“Hello, I’m a traitor.”
“And I’m a PC.”
OK, so that’s overstating things a little bit, but Justin Long — the actor still instantly recognizable for playing a Mac in a long-running series of Apple commercials — is now advertising Intel. And taking shots at Apple.
The new ads riff on the classic “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads by presenting Long in front of a white background, with tinkly music, comparing the finer points of Mac and PC. Except that, this time round, Long comes down firmly on the side of Wintel.
The ads compare various Windows laptops, such as the Lenovo Yoga 9i and MSI Gaming Stealth 15M, against the new Apple Silicon Macs. It’s a passive-aggressive move on the part of Intel, after Apple ditched the company’s silicon in favor of its proprietary M1 chip last year.
While you can still buy Intel-powered Macs, Apple is phasing them out.
Coopting the Apple spokespeople
This isn’t the first time that Long advertised an Apple competitor. (And, to be fair, as a working actor, why shouldn’t he take whatever job he can land?)
In 2017, Long appeared in ads for Huawei phones. At the time, it was reported that the original pitch for the ads was far more combative toward Apple. However, Long managed to negotiate “a nice middle ground where that idea is inferred (by having him appear) as opposed to explicitly stated.” The new Intel ads, by contrast, are more notably anti-Apple.
Other celebrities associated with Mac also previously switched sides, with uninspiring results. In 2008, Microsoft reportedly paid Jerry Seinfeld $10 million to appear in a series of ads advertising its products. While Seinfeld never explicitly advertised Apple, he is one of the most famous Apple fanboys in the world. Seinfeld’s Macs were seen in virtually every episode of his ultra-popular sitcom of the same name.
For my money, the “Get A Mac” ads with Justin Long and John Hodgman remain some of the funniest, and best, commercials Apple ever put out. They ran from 2006 through 2009. Different localized versions played around the world.