The Apple Mac campaign starring UK comedians Mitchell and Webb, is the best thing I've seen in 2007, if not the decade, if not ever. They must be up to the 20th or so execution by now, here's the brilliant one about Mac's ability to run Microsoft Office:
Why do I love it? First, the campaign is the ultimate example of delivering sausage (product) and sizzle (emotion). Each mini masterpiece of a movie is based on a product truth about the Mac, delivered in an entertaining and memorable execution.
Some of these, like the one on Microsoft Office, address and overcome perceieved shortcomings of the Mac. What P&G call "benefit barriers". Others promote Mac strengths: e.g. works out of the box, less worries about security (check this one out):
Second, the campaign works fantastically in different media: on TV, but also on posters and in press.
Third, it makes me laugh that the ice-cool Apple have re-invented that much-hated executional device made famous by the kings of sausage, P&G: the side-by-side! 15 years ago as a brand manager I was flogging dandruff shampoo with the cringe-worthy (but effective) "We washed this side with Head & Shoulders, and this side with a regular dandruff shampoo". And now its being used by Apple.
Fourth, the campaign is beautifully simple. Apart from paying Mitchell and Webb, the ads are easy and, I guess, cheap to make. No set, no location, no computer animated shots of flying inside a PC. Just 2 blokes talking to camera.
Fifth, the campaign works, based on the extensive research done with my business partner, David Nichols. His wife saw one of the ads and went out the next day and bought a new Mac.
Finally, the UK Mac PC campaign shows the importance of execution and craft. The casting of Mitchell and Webb, the direction, the secondary characters... its a joy to watch. And for my money, the UK campaign is 10 times funnier and more memorable than the US one. Check out this execution on security and compare it with the Mitchell and Webb one from earlier in the post:
You can see all the UK ads here.