The 10 Funniest Apple-Ad Parodies

From 1984 to the famous manila folder, Apple's TV ads have been ripe targets for satirists and rival companies. Here are 10 of the best take-offs.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs' announcement of the next generation iPhone (which will hit Australia on 11 July) will be followed by a barrage of stylish and witty ads. And that those ads will be followed by an avalanche of snarky spoofs on YouTube.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Apple's marketing department must be blushing. The company's television ad campaigns are the subject of hundreds if not thousands of parodies on the Internet. Lots of them are — let's be honest — painfully amateurish and not all that funny. But some really get it. They take Apple's minimalist look, its deliberately casual style, and its laidback sincerity, and turn everything on its head. Sometimes the target is Apple itself, while other times Apple's competitors are in the crosshairs — and still other times, the idea is just to have a laugh.

Here are some of the greatest hits from the Apple-mockumercial archives.

Apple 'Switch' Campaign: Crash Different

In 2002, Apple launched its "Switch" ad campaign, in which a person against a white backdrop talked about how easy it was to change from a Windows machine to a Mac. A major part of each ad featured the former Windows user bemoaning their PC's limits and flaws.

Hunter Crestle didn't buy the ad's premise, because he knew that using a Mac can be just as frustrating. In his 3.5-minute spoof, Crestle rants and raves about his Mac, complaining about system lockups, interface confusion, and update hassles. Interspersed are shots of him drop-kicking an iMac and otherwise violating Apple hardware.

Click here for the parody

And...

Click here for the original

Microsoft's ZunePhone: A Rotary-Dial iPhone Knockoff

We've all heard the old joke: "If Microsoft built cars..." But what if the company made an iPhone knockoff?

In a parody of the Apple iPhone ad campaign "This Is How," this fake ad shows Bill Gates's finger taking us on a tour of the fictitious Microsoft ZunePhone. We learn how ZunePhone users make a call (using a digital rotary dial), how the ZunePhone's camera works (think Polaroid), and how often the ZunePhone will be delayed.

Click here for the parody

And...

Click here for the original

Hello, I'm a 'Get a Mac' Parody Ad

The current "Get a Mac" advertising campaign, with actors John Hodgman and Justin Long, just might be the most parody-inducing advertisement Apple has ever created. In most cases, though, the actual ads are a lot funnier than the parodies.

For my money the most innovative imitation comes from Novell, which launched this pro-Linux ad in March 2007. The ad features both a Mac and a PC claiming to be the best. Halfway through, a woman who represents Linux introduces herself, much to the chagrin of both "number one" operating systems.

Who knew Linux was female?

Click here for the parody

And...

Click here for the original

Getting Feist-y With the Nano

Nothing is more annoying than buying digital gear only to find out the next day that it's obsolete. That's how many Apple customers feel about the company's rapid-fire release of new iPods. No other parody of an Apple commercial pays tribute to such product-cycle angst better than this one from Mad TV.

The spoof pokes fun at the iPod Nano commercial that features Feist's performance of "1234." Mad TV changes Feist's lyrics to "Ohoho, they keep changing the iPod, ohoho I keep blowing my wad...."

Click here for the parody

And...

Click here for the original

The Ad That Launched a Thousand Parodies

In 2006, Apple's ad campaign for new colorful iPod Nanos featured silhouettes of peppy dancers gyrating against solid colors to the sound of upbeat music. The ads were instantly popular not only with Apple fans but also with people looking for something to mock. And mock they did.

You could spend a day watching the seemingly endless tributes to the Nano ads. One of the best parodies, posted to YouTube by user heartofgold42, is sort of the polar opposite of the original Apple ad. Instead of featuring a high-energy song and a sprightly dancer, the parody shows the silhouette of the nerdy character Napoleon Dynamite, from the movie of the same name, quietly shuffling to Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat."

Click here for the parody

And...

Click here for the original

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Spring

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?