Whodunnit? iPad a Prime Suspect in the Death of "Mac vs. PC" Ads

Last Updated Apr 9, 2010 11:54 AM EDT

It looks like Apple (AAPL)'s iPad may have killed off the long-running, much-loved "Get a Mac" campaign, in which comedians Justin Long and John Hodgman spar over whether PCs or Apple machines are the best. The not-so-hidden secret of the campaign is that despite its entertainment value, it didn't really move the needle for Apple's laptop and desktop products. Plus, lots of people liked the PC character more than Long's too-cool-for-school Mac guy. Long gave the news to The Onion's AV Club:
You know, I think they might be done. In fact, I heard from John, I think they're going to move on. I can't say definitively, which is sad, because not only am I going to miss doing them, but also working with John. I've become very close with him, and he's one of my dearest, greatest friends. It was so much fun to go do that job, because there's not a lot to it for me. A lot of it is just keeping myself entertained between takes, and there's no one I'd rather do it with than John.
Also, one of the co-creators of the campaign at ad agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab left the agency.

With the iPad launch, Apple loyalists are asking themselves whether they should bother getting new laptops, especially as yesterday's news regarding iAd and the new OS 4 operating system suggests iPad is only going to become more powerful and convenient for casual users in the future.

That potential cannibalization does not bode well for Apple's laptop business. According to market research firm IDC, Apple commands less than 5.3 percent of worldwide PC Shipments, and a 7.6 percent share in the U.S. The category is fully commodified -- consumers just want the most computer for the least money, which is one reason no-name brand Acer commands double the share of Apple in the U.S. and worldwide. (These numbers are from last year but they're the latest available, at least without paying IDC's fees.)

You can see all the Mac vs. PC ads here, just for old times' sake.