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Intel Nabs Justin Long for New Campaign in Response to Apple’s John Hodgman Spots – Futurum Tech Webcast
by Shelly Kramer | March 19, 2021

In this episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast/Futurum Tech TV Daniel and I jumped on LinkedIn Live to talk about the news of the new Intel campaign featuring Justin Long, previously known as “The Mac Guy.”

We talked about the new M1 chip that Apple is building as the company shifts from reliance on Intel powering Apple products.

We then talked about Intel’s new campaign, bringing back Justin Long, the “I’m a Mac” guy in a campaign designed to spoof Apple, this time, someone that’s all in on Team PC. What I did not know before we recorded this webcast is that Apple started this clever twist, bringing in John Hodgman, the “I’m a PC” guy from the original Apple “Get a Mac” campaign to kick off its reveal of the M1 processor replacing Intel’s chips. And Intel, with agency partner VMLY&R, responded with its own #GoPC campaign.

This is a clever. As a long-time Apple product user, and owner of more Macs than I can honestly count, it was great to see the Intel campaign highlight the very real limitations that all Mac users live with. It’s true, we really do just live with them. As John Coyne, Intel’s vp of brand, creative and media said to AdWeek, “It’s a fun challenge: How do you highlight the limitations that Mac users just live with and help highlight that we have a more compelling choice available with PCs? Who better to tell that story than Justin Long, who spent more than four years and 66 commercials representing the personification of ‘I’m a Mac’?”

It was great to see Intel step up here and counter Apple’s Hodgman campaign. In addition to being clever, for Intel, it was a great way to showcase the many, many benefits a PC affords in terms of user experience, flexibility, and usability that, well, Apple devotees don’t have.

Want to watch the video of our conversation, you can grab it here:

Or grab the audio here:

Want to watch the Intel spots, you can do that by checking out the Intel YouTube channel here.

Daniel wrote about this in a separate article for the Futurum blog: Intel’s New Ads Target Apple M1 With Former Mac Spokesman Justin Long

Disclaimer: The Futurum Tech Podcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this podcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such.

Other insights from Futurum Research:

Apple M1 Vulnerability Opens Debate on Homegrown Silicon Risk

Apple M1 Silicon Marks the Next Generation and Challenge For the Mac

Transcript:

Daniel Newman: Hey, everybody. Daniel Newman here, principal analyst at Futurum Research, joined by my partner, Shelly Kramer, also a principal at Futurum Research. And we are here to talk a little bit about what’s going on at Intel today in this edition of the Futurum Tech Webcast, TechTV, and now live, as I’m starting to draw my content onto my LinkedIn live channel. Shelly, thanks for letting me do it on mine today. Trying to get out there and talk to everybody.

But some really interesting news broke this morning, and I’ve been waiting for this to happen to talk about it. Intel is launching this brand new campaign. I’m going to show off some of the things they’re doing because they nabbed Justin Long. And Justin Long, if you don’t remember, was the “I am a Mac guy” for a long time, likening it to when Sprint grabbed the “Can you hear me now” guy from Verizon. So, I thought it was pretty awesome. But first of all, Shelly, good morning. Welcome to the webcast, podcast, TechTV cast, whatever cast it is, and hey everybody out there. How are you?

Shelly Kramer: Good morning. And good morning everybody that’s hanging out in LinkedIn this morning.

Daniel Newman: It’s great to see you all there. I’m really glad to start using LinkedIn Live. I’ve heard so much about it. Don’t know why I haven’t done it sooner, but I’m really happy to be out there chatting to you all. Setting the background for all this, because we’re going to actually show a few of these videos that broke this morning, this year, a lot of you probably heard, Apple went to its own silicon and is now producing what’s called the M1 chip. The M1 chip is Apple’s flagship MacBook chip, and essentially, the company moved away from Intel.

And that was after a really long partnership that spanned decades. The year before, Intel moved away from… Sorry, Apple moved away from Intel on the mobile devices, and then Intel actually shuttered that entire business, getting out of the mobile 5G chip space and the iPhone space. So we had a couple of big moments happen, but essentially, for a while, Intel has seen AMD, it has seen Nvidia, it has seen a number of different companies stepping into its territory.

And for a long time, Intel ruled the roost with smart devices, with PCs, and still does but has seen more competition than ever. This campaign, and by the way, Shelly, you with not only a tech background but a brand background, I thought it’d be a lot of fun to pop on here and talk about it. Before I show these off, in the case you haven’t seen it, I think you’ll like it. But what was your first impression when you saw Justin Long jumping on as the new spokesperson for Intel’s PC campaign?

Shelly Kramer: Well, I had respect at the brand level for the creative team, both inside Intel and the agency they worked with, and I meant to make time to figure out who that was, and I didn’t before this conversation. Because Justin is so recognizable, and to be fair, Intel is not the first brand to use Justin. Huawei used him not all that long ago in a campaign related to mobile devices. But what I loved about that was just really a couple of different things. First of all, Justin’s an actor. He is down to earth. He’s approachable.

I watched a bunch of the spots. One of the things I loved about Justin is his age. He’s just the right age, I think, to resonate. If you’re too young, you don’t remember those spots, right? But for a lot of us in that sweet spot of totally watching him in all those spots, it’s like, oh my gosh, this is really brilliant. So I loved that. And then I really loved, and we’ll show this when we touch on it, but I loved some of the different sort of use cases and nuances.

And by the way, long time Mac user here. Long time. I mean, my office is filled with Apple products, and I will 100% admit that as I watched this, I’m like, “They are so hitting on things that are really relevant to a huge consumer base.”

Daniel Newman: Yeah, absolutely. Well, let’s show him off. All I can say, it’s funny by the way, is I see Dodgeball Justin. I see Waiting Justin, He’s Just Not That Into You Justin. It’s funny because when you see these people go from the big screen, the silver screen, to doing campaigns like this,-

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Daniel Newman: -it’s funny, it kind of brings a real human element to it.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Daniel Newman: But as a whole, I thought it was a really shrewd move. I thought it was really clever.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah.

Daniel Newman: Like I said, I feel like Intel’s been on the back foot for a while, hasn’t necessarily really held its ground or stated its case as firmly as it could. And I think this time, in a very playful way, it’s coming out swinging. Let me pop a couple of these on there, so for anybody that’s watching this along with us, you can check it out, but there’s a whole series that just came out on YouTube.

It’s funny, by the way, first impression, it’s getting a lot of thumbs down. It can’t be thumbs down for the quality or the story. This is Apple fan hood here. This is what people who like Apple are saying.

Shelly Kramer: One-hundred percent.

Daniel Newman: I don’t care if you come out with the best commercial ever, the funniest, the most satire-istic commercial, if you hit every fault in our product line a hundred percent correctly, we are going to defend this company to the death. And by the way, I’ve written a few op-eds in my day that weren’t so Apple bullish and I paid the price,-

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Daniel Newman: -at least in terms of my likes. Hold on. So here we go. Let’s check out a couple of these.

Justin Long: Hello, I’m a… Justin. Just a real person doing a real comparison between Mac and PC. Come on, these are all PCs? Oh yeah,  Intel. Nice. Whoa, my face just unlocked that. That’s so cool. And I’ve never seen a screen like this before on a laptop. Wow. And let’s see over here. So these are the newer Macs?

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Justin Long: Okay. So gray and gray here.

Daniel Newman: There’s a couple more. I’m going to fire into the next one.

Shelly Kramer: I liked the touch… Yeah. I like the touch screen one, and I liked the…

Justin Long: Hello, I’m a… Justin. Just a real person doing a real comparison between Mac and PC. Come on. Okay. PC. Oh, cool. This whole thing’s a touch screen, and there’s another one too. Wow. All right. And now for Mac, let’s see. Oh, you’ve got a little bar here, little baby one.

Speaker 5: Sorry, I didn’t catch that.

Justin Long: Oh, where’s the mute button?

Speaker 5: Here’s what I found on how to cook mutton.

Justin Long: Oh, no. I don’t want to cook mutton. What even is mutton?

Shelly Kramer: I thought that was…

Daniel Newman: There’s one more… I like the gaming one.

Shelly Kramer: That’s exactly what I was… Yeah, exactly what I was going to suggest you watch. I really liked that.

Daniel Newman: Oh, by the way, before we started this, it’s just moving so fast. You’re trying to say something, but I think we both… This one, I’m going to start it over real quick, but this was the first one that made me really laugh.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah.

Daniel Newman: Out loud. Like I was like, “Oh, that’s great.” And I’m not a gamer, by the way. I don’t know if you are Shelly.

Shelly Kramer: No, I’m not.

Daniel Newman: A Fortnite player or anything, but I do know gamers build PCs. It’s just their thing. They’re these big desktops that look like… They’re like liquid cool. It’s crazy. Here. Hold on. Here we go.

Justin Long: Hello. I’m a… Justin. Just a real person doing a real comparison between Mac and PC. Come on. Oh, so you’re a PC gamer?

Speaker 6: ‘Sup?

Justin Long: ‘Sup with you? You’re doing all this gaming on a laptop then.

Speaker 6: Yep.

Justin Long: Wow. Okay. And do we have a Mac gamer?

Speaker 6: No one really games on a Mac.

Justin Long: I know.

Daniel Newman: All right.

Shelly Kramer: So one of the things, when I spoke to his age, that was a great example of it. He’s not super young. He’s clearly not immersed in a younger, gamer experience. And I felt like that came through with a creative there. I thought that was interesting. I’m not a gamer. I didn’t realize people didn’t game on Macs. I got that message. I thought that was really interesting. And to speak to your comments about the Apple Fan Club, I read several articles this morning on this, and one of them was in intentionally Cult Of Mac. And it was so interesting to read the comments because it was like, “Oh, Intel is so scared.” And, “This is so stupid.” And, “He’s such a loser.”

And it was so interesting to read the comments, but I do think, I don’t know about your… Daniel, I know you have kids about the same age as I do. Some kids about the same age as I do, and my kids have been using Dell laptops powered by Intel for school. They do geometry homework on a laptop that converts to a tablet and totally touch screen and everything else. And they both have MacBook Airs that sit in their rooms gathering dust because they have no use for it. And of course, school is tied to their computers, but when I see the vast use cases for what it is for the PCs that they’re using, it only makes sense.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. I think you’re absolutely right. I mean, look, Apple and Mac are great. I still use an iMac. I also use a number of PCs. We’re in the business of tech.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Daniel Newman: I believe using them all. I will say, if you’d asked me seven years ago, I would probably have said no way to using anything but a Mac. The experience was just that much better. I think what Intel is really trying to get out is, “Hey, we’ve identified some areas in the business, in personal use, that are truly better.” There’s one about multi screens. I love working on multiple large format screens, and you can only do up to one on an M1 Mac. You can only connect one additional screen, which again, for some people that’s more than enough. But for certain uses, if you’re a stock trader, if you’re an editor that does video and rendering or graphic design, or if you’re just like us, and I’ve got 57 documents open at the same time and I want to be able to cross reference them, connecting to multiple monitors is awesome.

I also think choice, multi-format. So we’ve all… Again, I have an iPad. I have an iPad Air. I have an iPad Pro. I also have a Mini. I have a MacBook, and I have an iMac. So I have the whole collection. I am a user. I’m not going to deny that, but I… Like Surface, for instance, has come into my life over the last couple of years. And there’s this Surface Book that has the detachable, and you detach the screen and it becomes a tablet.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Daniel Newman: How awesome is that? The yoga and the flexible screens, Shelly, the one that you can fold 180, and there’s actually one of his commercials, he does that. He folds it around-

Shelly Kramer: Yes.

Daniel Newman: And then he… Someone hands him the Mac and then someone hands him an iPad and then someone hands him a phone, someone hands him a Mini, and he’s got the stack of stuff.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Daniel Newman: I mean, essentially, that’s where we’re at. I think to some extent, Apple will always have that general use, and it will always have that cool factor. But with certain use cases, gaming, certain use cases for flexibility for multi-screen, they’re finding those opportunities to say we really compete-

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Daniel Newman: -and offer a lot of variety.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah. I think it’s very cool. I think it’s a great campaign. It’s interesting. I’m glad to see Intel coming out swinging on this topic, deservedly so. So it’ll be interesting to see what’s ahead here with regard to the chip situation.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. And I just got off talking about that, and of course, we’re seeing delays, and Apple right now doesn’t have any issues. And Intel actually is its own manufacturer, has its own supply chain challenges that it’s overcoming, but not necessarily the same as all these fabulous semiconductor companies. But as a whole, the PC market is booming. We saw 25% growth in that last quarter. The demand is up, the OEMs. There’s lots of variance now. You’re seeing the arm variance. And, of course, AMD has its chips, and Intel has done a lot to be more competitive. And now Apple is its own chip maker, which is its own story. And it’s going to continue to… We’re going to continue to see this kind of vertical integration. The biggest companies are going to do it.

But at the same time, like I said, I, personally, the thing I liked seeing the most was just Intel saying, “Don’t forget who we are. And the impact we’ve had on this space.” If you’ve been using a PC, you talked about Justin’s age, I’m a very old millennial, but our kids, whether it’s their Chromebooks and, in a lot of cases, whether it’s their PC desktop, their phones, Intel has had a big part of their life. And just to have the company come out and just say, “We’re… We know our role, and our role is very important in the future of computing.”

Shelly Kramer: Right? Well, and I think too, when… From a brand side, when you’re creating campaigns, you’re thinking a lot about who’s my audience. And that really, again, is where Justin’s age is relevant. A lot of decision-makers… Justin’s a few years older than you are. Right? And so he’s… And so it’s kind of that square: people who are in executive leadership, making buying decisions. It was perfectly targeted at an audience, and really also explaining things in some ways that an audience… We both came into this saying, “We’re not gamers. We didn’t really think about this.” Now we’re thinking about it, and the different use cases. So I thought it was really… I really thought it was a well executed campaign.

Daniel Newman: Absolutely. And by the way, we are the ones that tend to be buying the PCs for the gamers.

Shelly Kramer: Right. We are.

Daniel Newman: It’s good that we are aware. Not that our kids wouldn’t tell us what they need, but overall, a very interesting campaign. Thought it was worth a minute to hop on here to the webcast, podcast, Futurum tech TV show with you. And of course, like I said, you’ve always had an eye for brand. And I think, if you didn’t notice, by the way, Intel overhauled its entire brand. Its logo has changed. Its identity is changing. The company has a new CEO in Pat Gelsinger who came over from VMware, actually returning after 20 something years away from the company. And maybe it’s a sign of things to come. For the past few years, the company has been more passive despite having more competition and more challenges.

And maybe this is kind of like the beginning of the end of that. It sounds to me like they’re not going to be pushed over. And of course Apple is going to be extremely successful with its M1.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Daniel Newman: It is not going to fail.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely.

Daniel Newman: And there will be newer and new generations. It will impact their other formats and the bigger Pros and the desktop iMac. But Intel still has a huge, double digit, high double digit percentage of the market for PC and for overall laptops. And I just think it’s kind of one of those inflection points, Shelly. So we’ll have to come back to this.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely. Well, thanks for hanging out with me this morning.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. Ton of fun. Everyone, hit that subscribe button. Stick with me on this channel. I’m going to do better on this live stuff. I know it’s super popular these days. I did it for a while, got away from it for a while, I’m back with it for a while. I love LinkedIn, especially for this particular channel. I’m going to bringing more content and more instant reflection on what’s going on in the market. For this episode of The Future in Tech Webcast, podcast, and TV, I’m going to have to say goodbye for now. Shelly, thanks for joining me.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely.

Daniel Newman: Hit that subscribe button. Hit that subscribe button. Did I say hit that subscribe button?

Shelly Kramer: You did. Bye everybody.

Daniel Newman: See you later.