It finally happened: An Apple commercial made me laugh. It may have something to do with the fact that it’s in another language, and that Mac doesn’t come off like quite the annoying prick he does elsewhere. But I give them credit — this is a funny ad.
The whole Japanese campaign works better for me than the obnoxious North American/UKnian one. Mac isn’t held out to be some ultra-hip asshole, and PC isn’t such a shocking loser. The problem is that you can’t brag about your accomplishments and your strengths in Japan, so you have to be more subtle about it; basically, what the campaign is saying is that Mac is a much calmer, more relaxed, more enjoyable person, while PC is a bit like your excitable younger brother. Mac isn’t the condescending jackass he is in North America; PC isn’t portrayed as such a fucking loser. (I could also talk about the different ways the two refer to themselves (the Japanese language has a lot of different ways to say “I,” most of which come into play through the various ads), but that’s a bit out of my depth — I don’t speak Japanese that well.) The subtleties of the interaction will be lost on a lot of non-Japanese speakers, but it’s very clear that the spirit behind this series of ads is one of harmony rather than superiority.
I still think the ads themselves are bogus. The premise is essentially flawed — it’s a technology choice, not a moral question. But this is a much less irritating way of making the case. I like it.
(As if that opinion carried any weight whatsoever…)