Apple Calls PCs “Dull Little Boxes.” Intel Ecstatic.

Money: In its ad blitz announcing the first ever Intel-based Macs, Apple skewers PCs — which happen to be Intel’s biggest customers.
While Apple is known for controversial ads, the newest spot puts Intel in a potentially uncomfortable spot. Clearly, Intel is happy that its newest customer — one that’s especially rich on cultural cachet at the moment — wants to celebrate the partnership, and gets some extra advertising to boot. But the commercial also takes a swing at Intel-based PCs, which some analysts believe could alienate Intel’s other customers.
In the spot, an announcer intones that for years, Intel chips have been “trapped” inside “dull little boxes, dutifully performing dull little tasks,” and concludes with the announcement that Intel chips have finally been “set free, and get to live life inside a Mac.”
But those “dull little boxes” — PCs — are still Intel’s bread and butter.
Intel spokeswoman Claudine Mangano declined to discuss the reaction to the commercial from Intel’s other customers, including Dell and HP, citing a policy of not publicly discussing the details of relationships with their customers. She wouldn’t address the issue of whether the ad created any friction, and maintained that Intel is pleased with the commercial.
“We think it’s a cool ad,” she said, while taking pains to point out that the commercial was created by Apple alone, without any input from Intel. “We’re pleased Apple featured Intel in the ad; we think it’s a great way to let people know there are new products available that feature our technology.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.