Justin Long is no longer a Mac and stars in new Intel ad

p 1 mascot wars justin long is no longer a mac and stars in this new intel ad

For 66 commercials that ran between 2006 and 2009, Justin Long was a Mac. He was the cool, informal, laid-back persona, gently coping with John Hodgman’s manic nerd PC. Collectively they had been promoting’s final odd couple, and made the “Get a Mac” marketing campaign one of the well-liked and recognizable business campaigns ever.

Now Long returns to the pc mascot wars with a new allegiance, kicking off Intel’s latest ad marketing campaign with a twist on a acquainted line. “Hello I’m a . . . Justin.”

The sequence of 5 spots, created by company VMLY&R, focuses on the pliability and alternative concerned in PC choices—from varied touchscreens to tablet-laptop hybrids and extra. On the one hand, it’s a enjoyable swipe at a rival. Some added drama right here is that on the identical occasion throughout which Apple introduced it was swapping Intel for its personal M1 processors again in November, the corporate triggered mass nerdgasms with a stinger cameo by getting Hodgman again in his PC go well with.


This can be the largest mascot information since 2016, when Dash satisfied former Verizon “Can You Hear Me Now?” man Paul Marcarelli to placed on a yellow T-shirt.

One of many difficulties right here for Intel is that it isn’t precisely a shopper model. Certain, we all know the dah-duh-da-duh sound and the whole lot, but it surely’s all the time been this brand-behind-the-brand. This takes away the form of direct Coke-Pepsi, McDonald’s-Burger-King, and sure, Verizon-Dash kind face-off the place these kind of direct competitor callouts usually occur. As a end result, it form of dilutes the facility in the message punch.

Plus, are the individuals who actually purchased into Mac during the last twenty years actually going to be swayed by Long’s return? Most likely not as a lot as they had been stoked to see Hodgman again in motion, nonetheless briefly. This additionally isn’t even the primary time that Long has switched tech groups. He interviewed with Huawei in 2017.

It’s a enjoyable gimmick although. Sadly, with many of those swings, the try to mock a previously iconic marketing campaign often solely emphasizes its energy slightly than diminishing it. Keep in mind when Microsoft tried to take again “I’m a PC” in 2008 to make Home windows cool? Yeah, no one else does both. In the end, utilizing valuable ad time to reference a competitor will cede a few of that spotlight to the very competitor you’re making an attempt to win market share from.

Spokespeople and model mascots nonetheless have a function to play in promoting, however the worth of those switches doesn’t go far past the preliminary publicity. Business creativity works finest when manufacturers concentrate on what makes them distinctive—like, say, putting backpacks on bees—slightly than telling us about another person.