Customer Support

Sometimes it can get tough preaching the good news of Apple in the middle of this storm. This is especially true at my summer job, selling computers at Best Buy. I spend everyday doing my part in the war with Wintel, while the advertising department in Cupertino continues to approve ad campaigns that smell worse than Al Bundy’s socks. Why do they put out eight-page ads in the various Mac magazines when four will do? Put the rest of the money into two-page ads in Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, People, etc. Get the word out that Apple has the fastest machines. As military historians know: When outnumbered, increase the speed of the attack, don’t let the opposition rest.

But enough bitching. As I tell my students, “DON’T WHINE, SOLVE!!!”. In the spirit of this attitude, here are three ideas for commercials that will remind everyone that the Mac is still the easiest computer to use.

Customer Support
Scene: Software company, customer service cubes

Frantic, harried, support staff (20+) trying to talk customers through various software conflicts. The camera pans from left to right past each cube. A hallway appears, designating the end of the PC/Windows support. As the camera continues to pan to the left, a cube appears with a sign saying “Macintosh Support”. There, sitting at a desk is a late 20ish female talking to an older male in a blue uniform. “Dad, I always thought you were kidding when you said you had the loneliest job”. The camera angle changes to show the father, actor Gordon Jump in a Maytag repairman’s uniform. “Honey, I never thought your career would have as little stress as mine”.

Famous Apple TV ad voice speaks as the camera pans back and the Apple and Mac OS logos appear:
“At Apple we still believe that technology must make our lives easier. After all, stress is something we all try to avoid”.

Scene: Middle School, technology classroom, Mac and Wintel CPUs.

Students at the Wintel machines, some with hands raised, others trying to read a manual. One student even pulling his hair. The teacher and an assistant hurriedly running from machine to machine. On the other side, students are shown on Macs surfing the Internet, printing reports, developing multimedia with animation, even writing the school newspaper. The camera then focuses on two boys who turn to look at the students on the Wintel machines. “Great idea Jake. From now on, no showers after gym so we can get a Macintosh”. “Yeah”.

The boys “high-five” as the camera pans to the right showing two cheerleaders, one holding her nose as the other bends forward crinkling her nose, both saying “Eeew”! Screen blackens, famous Apple ad voice speaks:
“At Apple, we understand that technology only educates children when it works”.

Apple and the Mac OS logos appear.

Family Gathering
Scene: Extended family is scattered around a large great room; a few
watching football, grandmothers knitting, board game being played.

Five people are gathered around a Wintel notebook, the owner bragging about it until a conflict appears. Each person begins offering advice on how to solve the problem. The machine begins giving off sounds and new warnings. At the other end of the table sits a family member using a PowerBook 3400c, a brochure with the specifications visible. The owner is integrating a document with bar graphs, then pulling in a picture from the Internet. Two grandmothers look up at the two scenes. The camera with the grandmothers blurred in the foreground, first shows the Wintel group still giving advice, then pans over to the PowerBook owner finishing her/his work and going to play with an infant. The camera pulls back to just the two grandmothers. One says to the other while going back to her knitting, “Yours always was the smarter of the two”. The other replies, “Patience, sister dear, he’ll get it one of these days.”

Screen blackens, famous Apple ad voice speaks:
“Apple Computer has always understood that ease of use means productivity and more time for the finer things in life”.

Apple and Mac OS logo appear.

Where should Apple put these ads? Easy, during the season premieres of Seinfeld, Home Improvement, and Frasier. People will talk to each other about the really funny commercials they just saw. That should get the public to realize that Apple is far from dead.

I’ll continue to come up with commercials for the next issue, if Tim lets me. (I will! -Tim) In the meantime, let’s all try to come up with a “1984” level commercial for the Super Bowl.

Mark Marcantonio (

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