I'm a (British) Mac

Just like when a soap character is played by a different actor, somehow these UK ads just don't feel the same.

Plastered all around the walls on London Underground are Apple ads for Apple ads. Specifically ads for the new UK versions of Apple's I'm a Mac, I'm a PC ads.

I'm a (British) Mac

While most of the ads use the same scripts as the US versions, there are some subtle changes in vocabulary. I specifically noticed how this one's a doozy has become this one's a humdinger on the virus ad.

Now I'm not familiar with the the two actors taking on the roles of Mac and PC, Mitchell and Webb who are apparently best known as Mark and Jeremy from Channel 4's Peep Show. But just like when a soap character is played by a different actor, somehow these UK ads just don't feel the same.

Here are the ads.


  1. #1 On January 30, 2007 01:59 PM Andy Higgs said:

    Strangely, one of the things that makes me think these are slightly inferior to the US versions is that the two characters are comedy partners. If either were to do the same ad with someone else, I think the contrast would be greater. The fact the two of them work comfortably together in real life makes it a different feel to the ones from over the pond.

    Some of the humour is better in these ones though.

    Still like Macs; still like Mitchell and Webb.

  2. #2 On January 30, 2007 02:11 PM Phill said:

    I have to agree with Andy Higgs, these two just don't 'feel' right in this situation - it almost looks as though they are about to 'send-up' the Mac ads, rather than actually be actively promoting the brand. But still, it's quite good.

  3. #3 On January 30, 2007 02:45 PM Richard Rutter said:

    Mitchell and Webb have (had) their own sketch show too. I've always thought the US Mac ads a bit too smug, and they are no less smug when done in British. That said they are still quite enjoyable, and as Andy Higgs said:

    Still like Macs; still like Mitchell and Webb.

  4. #4 On January 30, 2007 02:54 PM Jason Beaird said:

    While I enjoy hearing the vocabulary replacements, I'm surprised Apple didn't come up with totally new scripts for the British versions of their ads. Especially when you consider how many people worldwide have already been exposed to the originals. They're just begging for comparison and that's not really fair to either set of actors.

  5. #5 On January 30, 2007 03:19 PM Ara Pehlivanian said:

    I think what makes it not feel quite the same is in part due to all the spoof ads out there. Since we're all used to seeing different actors play the same role, it takes away from the "officialness" of the UK version.

    Though the production quality is just as good as the US version.

  6. #6 On January 30, 2007 04:48 PM Nathan Smith said:

    Perhaps it's for the same reason I love James Bond movies and Mr. Bean, but I actually like these new ads. I guess it's the dialog being spoken with a different accent that makes it more intriguing. Plus, the fact that these are done as follow-ups to the originals lets them be a little more satirical with the delivery, since most everyone has seen the first series anyway. I agree with Richard, they are smug. Then again, the smugness is what makes them funny.

  7. #7 On January 30, 2007 04:51 PM Jim said:

    For that international je ne sais quoi, try them in French and Spanish:

  8. #8 On January 30, 2007 05:29 PM Malarkey said:

    Dubbing over the US Mac and PC somehow doesn't feel right either Jim. But check out the Japanese!


  9. #9 On January 30, 2007 06:06 PM Ara Pehlivanian said:

    Us canucks just get the US version. :-/

  10. #10 On January 30, 2007 06:12 PM luke dorny said:

    I love the "Clawr of Eagle!"

  11. #11 On January 30, 2007 06:25 PM Lisa P said:

    Just saw it on Yahoo! - what a wasted opportunity. I'm surprised Apple, who like to be seen as innovators, weren't more er innovative with the script. All a bit lazy - and what a waste of signing up Mitchell and Webb. Peep Show rocks!

  12. #12 On January 30, 2007 11:38 PM Chris Lienert said:

    Following on from the British ads, I optimistically thought there might actually be Australian versions. Sadly, and in a reflection of our sad political leanings, it's USA all the way.

  13. #13 On January 30, 2007 11:45 PM Colly said:

    Sorry Clarkey - but I think they're much better. Mostly due to Mitchell. A bit less "I'm a Mac and quite pompous about it" too.

    I actually guffawed out loud whilst watching "Pie Chart". "Tomfoolery" is a marginalised word these days.

    I wish the fit foreign blonde chick from Peep Show had been spooned in somehow.

    I'm a Mac, I'm a PC, I'm a fit foreign blonde chick.

    No need, I would have liked it. That's all.

  14. #14 On January 31, 2007 12:42 AM Andy Croll said:

    I'm with Colly, although from their sketch show I'm already a fan. And it's Mitchell who makes them work for me too. I also think they work a little better given the characters are the same age. Makes the Mac seem less like a smug kid.

    Maybe I'm just wistful for British voices from the screen, it's all American TV in Singapore.

    Also just for giggles... the finest character from the TV series, 'The Honeymoon is Over'. Waiter or Vicar. Genius.

  15. #15 On January 31, 2007 02:42 AM Ben Buchanan said:

    We get the US ads in Australia, thanks to a relaxation in advertising laws (once upon a time you could only show ads made in Australia...). They're all smug, not just this latest offering.

    Seen the Sony Vaio response? I'm a mac, I'm a pc, I'm a vaio (girl in crazy!colorful! outfit). Amusing really. Also makes you realise that *both* the mac and pc guys are dressed in extremely plain clothes :)

  16. #16 On January 31, 2007 02:47 AM Ben Buchanan said:

    Just saw the Pie Chart video. What the bloody hell kind of crap is that? Who the hell believes that PCs can't get podcasts, just as a for instance?

    Apple always takes their ads past amusing, past entertaining, past smug and well into offensively stupid and misleading. ARGH!

    ...ok I feel a bit better now ;)

  17. #17 On January 31, 2007 12:40 PM DutchKid said:

    Of course the foreign chick Colly mentioned would be Linux.

  18. #18 On February 1, 2007 06:47 PM thepineapplehead said:

    "Quicktime is required to view these ads".

    Yes, well it would be, wouldn't it. Sorry, no QT will ever be installed on my machine, bloated piece of crap.

    /hunts for a Youtube video

  19. #19 On February 6, 2007 01:53 PM BigA said:

    I find it interesting that every American I've spoken to who have seen the Brit version prefers it. Now, I'm an American but I've lived here in the UK for the past 9 years and I think the US version is stronger. Granted, I'd like to put a fork through US Mac Guy's neck, but Hodgman more than makes up for that stoop.

  20. #20 On February 6, 2007 09:04 PM Chet said:

    Have to admit it's quite "convenient" one of the actors name is "Webb." I guess I never realized the quirks of using the same script but with different dialects and syntaxes of other areas in the world.

  21. #21 On February 6, 2007 09:46 PM Troy Allen said:

    I am in the US, but I do like the UK twist. I believe two of the ads are COMPLETELY new: "Office at Home" and "Tentacle" have no US equivelants. I loved both of them...I would like to see US versions.

    I also think the UK version of Pie Chart is much better...especially the PC's explanation of the chart. I also like the script of the UK version of "Trust a Mac" better...the ending of "no one here, just a couple of Macs" on the UK version is much better than the "You never saw me. Saw Who? PC...doh!" in the US version.

    But I must say that overall, I think the US actors are just better actors...ESPECIALLY John Hodgman (PC). He is perfect for the part, and usually has me in tears during his appearances on the "Daily Show with Jon Stewart".

  22. #22 On February 7, 2007 05:27 PM Jeff said:

    The Mac guy comes across as being unbearably smug! Not good.

  23. #23 On February 11, 2007 01:23 AM tpgames said:

    I put a question in the other blog, but biggest.html no longer exist. It's a blank page.
    You can ignore my question, as someone else is answering it.

  24. #24 On February 13, 2007 05:11 PM Jim said:

    The Japanese version is much better than the dubbed European rubbish but lacks, I think, Japanese Bikini Rodeo Pie Fighting. No reason to add it, except it might make me buy a Mac.

  25. #25 On February 14, 2007 09:07 AM Rawmassen said:

    This new advertising drive is purely a smear campaign using popular faces. It illustrates how the battle is fought using politics and clever marketing rather than hard facts.