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ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

Apple Mac ‘Bean Counter’

Agency: TBWA\Media Lab

Client: Apple

Computer giant Apple has launched this new campaign as it attacks rival Microsoft and continues to define Vista as a broken, bug-ridden operating system.

The multimillion-dollar ad war between Microsoft and Apple has turned nasty, following on from Apple's previous ads that lampooned the PC for being staid and uncool.

The first of two new ads from Apple show PC, played by John Hodgman, allocating stacks of dollar bills toward either ‘advertising’ or ‘fix Vista’, with the bulk of the money going to advertising.

The ad is a swipe at Microsoft's $300 million (£160m) ad campaign to redefine Windows Vista's image, which featured stars including comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

"Hello, I'm a PC and I've been made into a stereotype," says a Microsoft engineer in one of the ads.

The second new ad from Apple shows PC brandishing a buzzer, beeping out the word ‘Vista’ whenever it is mentioned by the Mac character, played by actor Justin Long.

"We don't say the V word any more. It doesn't sit well with frustrated PC users. From now on we're going to use a word with a lot less baggage: Windows," PC says in the ad, which appears to be a dig at Microsoft's strategy of not mentioning the word ‘Vista’ in its ads.

The new ads will get a chuckle out of most viewers, as the polished comedy team of Hodgman and Justin Long could teach Seinfeld and Gates a thing or two.

A ranking of global brands released in March this year put Microsoft in 59th spot, down from 11th in 2004. Brand consultancy CoreBrand, which produced the rankings, said at the time that Apple's advertising campaign "may have taken its toll on Microsoft".

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