Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

A History of the ‘Get a Mac’ Campaign

A wonderful two-part article and podcast about the “I’m a Mac; I’m a PC” ads that began airing ten years ago. Douglas Quenqua, writing for Campaign:

Scott Trattner: I have a much younger sister, and I was seeing these really charming little theatrical things at her school, where like a kid plays a tree and a kid plays a rock. I remember being so charmed by this notion that your part in a play could be a rock.

Eric Grunbaum: I was surfing with Scott somewhere in Malibu, and we were discussing our frustration with coming up with an idea, and I said to him, “You know, it’s almost like we have to get so basic. It’s like, we need a Mac and a PC sitting on a white site, and we need to say, ‘This is a Mac. It’s good at A, B and C. And this is a PC, and it’s good at D, E and F.'”

Scott Trattner: I then remember saying to Barton, “What if we embody the two characters? One guy could say, ‘I’m a Mac.’ One guy could say, ‘I’m a PC.’ The Mac could be on roller skates circling the PC saying how fast he is.” Barton just took it and really ran.

The second part contains some smart observations from Justin Long and John Hodgman about what it’s like to become a ubiquitous character, and the impact it had on their careers.