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Making "Get A Mac" Viral

I get the whole “new marketing”: thing that “Joseph Jaffe”: talks about in his “Life After The 30-Second Spot”: TV just isn’t what it used to be. But that doesn’t mean that _all_ TV ads are a waste of money.
If you are “Apple”: and you want to take another shot at convincing people to *Get A Mac* then TV might be the right place to do it.
Tell me the ads in the “Get A Mac”: campaign aren’t brilliant and compelling.

Still, Apple could have done a much better job of making the online part of Get A Mac more viral. Here are *seven things I would have done to make this spread faster:*
# Add them to “YouTube”: and “Google Video”: Who cares where people see the ads. Getting them on these highly viral networks in “official versions” (not the fan-uploaded ones you find now) would be a great step forward.
# Make each video linkable. Right now while there is a unique URL for each video at each resolution these don’t seem to be visible to the user. All the ads regardless of content or size seem to come from the same URL ( This makes it hard to naturally link to something or to bookmark favourites.
# Make them easy to download. Yes you can download the .mov files if you know what you are doing, but adding a “download this ad” link wouldn’t hurt.
# Copy YouTube and GoogleVideo and make it *very* easy to share the video online by including a “Share this Ad” to e-mail a link, a “Link to this Ad” with a short URL to get to the specific ad, and an “Add this Ad to your Site” link to an embedded player (like the one I used above from YouTube).
# Create a feed people can subscribe to if they want to get new Apple ads sent directly to them via iTunes or a Feedreader. Apple’s ads are so entertaining that I’m sure many people – even non-Mac users would sign-up for amusement sake.
# Archive older ads so that people can always look back at how far we’ve come.
# Bribe people with “link love” by cribbing YouTube’s pseudo trackback for video plays. Called “links to this video”, the feature shows how many people have clicked through to the page from other sites (with live links to the URLs).

I’m kind of surprised that Apple isn’t paying more attention to these techniques to spread the word. Every Mac Fanatic (I now count myself as one) wants nothing better than to tell on their Windows-using friends about these ads and anything Apple can do to make that easier is an easy win for everyone involved.


  1. Steve Mast
    Steve Mast May 9, 2006

    Ken … I total agree with you. Apple did a great job here but missed the viral opportunity. And to add one more idea to your list of seven … Allow users to upload their versions of the “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” videos. I would love to see what people outside the ad agency world would come up with.

  2. Great suggestion Steve – wish I’d thought of that myself.
    If anyone is doing personal “Get A Mac” ads (or parodies), let us know using the “Send a Tip” link near the bottom of all One Degree pages.

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