Tuesday, May 5, 2009
An Open Letter to Steve Jobs
The following is a open-letter to Steve Jobs, discussing the ethics of the aggressive Get a Mac marketing campaign and the social problems that it has caused for many of us.
It has come to my attention that the advertising campaign that fuels the sales of your computers borders on the unethical. The GetaMac marketing campaign, while funny, causes a multitude of social troubles for consumers on all sides of the OS war. You have impaled your customers to Macs by linking the ownership of Macs to countercultural heroes such as John Lennon and Gandhi, role models that people want to be like. By buying these computers, customers will be thought of as more “freethinking” by their friends. Even if this is not the case. Today, buying a Mac has become tantamount to the purchase of a premade persona.
Advertising campaigns are responsible for dictating the way that we think and thus, have a profound and sometimes damaging effect on our social circles.
Stop and think for a moment, of the stereotypes that you have created. The social outcasts that you have made. Ultra-exclusive cliques have developed around the ownership of Macs. They evangelize your products. Such preaching is annoying and at worst, discriminatory. The marketing campaign forces PC and Linux users to be tagged as “nerds”, and thus, must purchase Apple products to shed that social connotation.
Let it be known that commercialism has a heavy effect on our social lives. Today, many of our friendships develop around common interests, usually in corporate-developed products. Take for example: For many of today's teens, video games serve as the foundation on which they bond with others. A virgin to video games will indubitably find himself having major difficulties making friends. The same goes for Windows and Linux users in the OS wars. Apple's commercialism proves to be significantly more harmful than most other forms of commercialism combined.
My critique of your marketing campaign is not a slippery-slope. Already have I met many people who have been placed in narrow places of social difficulties because of their choices of operating systems. Thus, we can conclude that the stereotypical Windows and Linux user can identify very much with the Beatitudes: Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.