A Review of Apple’s “Get a Mac” Campaign: 9 Important Lessons


Steve Jobs passed on 12 years ago today, and on this poignant anniversary of Steve Jobs’ passing, we embark on a journey to revisit one of Apple’s most memorable chapters—the “Get a Mac” campaign. Today’s reflection is not just an exploration of advertising history but a tribute to a visionary who forever changed the landscape of marketing. Steve Jobs, with his indelible influence on the “Get a Mac” campaign, left an enduring mark on the tech industry and advertising as a whole.

Get a Mac

Success of the Campaign

The “Get a Mac” campaign can undoubtedly be labeled a success. It ran for three years until 2009, producing 66 commercials that left a lasting impact on viewers. The campaign was not just about selling computers; it aimed to personify the brand, making Apple products relatable and approachable.

Credit: Angus Lo on Youtube


The campaign was introduced on May 2, 2006, and continued until October 20, 2009. In this three-year span, Apple managed to create a cultural phenomenon that is still remembered and discussed today.

Key Actors

The campaign featured Justin Long as the personification of a Mac and John Hodgman as the representation of a PC. The duo’s chemistry and witty banter added a human touch to the products, creating memorable and entertaining advertisements.

Impact of Steve Jobs’ Return

The “Get a Mac” campaign coincided with Steve Jobs’ return to Apple in 1997 after a hiatus. Jobs, with his visionary approach, played a crucial role in the success of the campaign. His hands-on involvement and attention to detail ensured that the advertising accurately reflected Apple’s values and philosophy.

Lessons from Steve’s Marketing Campaigns

Steve Jobs was a marketing genius, and his approach to advertising went beyond product features. The “Get a Mac” campaign exemplifies his belief in storytelling and creating an emotional connection with consumers. It emphasized simplicity, innovation, and reliability—core values that continue to define Apple’s brand image.

Here are some key lessons from the Apple “Get a Mac” Campaign

Simplicity is Key

The campaign’s success was rooted in its simplicity. By personifying Mac and PC, Apple distilled complex technical features into relatable characters. Simplifying your message can make it more accessible and memorable for your audience.

Emotional Connection Matters

Apple didn’t just sell computers; it sold an experience. By creating relatable characters in the form of Justin Long’s Mac and John Hodgman’s PC, the campaign forged an emotional connection with viewers. Building emotional resonance can elevate your brand beyond mere product specifications.

Consistency Builds Brand Identity

The “Get a Mac” campaign maintained a consistent tone and message throughout its run. Consistency is crucial in building a strong brand identity. Consumers should easily recognize and associate your brand with a specific set of values and qualities.

Humanize Your Brand

The decision to use human characters to represent products made the campaign more relatable. Humanizing your brand fosters a sense of familiarity and trust. People connect with people, and this human touch can set your brand apart in a crowded market.

Tell a Compelling Story

Each commercial in the campaign told a story, often highlighting the challenges faced by PC users. Storytelling captivates audiences and leaves a lasting impression. Craft narratives that resonate with your target audience and communicate your brand’s unique selling points.

Focus on Brand Values

The campaign wasn’t just about computers; it communicated Apple’s core values—innovation, simplicity, and reliability. Your advertising should reflect the values that define your brand. This helps consumers align with your mission and builds trust over time.

Incorporate Humor and Wit

Humor was a central element of the “Get a Mac” campaign. Humorous content tends to be more shareable and memorable. However, it’s crucial to align the humor with your brand and target audience to ensure it resonates positively.

Stay Ahead of the Curve

Apple has a reputation for innovation, and the “Get a Mac” campaign reflected this. It’s essential to stay ahead of industry trends and showcase how your product or service addresses emerging needs. Being a trendsetter can enhance your brand’s perceived value.

Adaptability is Key

While the core message remained consistent, the campaign adapted to address evolving market dynamics. Being adaptable allows your brand to stay relevant in changing times.

Involve Leadership

The return of Steve Jobs marked a turning point for Apple, and his involvement in the campaign added a level of authenticity. Having leadership involvement in marketing efforts can instill confidence in your brand and its messaging.

In essence, the “Get a Mac” campaign teaches us that successful advertising goes beyond product features—it’s about telling a compelling story, forging emotional connections, and staying true to your brand’s values.

Today, as we delve into the “Get a Mac” campaign, it’s not just an analytical exploration; it’s a respectful homage to Steve Jobs. His influence on advertising transcends the realms of technology, inspiring marketers across industries. Jobs’ ability to blend innovation with storytelling remains a beacon for those navigating the complex world of advertising.

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As we remember Steve Jobs today, it’s worth acknowledging the lasting impact of the “Get a Mac” campaign. Its success not only contributed to Apple’s rise to dominance but also set a benchmark for innovative and effective advertising in the tech industry. Steve Jobs’ legacy lives on not just in the products he created but also in the way he marketed them—bold, imaginative, and unforgettable.

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