Better at Life Stuff: Consumption, Identity, and Class in Apple’s “Get a Mac” Campaign

Apple’s “Get a Mac” advertising campaign defines for its audience the dichotomy between the casual, confident, creative Mac user and the formal, frustrated, fun-deprived PC user through a series of comical television spots featuring human representations of each technology. The company has been largely applauded over the years for their creative, innovative, and thought-provoking marketing, and “Get a Mac,” winner of the American Marketing Association’s 2007 Grand Effie award, fits nicely with Apple’s tradition of infusing cultural ideology into their ads. Utilizing the methods of close reading and ideological criticism, this study considers the North American “Get a Mac” television campaign as a popular culture text with embedded implications about consumption, identity, and class. The text reveals a number of thematic dichotomies that obscure meaningful issues of difference and class while promoting the spectacle of consumption and the myth of self-actualization through commodities.

Publication: 
Journal of Communication Inquiry
Author: 
Livingstone, Randall
Document Type: 
Research
Paywall: 
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