Macs for Stealing, PCs for Pie Charts!

by Chris Seibold Jun 15, 2006

There didn’t seem to be much fanfare, but the number of “Get a Mac” Apple ads have increased by two. The new ads feature Mac and PC (of course) and highlight the ease of using a Mac out of the box and pointedly try to make the PC seem incapable of documenting something as mundane as a vacation (PC attempts to record the fun using a pie chart). The ads are certainly charming but, just for fun, a new edition of the ad is needed, the one where the Mac and PC steal.

Why show the humans as computers stealing? When you hear horror stories about PCs and security you hear about the PC being infected with malware in less than twelve minutes. Of course you could argue, with an expansive enough definition of malware, that the annoying programs that ship on the PC means, implicitly, that each PC ships already ridden with vileness.

On the other hand, people are trained to accept that kind of annoyance. The malware everyone really worries about is the identity stealing, zombie bot making, hard drive zeroing, self-replicating type. The kind of stuff that security companies publicly classify as a level 1 threat (of course, the classifiers also happen to sell the solution).

In the larger computing community, people (particularly the purveyors of protection) would have you believe that the really threatening stuff just jumps on your PC by the mere act of turning it on. Thing is, with a properly patched version of Windows, the machine is fairly safe. Still, people are scared, so they tread carefully when setting up a new computer, patch quickly and hope for the best. Then something odd happens, after making sure all the software is up to date people actively try to defeat the security. Not outside evildoers, but the computer owners themselves.

A case study is in order. Stan buys a new computer and, because the only stuff on his old computer is flash games and music, decides not to bother trying to transfer the data. Instead, Stan fires up his new computer and begins going about making it like his old one. First up: Lime Wire install. Second, restealing all his favorite music and programs. This process takes some time but, by the next day, Stan has his computer back to where it was. Or so he thinks. In Stan’s case, some of the files he downloaded were actually pre-infected with various forms of malware and such. All of which Stan installed in an attempt to save some money and time. Stan’s computer is now hopelessly screwed.

From this we learn two things: reckless downloading from Lime Wire is a lot like using needles salvaged from a syringe exchange program for acupuncture and people don’t see acquiring pirated software as stealing. In fact, when asked about stealing Stan hand waived the objection away by saying “It’s not in the box or anything.” What Stan didn’t realize is that he was opening himself up to a world of cyber hurt (Stan uses his old computer last time I checked).

Here is how Apple can capitalize on people’s voracious appetite for stolen files.

Mac: What are you doing, PC?
PC: I’m stealing Cars off a torrent site. I’m good at that.
Mac: Oh, I’m going to get a copy of X-Men III, Macs can get stuff off torrents too, you know.
PC: I thought you guys were too good for that sort of thing?
Mac: I’m a computer, not a philosophy.
PC: Got it!
Mac: I’m done too.
PC: Well let’s see what you got!
Mac: (opens film can): Ah, just some Windows file pretending to be a movie.
PC: (opens can, can explodes)
Mac: Well, if you’re going to steal, you might as well do it safely.

Sure the ad glorifies piracy, and indeed the ad plays directly to the fears of users but why not a have a little fun?


  • This is another reason why we should not be bothered about Mac marketshare. No, NOT the ease of piracy, but lack of malware & inefficiency of certain anti-play measures, and we should keep it quiet especially about the latter. I like ripping my CDs with iTunes.

    Bad Beaver had this to say on Jun 15, 2006 Posts: 371
  • There are actually 3 new Apple ads.

    Out of the Box
    Work vs. Home

    Foad had this to say on Jun 15, 2006 Posts: 1
  • Touché?
    Haven’t seen it, any good?

    Chris Seibold had this to say on Jun 15, 2006 Posts: 354
  • Nevermind, it is up on the Apple site now, couldn’t find it there yesterday when I was writing. So, to you Foad, I say: Touché!

    Chris Seibold had this to say on Jun 15, 2006 Posts: 354
  • Very cute.  It might get a run - after all, if Bush can steal a whole election, why can’t an American steal a little music…

    sydneystephen had this to say on Jun 15, 2006 Posts: 124
  • SydneyStephen, have you seen these ads on Aussie TV? Are Apple running them in any other country besides the US?

    Chris Howard had this to say on Jun 15, 2006 Posts: 1209
  • I’ve seen them here in Canada, but I don’t recall if it was on an american station or not. Although it probably was, I coiuldn’t say for sure.

    Chicken2nite had this to say on Jun 16, 2006 Posts: 79
  • No sighting in Germany, and somehow I doubt they would come on TV here, unless they are remade.

    Bad Beaver had this to say on Jun 16, 2006 Posts: 371
  • I haven’t seen them in the UK.

    Benji had this to say on Jun 16, 2006 Posts: 927
  • There’s been no sighting of the ads at all in Aussie by me. We nevere seem to get the full Apple experience do we?

    Hungryjoe had this to say on Jun 16, 2006 Posts: 10
  • yes. yet more proof apple isn’t serious about increasing its market-share outside of the US.

    Why is this so? Why are Apple so US-centric?

    Chris Howard had this to say on Jun 16, 2006 Posts: 1209
  • as an aside, I personally find it slightly annoying that they brush over the fact that they include only the trial version of iwork with new macs while making fun of the pc for doing the same thing with it’s bundled software.  30 day trials that are actually one month trials are silly in my opinion.  And annoying when they use a proprietary format.  Trying to use that month to convert all of my legacy documents was a pain that made my unorganized collection of writings become even less organized and duplicated several times, something I’m only now recovering from.

    Chicken2nite had this to say on Jun 17, 2006 Posts: 79
  • Page 1 of 1 pages
You need log in, or register, in order to comment