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« The 2009 iPhone buzz is just getting into high gear | Main | The Conficker worm; just be prepared and it won’t be a threat tomorrow »

March 30, 2009

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Chris Carlin

Based on what do you say they hit paydirt? Is there indication that the campaign has been effective? Surely it's too soon for that.

Or are you saying they hit paydirt just because (apparent) Apple fans are criticizing the campaign? Not exactly what I'd call paydirt.

Anyway, no, the critics have a very valid point: the cheap-o notebook, though 17in, is certainly in a class below what Apple makes. Maybe users are well-served with the crappy HP notebook. Fine. But let's not pretend it's just like the Mac, only cheaper.

Come to think of it, based just on that I find the ad campaign pretty misleading of its viewers. I'd be critical too.

Stephen Skarlatos

These days anytime an advertising campaign gets on the national news because the message is simple and riles one of your competitors fan base, I consider that they hit pay dirt by bringing the discussion to the public. Now whether the ad is financially successful or not, only time will tell.

I don’t understand how you can say it is misleading. It does not discuss specifications, the message is simple you can purchase an HP 17” inch laptop for $699; you cannot do that at an Apple store. It does not attempt to compare a 17” Macbook specifications to the HP $699 offering. And you admit “Maybe users are well-served with the crappy HP notebook. Fine.” You inference that a Macbook is superior is typical Mac fan gibberish, that is not the point of the ad; the point is I cannot buy a 17” laptop at Apple for less than $1,000.

Chris Carlin

The ad is not saying simply that you can get a 17" pc laptop for $699; rather it's saying that you can get a 17" pc laptop for $699, but you can't get a Mac for that price.

Similarly, it's not saying only that you can't get a 17" Mac laptop, so no, that's not the point of the ad.

Instead of either of these the ad is based around a comparison of prices of a PC offering and a Mac offering, but that comparison only really makes sense if the two are similar products.

They're not.

I've seen comparisons of specs for the two and the Mac is objectively a superior product. From it's better display to its faster networking, the Mac has a better set of features. I mean seriously, it's "Mac fan gibberish" that 802.11n networking is better?

Anyway, I consider it misleading that the ad failed to mention this, instead suggesting that they were similar products at different prices when all they actually shared was screen size and form factor.

Stephen Skarlatos

You are really trying to split hairs to make your point. The bottom line question: Can your perform all the functions you need to as an average consumer on the $699 17" HP laptop and the 17" Macbook; the answer is yes. Then, it becomes a choice of how you want to spend your money, and the ad's premise was to go out and spend less than $1,000.

I don't understand what you find misleading.

Chris Carlin

If the bottom line was that this 17" HP laptop performed the functions you needed for less than $1000, then that would be the Ad. What does the Mac have to do with it? The HP either does or does not do what you need to do completely regardless of what the Mac does.

No. That's not the bottom line. The advertisement compared the HP to the Mac when the Mac had many more features and is rated much more highly in reviews.

The advertisement is misleading because it suggests that the HP and the Mac are basically the same while the HP is just cheaper. That's not the case. The HP is cheaper but also much less featureful; it's a definite step down.

Would you give someone $20,000 and tell them to buy a car with a steering wheel, then point out that the person bought a Civic instead of a Lamborghini? No. Such a comparison would be dumb, at best, and possibly misleading if the viewers didn't know that Civics weren't in the same class as the nicer car.

Stephen Skarlatos

Way too much analysis for a 30 second spot.

The premise is simple: average consumer with $1,000 want a 17” laptop, goes to Apple store, Apple only sells a 13” laptop for less than $1,000. Goes to Best Buy and finds 17” HP laptop for $699.

This has nothing to do with specs. An average consumer does not care about specs, they only want to know if the system will work for them. We have already agreed that the HP will probably satisfy the needs of the average consumer so if you were an average consumer (and I know you are probably not); what would you choose, save your money or purchase the higher end 17” MacBook.

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