Mac Scope

Enjoyed the Music Appetizer? Try the OS Main Course

Stephen Van Esch - 2003.11.12

With hell freezing over and all, I'm hoping that Apple will be able to introduce another cold front in the Windows world.

Windows users like their iTunes. They really like their iTunes. Really. Some have even toyed with the possibility of buying a Mac just so their whole computing experience can be as simple as iTunes.

Those are the ones Apple should be after.

In case you haven't noticed (but as a smart, loyal reader, you surely have), Apple is obliquely trying to move people away from Windows, and music is its vehicle of choice. Right now, a vast number of Windows users are toting Apple hardware in their pocket. Now millions more are installing Apple software on their hard drives. They like Apple, and they like what the products they've bought.

Surely the marketing eggheads at Apple have a strategy in mind when it comes to getting more folks using Macs. Thus far the Mac renaissance has yet to materialize.

All the chips seem to be in place to things to take off. The hardware is great. The software is great. The OS is great. Throw in the faint but growing stronger heartbeat of IT spending, and you're probably wondering why Apple isn't in the stratosphere right now. I'm wondering myself.

What all those users sitting on the fence need is a nudge, don't you think? Not enough people seem to be making the leap in logic that would make them radically improve their computing lifestyles.

I try not to dream up too many Apple ad campaigns; I'm not paid to do it, and no one listens to my brilliance anyway. But here's a thought for the marketing folks in Cupertino: How about an ad campaign that subtly suggests that life would be a whole lot better if they sprung for the whole Apple experience?

Ads are built on creating a want. They create the want by inventing or emphasizing a gap between where you are now and where - with the right clothes, car, and Swiffer duster - you could be. With all the right things you could, of course, be sexy, desirable, rich, smart, suave, and funny (with a Swiffer duster to boot!).

So where is the target switcher now? They have a great life with iTunes for Windows and an iPod. But where could they be? They could have that wonderful feeling of ease of use permeating their every computing nook and cranny! Cue the ad, please: Your life with iTunes and iPod is good, why not make it great with a new Mac?

And with this ad, they wouldn't even be accused of stretching the truth a little.

After all, aren't all Mac users sexy, desirable, rich, smart, suave, and funny (with Swiffer dusters next to their keyboards)?

Forget I asked.

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Stephen Van Esch is the founder and president of the E-learning Foundry, an online training resource for Mac users. Steve loves the Mac and is doubly bilingual, since he's also fluent in Windows and French.

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