.
  20. ^ "Valve Leaks Teaser Images for Announcement of Steam (and Games) for Mac [Updatedx4]". MacRumors. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  21. ^ a b Fickett, Travis (March 20, 2008). "Numb3rs Returns in IGN's Exclusive Promo". IGN. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  22. ^ a b "Exclusive: The Mathematician And The FBI Agent". IGN. March 20, 2008. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  23. ^ T-Mobile spoof