Abandoned giant’s petty revenge move
Chipmaker Intel has dealt up a cold serve of petty revenge against Apple after the company decided to stop using the chips in its new computers.
The silicon giant took Apple's own formula and used it against them, enlisting the help of the starring actor from one the company's best-known marketing campaigns to talk a little trash about their former supply partner.
Justin Long played the cool and hip "Mac" alongside John Hodgman's schlubby unattractive "PC" in a series of ads between 2006 and 2009. (Brent Rambo is presumably waiting by the phone in his Facebook office for Intel to call him next for a viral marketing campaign.)
Hodgman previously had a revival of his own when he cropped up at the end of Apple's M1 Mac announcement last year.
Long had already jumped ship away from Apple endorsements in 2017 when he showed up in an ad for Huawei's phones.
In addition to the famous Mac vs PC ads, Justin Long is probably most well known for his roles in Dodgeball, Idiocracy and a recurring role on the sitcom New Girl.
Likely inspired by his advertising work, Long also played Apple founder Steve Jobs in the 2013 comedy iSteve.
The film claims to be the first biopic of Steve Jobs following his death in 2011, and was reportedly written in three days and shot in five. (This reporter hasn't seen it and presumably you haven't either - but Variety described the 79-minute movie as "too long".)
While his most famous work is probably long behind him, Long is still plying his trade, and the latest ad sees him "get real".
"I'm a Justin," he begins the new ad.
"Just a real person doing a real comparison between Mac and PC," actor Long claims.
He seems pleasantly surprised to find all of the PCs he'll be evaluating are powered by Intel processors (but the number of those PCs on the market looks to be decreasing as more manufacturers start turning to a resurgent AMD for their chips).
He also finds it "so cool" that an Asus laptop he picks up unlocks when it sees his face, and remarks that he's never seen a screen like the kind on the laptop (a dual-screen Asus notebook that is one of the few dual-screen laptops on the market).
A disappointed Long then questions whether the two MacBook models on the table are indeed "the newer Macs" - the ones powered by Apple's M1 chips and not Intel's.
A voice off-camera assures him they are in fact the new Macs, which Long then describes as "grey and greyer".
It's not that great a comparison given that it's based on a misdirect and the result of good set design.
The new MacBook Pro comes in grey and silver, and the new MacBook Air has three different colours to choose from - more than they did back when Long had no trouble spruiking them in 2006.
In another "real comparison" Long picks up and plays with a 2-in-1 convertible tablet-laptop, folding it between laptop and tablet configuration like a child playing with a new toy.
This comparison does work slightly more in Intel's favour: Apple doesn't have a 2-in-1 laptop or even touchscreens on its laptops, and likely never will. (This lack of touchscreens forms the focus of a separate video in the "Justin Gets Real" series.)
Long then picks up a MacBook before a hand enters the frame to hand him an iPad and a selection of (optional) Apple accessories you can use to turn an iPad into something more like a laptop.
While it is true that Apple doesn't make a convertible laptop it's this reporter's view that this particular style of laptop-tablet computer doesn't really do that good of a job being either, but hey it's your money (and you'll likely save more of it with a 2-in-1 than buying a MacBook and an iPad).
Another video focuses on gaming, a category where PC does have a distinct advantage over Apple.
Unfortunately it's not an area where Intel has a distinct advantage over AMD, with many new gaming laptops ditching Intel's chips and opting for AMD instead this year.
AMD also makes the chips that power the new PS5 and Xbox consoles.
"No one really games on a Mac," the headset-wearing PC gamer tells Long, a statement that's becoming less true with the rise of platform-agnostic cloud-gaming services, but until these services roll out in Australia and we see if the internet's good enough to use them, we'll let Intel score the point for now and move on.
Intel also makes much ado about the fact that new M1 MacBooks only natively support one external display (the Mac Mini can handle two), while an Intel laptop used as an example can use three external displays.
The new Macs can use more displays with an external docking station so it's no surprise this ad is the shortest out of the lot.
While the comparisons don't all stack up, the campaign looks like it's going to be something of a success for Intel, because people are talking about it, even if they aren't always doing it positively.
Some have seen the ad campaign as a desperate move by the chip company, while others took aim at Justin Long for betraying an organisation he worked with a few dozen times over a decade ago, and the much smaller number in Justin Long's Die Hard (4.0) fanbase took issue with him being referred to as the "I'm a Mac guy".
The real MVP is the actor! Piling up money from both sides— flyrodu (@flyrodu) March 17, 2021
Justin Long didn't dominate early 2000's cinema with movies like Waiting and Accepted just to be called the "I'm a Mac guy". https://t.co/qUq6L5D5BG— i was never given a name (@himynameisroy) March 17, 2021
Justin Long didn't help prevent a US cyber-attack in Die Hard 4.0 to be called the "I'm a Mac" guy. https://t.co/sCDFBrVa5H— Steve Wright 🦖🕹 (@ste_wr) March 17, 2021
Justin Long in an ad saying PCs are better than Macs?— Apple Parody (@AaplParody) March 17, 2021
But here’s his Twitter banner: pic.twitter.com/gfturaKUf8
Joke is on Intel: Justin Long was never the cool one https://t.co/tWc6StOcg8— Quinn Nelson (@SnazzyQ) March 17, 2021
Justin Long doing both Mac and PC ads pic.twitter.com/KZn9KujrRj— Vibe Monkee (@wetgrass23) March 17, 2021
This is devastating to the Mac Industrial Complex— Tim Pool (@Timcast) March 17, 2021
Justin Long was the linchpin holding together the network academics, corporations, and governments mandating the use of Apple products
Their reign is finally overhttps://t.co/K1KyQSggd5pic.twitter.com/yW76tfVjgO
Originally published as Abandoned giant's petty revenge move