The Lite Side

Interview with Designer of Gateway Profile 4

- 2002.09.17

LS: We're here today with Blitz Schmelnick, the person behind the new Gateway ads that directly attack the G4 iMac. Welcome to the Lite Side, Mr. Schmelnick.

BS: Thank you.

LS: What is your position with Gateway?

BS: I'm executive vice president in charge of Anti-Apple Advertising.

LS: Seems a pretty narrow focus for a department that gets its own executive vice president.

BS: (pauses) I'm not following you.

LS: I mean, it seems like it wouldn't require an executive vice president to be in charge of that.

BS: (pauses) Sorry, I'm still not getting what you're trying to say.

LS: What I mean is - oh, never mind. Let me ask you about your new Profile all-in-one advertising campaign.

BS: Yes, I'm particularly proud of that because I thought it all up by myself.

LS: I'm sure you did. Now it may be true that you have designed a machine which has numerical superiority in all of the important advertising terms for computers - more RAM, more hard drive space, more MHz, for example.

BS: Not more expensive. It's cheaper than an iMac, too. And taller. And it weighs more.

LS: I'm sure. However, since these things are self-evident, let us proceed to some other Gateway Profiletopics, if you don't mind.

BS: Okay.

LS: Tell us, for example, what drugs your designers were using when they first sketched this butt-ugly machine.

BS: That would be co - hey, wait a minute! Our machine isn't butt ugly!

LS: Some things can't be denied, sir. Also, who did your computer animation? Because, frankly, it sucks big time. Looks like something done by those guys who did Beast Wars Transformers.

BS: Well, we did it using our most powerful computers....

LS: You should have hired Pixar. I'm sure they could have done something creative with it. You didn't make the ad on a Profile?

BS: No.

LS: It sure as heck looks like you did. Anyway, we've got a couple more questions for you. Why didn't you address the fundamental advantage of the Macintosh? I mean, anyone can buy RAM, right? What about the OS?

BS: The what?

LS: You know, the OS. Windows vs. the Mac OS. The operating system.

BS: I'm not following you. Don't iMacs use Windows?

LS: (drops notepad, falls out of chair) Uhmmm . . . no, they don't.

BS: Then they're based on Linux?

LS: No, they have a different OS altogether.

BS: Well I wish I'd known that. It wasn't on the spec sheet.

LS: Of course it was. Didn't you see all the stuff about OS X?

BS: I thought it was a typo from someone trying to spell "Socks."

(crickets can be heard in the distance )

LS: Can you explain why it takes forty-three clicks to connect a Windows machine to a Windows network and connect a printer - and only eleven clicks on a Mac?

BS: More clicks. More is better. I don't see the problem.

LS: Exactly what, if you don't mind my asking, was your job prior to heading this division of Gateway?

BS: I was junior vice president in charge of Cow paint.

LS: Cow paint?

BS: You know, the paint we use that leaves big spots behind. Like on a cow. Duh!

LS: I see. Well let me wrap this up: Do you think this new campaign is going to take market share away from Apple?

BS: I sure as heck hope so. God help us if we actually tried to compete with a real computer maker like Dell. They'd eat us alive. I figure, why not crush the little guys first?

LS: I see. That's all the time we have. Where can our readers reach you?

BS: Are you nuts? I'm not giving out my phone number on the Internet.

LS: I meant via email.

BS: Oh! Better use my work address, because my email at home is not very good. My email is

LS: I'm sure you'll get a lot of mail.

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