As reported in Media Week, figures from YouGov’s BrandIndex showed that the emergence of the PC and Mac advertising campaign in late January had an adverse effect on Apple’s public perception, with its ‘buzz’ factor dropping from +14 to +8.
The adverts saw David Mitchell portraying a suit-wearing bore continually infected with viruses, while Robert Webb played a cooler, more collected Mac.
A media backlash was levelled against the former Radio Four comedians alongside the YouGov figures. Some claim that the ad campaign propped up a ‘smug superiority’ stereotype that is sometimes associated with Apple enthusiasts.
A very similar campaign in the US prompted Microsoft’s chairman Bill Gates to go on the counter attack. "I don’t think the over 90 per cent of the population who use Windows PCs think of themselves as dullards, or the kind of klutzes that somebody is trying to say they are," he told Newsweek. "And I don’t know why Apple is acting like it’s superior. I don’t even get it. What are they trying to say? Does honesty matter in these things, or if you’re really cool, that means you get to be a lying person whenever you feel like it? There’s not even the slightest shred of truth to it."
YouGov’s BrandIndex measures the public perception of over 1,100 consumer brands by interviewing 2,000 people each weekday. The scores are measured on a seven-point profile in which participants are asked to provide a positive or negative response to whatever is the prompt measure.
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