"I'm a Mac" actor Justin Long is now a PC guy.
Nearly two decades ago, Long extolled the benefits of Mac computers while playing one opposite John Hodgman's PC in Apple's iconic "Get a Mac" commercials. Now, in a pointed jab at Apple, Long is featured in a new Intel ad where he appears much more excited about new Intel-based PCs than the latest Mac laptops.
"Hello, I'm a — Justin. Just a real person, doing a real comparison between Mac and PC," Long says in the new Intel commercial, an obvious play on the "Hello, I'm a Mac" intro to the old Apple ads.
"These are all PCs," Long says as he surveys a collection of laptops in the new ad. "Oh yeah, Intel! Nice. My face just unlocked that, that's so cool. And I've never seen a screen like that on a laptop."
He moves on to look at the Mac lineup: "So these are the newer Macs? Okay. So, gray and gray-er."
The new commercial is the latest exchange of not-so-friendly fire between Intel and Apple in recent months.
Last fall, Apple went from being an Intel customer to competitor when it replaced the semiconductor giant's x86 chips with its own M1 chips in the newest Mac lineup. Apple claimed its new chips make Macs significantly faster and quieter and give them longer battery life compared to previous Mac models and rival laptops.
In fact, reviving the theme of the old Apple ads was the iPhone maker's idea. When it announced the new M1 Macs in November, Apple brought back Hodgman to again star as "PC guy" in a new ad.
"Hi, I'm a PC," Hodgman says in Apple's November ad. "Is there a time for questions? Good, because I have one. Why? Why make all these advancements? What's the point?"
Moves like Apple's to make its own chips pose a real threat to Intel, which has long relied on dominating the PC business. In recent years, Intel has lost share in the PC market, among other challenges, and the company recently hired new CEO Pat Gelsinger to help right the ship.
At an Intel staff meeting in January, after Gelsinger was named the incoming CEO but before officially taking over the role, he told employees that the company has to "deliver better products" for PCs than anything "a lifestyle company in Cupertino" makes, a likely reference to Apple, according to a report from The Oregonian.
The new commercial may be another indicator of how aggressive Gelsinger plans to be in countering Apple and other competitors as he attempts to return Intel to its former glory. Whether the ad convinces people to buy more PCs remains to be seen, but at least Intel now has Long's support.