Direct Line Blog

Mac ads: Too good?

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Last night, I logged on to the New York Times home page, only to be confronted with one of those ubiquitous Mac ads featuring Jon Hodgman.

Rather than click out of it, as is usually my approach to online ads, I kept watching. Such is the power of Jon Hodgman -- he's tooooo funny. Usually, online advertisers would see this as a good thing: they made something that was so good that I spent more time with their ad, ingesting whatever marketing message they had to throw at me.

Mac ads are not usual, though. They're so entertaining, they've made Jon Hodgman at least a household face (although his household "name" is probably "that PC guy"). Herein lies the problem for me: I get so caught up in laughing at Hodgman, I don't really pay attention to the Mac Guy, and I don't really pay attention to what the ad is actually trying to tell me.

I cannot recall a single thing about that ad -- which I just watched last night -- other than the fact that Jon Hodgman was a riot.

Is this a bad thing or a good thing for Mac? On the one hand, I don't really know which Mac product it was trying to sell or why they thought I should buy it. On the other hand, even though I can't remember the exact marketing message or any of the neat-o Mac attributes it was listing, I do, of course, know that it was a Mac commercial. Is that enough? Would I remember more of the specifics if the ad were less funny, or if I were actually in the market for a new computer?

It's a fine line that they're walking, I suppose, but as long as they keep putting Jon Hodgman out there, it's alright with me.
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