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“I’m a Mac” actor grows up to promote Windows on Arm PCs for Qualcomm

In context: You might not be familiar with actor Justin Long by name, but you have undoubtedly seen his work. He was the peachfuzz sprouting young Mac shill in Apple’s “Get a Mac” ad campaign of the mid-2000s. You remember, the commercials all started with Long saying. “I’m a Mac,” with his co-star comedian John Hodgman personifying a Windows PC.

In 2021, Intel tapped Long to flip the script, having the actor praise PC while poking fun at various Mac features, like the unpopular Touchbar and its vast color choices of “gray and gray-er.” The copycat campaign was mildly amusing, but Long played both parts in the comparisons rather than having Hodgman there to bounce jabs off, so the ads weren’t as impactful, and the campaign ended after only a few commercials, unlike Apple’s dozens of spots.

It appears Long has switched ships again, this time shilling for Qualcomm. On Monday, the actor appeared in a 25-second tease at the end of the company’s Computex 2024 keynote.

The spot opens on a large home, transitioning to a shot of a more mature Long sitting in his kitchen working on his MacBook. The laptop starts pinging him with notifications on his left, then even more on his right, which he swipes away.

Next, we see a shot of Long searching, “Where can I find a Snapdragon-powered PC?” before the camera snaps back to him.

“What?” asks Long, breaking the fourth wall. “Things change.”

The spot closed with awkward applause as Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon coming back onstage to say, “Yes. Things change. Things do change,” before closing out the keynote.

There is no indication that Long’s “short” will become another anti-Mac ad campaign. The skit looked like a one-off performance similar to one that Apple staged with Long’s counterpart Hodgman for a 42-second bit to introduce the M1’s improved performance and battery life in 2020.

Furthermore, Qualcomm doesn’t spend much on expensive television ad campaigns. So, seeing Long selling Snapdragons or Copilot+ PCs in multiple commercials like he did with Intel is unlikely. But who knows? Qualcomm might not have the advertising budget, but Microsoft does.

As Apple continues improving its in-house silicon, companies like Microsoft, Intel, and Qualcomm must respond to remain competitive. However, there might be better ways to do that than dusting off an old Apple ad campaign, especially when the implications are so vague and unnoteworthy. I mean what was Qualcomm’s spot saying? “We won’t nag you with notifications?”

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