Former 'I'm a Mac' Actor Justin Long Pitches Apple Competitor

Actor Justin Long starred in Apple’s popular ‘Get a Mac’ commercials which aired from 2006 to 2009. He played “Mac,” gently making fun of “PC” in the famous ad campaign. Now, Long is starring in a new series of ads for direct Apple competitor Huawei.

Mate 9 Ad “The Interview” Stars Former Apple Pitchman Justin Long

Huawei is the No.1 smartphone maker in China since edging out the Apple iPhone in 2015. Recently, the company created an aggressive ad campaign for its latest smartphone in hopes of increasing its market share worldwide. The Mate 9 is Huawei’s new flagship phone, and it launched in the U.S. in January.

According to Campaign US, it was no coincidence that Long was hired for the role. Ad agency WPP Blast Radius specifically went after the former Apple pitchman to hawk Huawei’s latest smartphone.

In an email, WPP Blast Radius group director Jessica Grizzel states, “It certainly was key when we considered Justin as a possible partner for Huawei.”

Grizzel notes that the original concept for the ad campaign “was a much more emboldened approach to call out the previous relationship with Apple,” but that both Huawei and Long asked the ad agency to come up with “a nice middle ground where that idea is inferred as opposed to explicitly stated.”

The result is a series of ads for Huawei’s Mate 9 entitled, “The Director.” You can watch the first video in the series, “The Interview,” below.

The ‘Get a Mac’ Campaign That Started it all

Apple’s iconic “Get a Mac” campaign ran from 2006 to 2009. The ads starred Long as Mac and John Hodgman as PC. They shot 323 ads, though only 66 made it to air. The commercials were instrumental in solidifying the Mac’s reputation as cool, youthful, smart, and hip as compared to the stodgy, bumbling PC.

Campaign US tells the story of how a seven month quest to find an idea Steve Jobs didn’t hate became one of the funniest and most effective in Apple’s history. You can take a walk down memory lane and check out the “Get a Mac” commercials in the video below.

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