I’m a Mac

Mike Huckabee’s YouTube page lay fallow for most of his campaign, but in the past few weeks it’s added some new offerings. First came brief clips of Huckabee and Chuck Norris talking policy. Then today Huckabee’s camp unveiled a new Web-advertising campaign that aims to ensnare supporters of other candidates. 

The “Switch to Huckabee” campaign has a bare-bones premise. A person stands in front of a beige screen, talks about why they like quirky Mike better than the other candidates, and suggests you might like Mike, too, if you just gave him a shot.

Sound familiar? Compare that with Apple’s “switch” ads a few years back: A person stands in front of a white screen, talks about why they think Macs are better than PCs, and proudly declares that they’ve made “the switch.” The two ad campaigns even have the same music. 

It’s a fun analogy, but it’s also flawed. While the Apple ads were catchy, they weren’t that successful. Macs still had a low market share because Apple hadn’t had its “iPod moment” quite yet. Plus, Mac’s operating system was still too weird-looking for Windows-trained office drones. Apple was asking people to make a switch to the Mac before there was any glowing media coverage to grease the wheels.

Huckabee, in contrast, has momentum on his side, and voters are already taking a second look. He has boosted his poll numbers (market share) on his own, thanks to a series of strong debate performances (“iPod moments”) and positive media coverage  

At this stage, it would make more sense for Huckabee to adapt a different Apple campaign: The popular “I’m a Mac” spots. He is ¾ for now ¾ still the quirky upstart. But he’s also got the poll numbers to prove he’s a major player. And his media glow hasn’t yet worn off. All of that sounds similar to Mac’s status these days.

Spoofing the ads would be easy. Just set Chuck Norris and a stuffy, well-coifed guy (Whom are Justin Long and John Hodgman supporting, anyway?) against a white backdrop. Norris would say, “I’m Mike Huckabee” as he give a menacing look to the other guy. The Romney stand-in would then respond, “And I’m Mitt Romney.” Run through some policy points, make Romney sound like a flip-flopper who is trying to buy the nomination, and voila! You’ve got yourself a sales pitch; maybe even one that will be as popular as the other Mac ad spoof .