And I'm a PC.
The Get a Mac campaign, popularly known as the "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" ads, was a television advertising campaign created for Apple Inc that ran from 2006 to 2009.
It was easily recognizeable because of the standard template of two men on an all-white background, representing the two home computing options.
The Mac, portrayed by actor Justin Long in the original North American campaign, was presented as a more versatile and secure option for home computing.
...while the PC, portrayed by author and humorist John Hodgman in the North American campaign (and co-wrote most of the commercials), was presented as very outdated, boring, and overly concerned with work.
Early commercials in the campaign offered a general comparison between the two, while the later ones focused on the security and user-friendliness problems of Windows Vista and Windows 7.
In addition to the North American television campaign, several advertisements have been shown exclusively as Flash web ads on various websites. Because they reference specific online advertising features, these have not been posted alongside their television counterparts on Apple's website.
Similar campaigns have been adapted for the British market, recasting PC and Mac with Mitchell and Webb respectively, and the Japanese market, featuring The Rahmens.
Hodgman and Long also appeared in videos during Steve Jobs's keynote addresses at the 2006, 2007, and 2009 Worldwide Developers Conference and the 2008 Macworld Expo. Hodgman also returned in a Call-Back to the campaign at the very end of the Mac-focused November 2020 event.
This ad campaign contains examples of the following tropes:
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In one of the ads, PC says: "Let's go to a commercial." Mac tells him that they are already in a commercial. PC then says: "Let's go to another commercial."
- Competing Product Potshot: The campaign anthropomorphizes the Mac and PC to make the Mac look more approachable and the PC look stuffy and out-of-fashion.
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat: The PC does this in "Trust" while trying to avoid spyware, complete with Groucho Marx glasses.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: One early ad does this with the PC, when he's looking at a photo book the Mac made in iPhoto.
- Hipster: The Mac is considered by many to be a hipster stereotype.
- Informed Obscenity: In "V-Word", PC decides to no longer use the word "Vista" because it's harming his product's image too much. Every time Mac tries to say the word, PC uses a buzzer on him to censor it. He eventually beats him at his own game by just saying the word repeatedly until PC misses it.
- Latex Perfection: Seen in the "Surprise" ad, when the PC impersonates the Mac, complete with actor switch and the mask suddenly looking different and cheaper once removed.
- Mascot: The campaign features anthropomorphized personifications of the Mac and PC debating their respective strengths and weaknesses.
- Medium Blending: The Christmas-themed ads were made with claymation. Is lampshaded by PC who enjoys the Christmas season because they get to do things that they can't do as live-action characters.
- Metaphorically True: Some of the claims made about Mac makes fall under this; they aren't lies, but they really stretch the truth.
- Many ads portray Macs as being immune to the viruses that plague Windows, and that they don't get the "vague error messages" that Windows does when a program crashes. While Apple computers are more secure due to built-in anti-virus software, they are not immune; and they do experience system errors and program crashes, but their error messages are phrased differently from Windows (such as saying the program "unexpectedly quit" instead of encountering an error).
- The ads present the Apple Geniuses as friendly and polite helpers who can aid people in buying and setting up their new Mac and transferring their files from their old computer to their new one, while Windows has no comparable support system. While this is true, when buying a computer from a store, the store's own staff will certainly help you make a selection in the same manner as an Apple Genius, and they may also offer aid in setting it up and transferring files.
- Operators Are Standing By: This exact phrase is uttered by PC in one of the ads, mocking Microsoft's focus on advertising.
- Right Way/Wrong Way Pair: Mac is presented as the "Right Way" of the two, extolling its versatility and reliable security versus the PC's "stuffed shirt" personality and vulnerability to viruses and bloatware.
- Running Gag: In "Broken Promises", PC says that Windows 7 won't have any of the problems that Windows Vista had. We then get flashbacks to him introducing progressively older versions of Windows, each time promising: "It's not going to have any of the problems (previous version) had!"
- Straw Loser: The commercials focus on the weaknesses of Windows products, presenting the PC as an aging, suit-clad goober.
- Wheel of Decisions: In one ad, PC isn't able to decide on a version of Windows Vista to buy, and builds a wheel with each of the six different editions. He lands on the Lose A Turn space, and Mac questions why he would have added that section in the first place.
- White Void Room: The standard setting of all the commercials.