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Embarrassing Qualcomm ad claims 'I'm a Mac' actor is switching to Windows ARM over notifications

Good luck figuring out the significance of the mug

Actor Justin Long now stars in a painful Qualcomm ad that requires you to remember "I'm a Mac," care about it, and fathom what his coffee mug means.

Apple's "I'm a Mac" ads were effective and funny. They were so effective that AppleInsider readers will remember them — but surely no one outside of technology will.

Apple's ads wound down 15 years ago. Qualcomm is trading on consumers remembering this, for an utterly wincingly bad dad-joke kind of ad.

The ad was introduced at the very end of Qualcomm's Computex 2024 keynote, with CEO Qualcomm Cristiano Amon announcing it as footage of "a very special person actually ordering their Copilot+ PC." There's then a 23-second video of Justin Long being driven to order a Snapdragon-powered PC.

Then suddenly noticing us watching, Long says to camera: "What? Things change." For reasons passing understanding, he points at his coffee mug as proof.

That part with the mug is easy to miss, though, because you could still be busy going "huh?" at the rest of it. As first spotted by The Verge, Long is seen working on a MacBook Pro, but then there is a barrage of notifications and that's it, he's switching to Windows ARM.

It's acutely embarrassing and not just because notifications prompt the switch. No one is going to switch platforms over notifications, but if they did, no human being is going to Google the words "where can I find a Snapdragon powered PC?"

Qualcomm thinks we'll all remember "I'm a Mac," it thinks consumers will have heard of the word "Snapdragon," and it presented all of this in the snappily-titled Qualcomm Computex 2024. It's so far out of touch that you watch the ad and the kindest thing you can say is "bless."

Long is fine, by the way, but then he would be, he's an actor, and this is not a role that could tax him. It's also not his first time playing off his old Apple ads, either, with Huawei at least began a series with a funny one seeing Long pitching to direct a commercial for the company.

To its credit, that one worked even if you didn't know the old Apple ads. But when Intel launched a whole series of Mac versus PC commercials, it absolutely required you to know them, even down to mimicking the design and including verbal callbacks.

Qualcomm has also copied Intel in how it strove to make us believe that Justin Long has really switched platforms. The Intel ads even explicitly have him refer to himself by name.

It possible that Long was a Mac user who switched to Intel and Huawei and Windows ARM, with a brief stop back on Macs in between. It's possible.

And to be fair, it is all slightly more believable than that he dodged every one of the bullets in "Live Free or Die Hard." Actors act for money, after all, and will perform just about anything that's on a script for cash.