An oral history of 'Get a Mac,' Part 1

How an excruciating seven-month quest for an idea Steve Jobs didn't hate gave birth to one of the funniest, most effective campaigns in Apple's history, told by the writers, crew and actors who created it 10 years ago.

In September 2005, Steve Jobs gave his advertising agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day, an assignment: Come up with a campaign that clearly demonstrates the Mac's superiority to the PC. There was no deadline.

Seven months, dozens of tense meetings and countless discarded ideas later, the agency produced "Get a Mac." It would go on to become one of the most succesful and admired ad campaigns in Apple's history, no small feat when "1984," "Think Different" and "Silhouette" are the competition. Among those legendary ads, "Get a Mac" stands out as the most overtly comedic and one of the most expansive: The team shot 323 spots over three years just to get the 66 that made it on air. 

To mark the 10-year anniversary, Campaign US asked members of the creative team, the crew and the actors to share the untold stories of how the campaign came to life. What follows is their recollections—inconsistencies, errors, biases and all—lightly edited and condensed for clarity. Click here to hear our podcast with John Hodgman, Justin Long and Jason Sperling. Click here to read Part 2

September 2005: Steve Jobs hands down the assignment for a new Mac campaign at the weekly "Marcom" meeting between Apple executives and TBWA\Chiat\Day's senior creative team, which takes place every Wednesday in Apple's Cupertino office. It would be the first ad campaign supporting the Mac since 2002's "Switch." Apple's share of the US desktop and laptop computer market is at 4 percent.

Jason Sperling (creative director): There was a new Intel-based Mac that was going to be coming out, and this was an important thing for Steve, because it was the first one with a really fast chip. It was beating Microsoft at its own game. He really wanted a giant campaign to support it.

Eric Grunbaum (executive creative director): With Steve, briefs weren't super formal like a traditional agency, where you have a planner present pages and pages of strategy deck. The brief was like, "You know what? Mac needs a campaign. We want you guys to come up with something." It was as simple as that.

Jason Sperling: There was a pulse to the way we handled marketing with Steve Jobs. It was a weekly meeting in Cupertino called Marcom, where we would show him the thinking and then he would react to it and we would get another week to hone in on what he was saying.

Mike Refuerzo (executive producer): We used to work all night until 7:00, 8:00 in the morning creating the content that would go to the meeting. The people who presented to Steve Jobs himself would leave every Wednesday morning at like 8:00 a.m. 

Jason Sperling: The Mac was Steve's baby. It was the thing he launched his company with, and something that underwent probably a lot more scrutiny than anything else. This was pre-iPhone, pre-iPad. At that point there was just iTunes and the iPod, which had sort of reinvigorated Apple. 

Scott Trattner (creative director): What we saw was people were buying PCs because they were given PCs at work. It just created this cycle. People didn't necessarily know why they were buying a PC.

Mike Refuerzo: Steve really wanted to go hard at the PCs. Steve really wanted to expose them.

Scott Trattner: It was kicked off in an amazing, inspired way, with Lee [Clow, Chairman, Chief Creative Officer of TBWA Worldwide] saying, "Let's get this thing going. It'll be amazing." We felt the urgency, and it was inspiring. 

Jason Sperling: We had this very tiny conference room for the Apple group at Chiat\Day, and it would get very stuffy. They'd fit a ton of people in there. We were very segregated because it was Apple and everything was top secret. 

Eric Grunbaum: The blessing and the curse of not having a deadline was that we worked for close to nine months before we landed on an idea that Steve and all of us felt—let's be honest, that Steve viewed as good enough. 

Scott Trattner: The majority of that time was really spent trying to find the right kind of storytelling mechanism in order to have this conversation. 

Mike Refuerzo: We're talking about every weekend, long nights, week after week we'd go back to present ideas.

Jason Sperling: We were all wrestling with the specter of legendary Apple marketing. It could be the simplicity of iPod "Silhouettes." It could be the big gravitas of "Think Different," "1984." Or is it something that's just sort of, "Hey, using it is this easy," like the Jeff Goldblum stuff?

Mike Refuerzo: We were trying to figure out, What's too hard? Do you really want to pound your competitor to the ground and look like the bully? We also don't want to be too friendly. Thankfully at that point we were the underdog, so we could be a little more hard-hitting. 

Jason Sperling: Lee Clow, to me, was very God-like. When he would come for creative reviews, all of us would get lined up and go through our ideas. I don't know if he was uncomfortable having to deliver bad news to creatives, or it was just his style, but he wouldn't necessarily talk to you, he'd talk to your boss, the ECD. It was very disheartening. "Do I even matter?" I endured this over the course of many meetings. I don't think he knew my name.

Mike Refuerzo: Literally for six months we presented 10, 15 ideas [to Jobs] every single week. And I'm not just talking about TV scripts. If we believed in an idea, it was blown out to what the outdoor looked like, what the print looked like. It was a 360 for each idea. That's the kind of excellence that Steve would expect of us.

As we went through script after script, Steve kept saying, "That's fucking stupid. That is so inane. Who the hell cares about that? — Jason Sperling

Jason Sperling: With Apple, there were no budget constraints. We put together tests for just about everything. But Steve demanded perfection. For example, just looking at a reflection on a screen at the 17-second mark, he'd tell the team, "Stop, why didn't you do better with your lighting?" He was quite punishing if you didn't do it right.

Scott Trattner: We had a campaign early on called "Grow." We used a metaphor of a plant growing or a tree growing. We connected that to people, that you can flourish using a Mac. That was one that had some heat for a second, I remember. That was one of Barton and my campaigns. There was a graveyard of those ideas.

Eric Grunbaum: Then Elena [Hale, planning director, TBWA\Chiat\Day] and her team came to us with research showing that the problem isn't that people don't know Macs are great. The problem is that people that use PCs don't understand that PCs suck. So that got us thinking, "We can't just talk about the merits of Mac. We also need to talk about the challenges or the difficulty of the PC." 

Jason Sperling: Then Jamie Reilly [creative director, TBWA\Chiat\Day] and I had an idea called "One Week with Owen Wilson." Owen Wilson would show up at a PC guy's house to stage an intervention because he had brought a business computer into his home. It was sort of this weeklong thing of Owen Wilson never leaving the guy's house. I finally actually get a physical reaction out of Lee. He laughs his butt off. I get nicknamed "The Funny Guy" for the next six months.

Scott Trattner: I remember the moment. Jason and his partner had a campaign that was like, "OK, this is promising." A bunch of teams were then pulled off the campaign, and I remember being like, "Fucking hallelujah." Because it was so hard. Everything was dying. Barton and I had 45 full-blown campaigns before we created Mac versus PC.

Steve Jobs confirms the release of Intel-infused Macs at WWDC 2005.

Jason Sperling: Steve Jobs was into it. We just had to lock up Owen Wilson, and he strings us along for months.

Mike Refuerzo: Man, we used to talk to Owen for so many ideas. 

Jason Sperling: There was a group that actually had a meeting with him, but he ends up not doing it, for whatever reason. At that point it becomes, "Hey let's see if Will Ferrell wants to do it." He didn't want to do it. "Let's see if John Cusack maybe. Ben Stiller." Ultimately, we couldn't get a big name to commit.

Excerpt from a script for "One Week with Will," a campaign that would have starred Will Ferrell.

Scott Trattner: When that Owen thing went away, they started pulling in everyone. I remember these veteran teams, like ex-superstars from Wieden+Kennedy, being flown in. 

Eric Grunbaum: At one point, we had a discussion at Apple that maybe all we need is one great spot. Steve had seen the movie "Walk the Line." We gathered around his computer in the boardroom to watch the trailer. And there's a point in the trailer where Johnny Cash was asked to come up with that one song that said it all, and then it cuts to Johnny Cash playing "Walk the Line." That motivated us to try to do that one massive spot along the lines of "1984" or "Think Different" that said everything that needed to be said about Mac. We worked on that for a few weeks. We came back with all of these very single-focus concepts. And Steve said, "How can you say everything that needs to be said about Mac in one spot?" And we're like, "That was the direction that he asked us to pursue!"

Early 2006: Apple's Intel-powered Macs began hitting stores far ahead of schedule, with the completion date for the transition moved up from Dec. 2007 to Dec. 2006. Still without a campaign to support the product, Jobs grew increasingly frustrated with his creative team.

Jason Sperling: At some point there is a meeting, and Steve Jobs goes. "Where's my campaign?" Not so nicely. I'm sure there were some threats about it. "If you can't do it, we got to find someone that can."

Eric Grunbaum: You could call it either a threat or just a really smart motivational tactic, where Steve was wondering if he needed to get the idea from some other source. You could say that he threatened to fire us. 

Jason Sperling: The next day we had every top creative from Chiat\Day, some of the top freelance people, all packed into this room to get their brief for the weekend. I liken it to when, in "Star Wars," they bring up Boba Fett and all the bounty hunters to track down Han Solo. We were back to square one.

Scott Trattner: Like the pressure wasn't on already. As a creative person working on the account, the pressure was immense. You're like, "Fuck, I've been working on this thing for seven months."

Jason Sperling: I remember being extremely burned out. I think that week I had people in my office crying, saying they couldn't do this anymore.

March 2006: After six months of searching, Scott Trattner and Eric Grunbaum have a breakthrough moment while surfing in Malibu, which inspires an idea from associate creative director Barton Corley.

Scott Trattner: I have a much younger sister, and I was seeing these really charming little theatrical things at her school, where like a kid plays a tree and a kid plays a rock. I remember being so charmed by this notion that your part in a play could be a rock.

Eric Grunbaum: I was surfing with Scott somewhere in Malibu, and we were discussing our frustration with coming up with an idea, and I said to him, "You know, it's almost like we have to get so basic. It's like, we need a Mac and a PC sitting on a white site, and we need to say, 'This is a Mac. It's good at A, B and C. And this is a PC, and it's good at D, E and F.'"

Scott Trattner: I then remember saying to Barton, "What if we embody the two characters? One guy could say, 'I'm a Mac.' One guy could say, 'I'm a PC.' The Mac could be on roller skates circling the PC saying how fast he is." Barton just took it and really ran.

Barton Corley (associate creative director): I said to Scott something like, "OK, dude, let's make it really simple. A Mac walks into the room right now. What does he say?" Scott said, "'Hello, I'm a Mac.'" Then he goes, "Yeah, and there could be a guy who says, 'I'm a PC,' and they talk about being computers."

The one thing I remember when we pitched it was the look on Lee's face. I remember this really long pause, and this really great smile. I was like, "Fuck. OK. We might be on to something." — Scott Trattner

Eric Grunbaum: We thought, "Wow, this is really neat but this is really weird." I would think that Apple would not go for it because it was just too bizarre, even though it was really funny and seemed to be really smart.

Barton Corley: I sat there silent for a minute and I said, "What if the PC has a virus, like a cold, and he's sneezing?" Scott and I wrote out "Virus." That was the first spot that we wrote. I have it longhand in one of my notebooks somewhere.

Mike Refuerzo: I was having lunch outside, I think, with Barton and Scott, and they were like, "I think we cracked it. We have this great idea." They started off with a script and it was, "Hello, I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC." And I was like, "What?"

Scott Trattner: We then worked it up. Barton wrote a few scripts that were charming. We pitched it to Lee. He could be tough at times, like "Nope. Nope. Nope." The one thing I remember when we pitched it was the look on his face. There was this really long pause, and this really great smile. I was like, "Fuck. OK. We might be on to something."

Jason Sperling: It was so hard to get too passionate over an idea, because you just never knew where Steve's head was, so you didn't put all your eggs in one basket. However, everyone felt—and I had work in the mix, too—but everyone felt very strongly toward that idea.

Scott Trattner: It was unapologetic with how much of a marketing campaign it was. It was funny and to the point and simple. I knew we were playing in the right territory.

Jason Sperling: The next week myself and the rest of the lead team were in the room with Steve Jobs. I was wearing a "PC" shirt. Barton was wearing a "Mac" shirt, and I remember Lee Clow being next to me. Then Steve Jobs across from me. I remember Steve just having his feet on the table—the disdain that he started with, expecting it to be horrible. I could just tell.

Barton Corley: I was so nervous to meet Steve Jobs. I had heart palpitations and was sweating bullets but trying to keep cool. I remember him asking me if I knew how many viruses there were for PCs, and I took a moment and said, "Not including Trojans?" He looked right back at me, and I think from that moment I was OK.

Jason Sperling: As we went through script after script, he kept saying, "That's fucking stupid. That is so inane. Who the hell cares about that?" Lee Clow sort of nervously shuffling scripts around and saying, "Read this one instead, read this."

Eric Grunbaum: We were not good actors playing the role. But Steve liked it. He probably said that the scripts we presented were no good.

It was Steve Jobs' idea to bring in Justin Long. He saw him in "Herbie: Fully Loaded" and thought was a star on the rise. — Jason Sperling

Barton Corley: Steve's one of those guys that can argue both sides of the same argument in the same paragraph and convince you twice. He engaged, and I guess what I mean by that is he pushed it. He prodded at it. He challenged us to make it better. 

Jason Sperling: I suppose I should have been hugely disappointed, but part of me was like, "Steve Jobs just cursed me out! Awesome!" 

Eric Grunbaum: When something was approved by Steve, the language was usually like, "This doesn't suck. This might be interesting." Occasionally he would go, "I love it. That's great." But he would then say, "But this needs to be better and that needs to be better and we need great actors and the scripts aren't right." It wasn't a great sense of victory, because you felt there was a lot of work to be done to take things to the next level.

Scott Trattner: Barton and I got a call when those guys walked out of the room at Apple and was just like, "That's it. You guys cracked it."

Jason Sperling: At that point we went into heavy scriptwriting mode. We decided, "You know what, let us go and do a test shoot and see how this turns out."

Barton Corley: In the beginning, Scott and I wrote about the first original six. Then, when we realized this was a big idea and we were going to be shooting a lot, Jason Sperling came on and really helped form the voice. 

Scott Trattner: Jason came in and really started going berserk on scripts, just tons and tons of scripts.

Jason Sperling: The agency was so worried that we wouldn't be able to handle that type of humor that they brought in a script doctor. 

Scott Trattner: It took a lot of maturity for Jason and Barton. I give those guys props. If it were me, I'd be like, "Really, someone's going to come in and art direct this thing? You fucking kidding me?" 

Jason Sperling: He was an ex-agency guy who was trying to write for TV. This guy had reserved a room at the Chateau Marmont, and we sat on the floor reviewing scripts with him. 

Scott Trattner: I think we did probably two or three rounds collaborating with the ghostwriter person. After that, Jason had the voice and was writing funnier scripts than anyone. Barton was involved and participating and engaged, but that funny thing was coming from Jason.

March 2006: With script-writing underway, the team began an extensive but hurried search for the right director and talent.

Mike Refuerzo: We needed to find a comedic director that understood how to do comedy in 30 seconds. Phil [Morrison] had just done a film, "Junebug," which we all loved. The performances in "Junebug" were subtle, the comedic timing was on point, and it was smart. It wasn't slapstick.

Mike Refuerzo: As soon as we presented a script to him, he gravitated toward it. He had a bunch of ideas and just expanded our scripts and gave us rules and some comedic discipline.

Phil Morrison (director): I remember one of the early scripts had to do with the PC guy making that Intel sound over and over again. It never got made, but that was one we used for the auditions.

Mike Refuerzo: We were doing castings in San Francisco, we were doing castings in LA, obviously. We spent weeks in New York. We casted in Chicago, because they had a pretty big stand-up comedy circuit.

Phil Morrison: Any conversations about, "Hey, are they necessarily guys?" didn't get very far.

Mike Refuerzo: We had a big wall of every actor you could possibly think of at that time that was in the realm of Justin [Long]. Dmitry Martin, John Cusack.

It was presented to me like, there was a cool guy and a nerdy guy. Up until then, I had been playing primarily nerdy parts, and it suited my natural personality, so I just assumed they wanted me to play the nerdy guy. — Justin Long

Scott Trattner: In the early days, we were thinking, "Should Mac and PC be well known, or should they just be bubbling talent?"

Mike Refuerzo: We decided to find talent that was talented but not exposed, because we didn't want somebody who came with a lot of baggage. We didn't want to be thinking about their past characters.

Phil Morrison: Very often the same person would read for both Mac and PC, because the distinction was supposed to be small, and then that clearly changed as we started finding the folks that actually did it. 

Jason Sperling: It was Steve Jobs' idea to bring in Justin Long. He saw him in "Herbie: Fully Loaded" and thought was a star on the rise. 

Eric Grunbaum: I think he said something to the effect of, "the movie stunk, but this actor was pretty good." 

Justin Long ("Mac"): See, I did not know this. All right, well "Herbie" really paid off then. That's great, I did not know that.

Phil Morrison: Justin did not audition. Justin was just hired.

Justin Long: It was presented to me like, there was a cool guy and a nerdy guy. Up until then, I had been playing primarily nerdy parts, and it suited my natural personality, so I just assumed they wanted me to play the nerdy guy. I said, "Who's playing the other guy?" and I think they said Rob Corddry. I assumed he was going to be the cool one.

Scott Trattner: Justin we got pretty quick. He was charming and great and a fabulous actor. 

Justin Long: I had a reticence about doing it because I didn't want to be a pitch man. I had had a run of good luck with movies, and those jobs were continuing to come. Now it's different, but at the time there was a real divide between commercial actors and film actors. It wasn't an easy decision.

Click here to see the creative team's favorite 'Get a Mac' spots

Scott Trattner: I was more worried about who was going to play the PC, because we didn't want to set up a paradigm that made people who had bought that platform for years feel dumb. It was very important that that character was very bright, empowered, charming, lovable.

Phil Morrison: Hodgman came into my awareness because there was a review of his book in the New York Times, and then I think soon after that I watched him interviewed on "The Daily Show." 

John Hodgman ("PC"): In November of 2005, I had gone on "The Daily Show" to promote my first book of humor called, "The Areas of My Expertise," and that appearance went well enough that they invited me to be on the show as a contributor. Already, I was dealing with a very profound life change that was entirely unexpected, and frankly implausible. If you know what I look like now, and certainly if you knew what I looked like then, the idea that I would be on-camera talent was an impossible thing to consider.

Phil Morrison: He immediately seemed like he could be so good for the PC character, even though we were trying to find two guys that didn't embody some clichéd type. I think as we were doing the casting, we found that that it wouldn't be so bad if they did. 

John Hodgman: I got a call from my literary agent about auditioning for a new Apple campaign. I'm an Apple user and had been almost my entire life. I convinced my father to buy a Macintosh after I saw that first "1984" ad—in 1984. I was like, "Yeah, absolutely I'll come in." I had no anticipation that I would get the job, I just wanted to know why they thought of me.

Mike Refuerzo: I was nervous he was going to be too much of the cliché of the PC. But Phil really championed bringing him in.

John Hodgman: Obviously I read for the PC, which I found to be a little bit surprising, because at that point I was about to turn 35—I still considered myself to be a 24-year-old thin, cool person. It's a perfect example of how we have a delusional image of ourselves.

Mike Refuerzo: I think the first script he read was called "The Original "Blogster." Barton wrote it. Blogs were huge 10 years ago, and I think PC was bragging how he was the original blogster and the original hip-hopper, and he was just being really obnoxious and funny. It never aired but it was a script that helped define his character as just oblivious to reality.

John Hodgman: At one point there was a requirement that I human beatbox, and so I deployed my rudimentary but very impassioned human beatbox skills that I had developed in the 1980s in the mean streets of Brookline, Mass. 

Mike Refuerzo: Soon as he delivered those lines we knew that he was the guy.

Barton Corley: Hodgman's audition tape was probably a highlight of the entire thing. It was pretty incredible.

John Hodgman: As I walked out of the room, I was like, "Oh no. I may have gotten this job." I was profoundly worried about it, because I knew that it would mean a huge disruption in my life that I wasn't prepared for. Bear in mind that I was then in my mid 30s and my wife and I had a 3-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son. A good 40 percent of my life was being a stay-at-home parent. The idea that this ridiculous farce of me maybe getting this job would continue, it seemed like a real hassle in that moment.

Click here to hear the Get a Mac podcast with John Hodgman, Justin Long and Jason Sperling

Barton Corley: He's just the most lovable, intelligent guy, and also perfect to play the role of a PC. There he was in the character of the conservative suit-wearing guy, and then suddenly he beatboxed and geeked out. It brought down the room.

John Hodgman: Not long after that, I got a call saying, "They want to know if you will fly to LA the day after tomorrow to read with the person that they've cast as the Mac." I said, "No, I won't." I said to my agent "I'm not in my 20s, I'm in my 30s and I have a family and I can't just drop everything to fly out to LA." Then she called back, and she said, "Well, they're willing to make a concession. Can you come out the day after tomorrow?" I said, "No." Then she came back again and said, "Are you willing to come the day after tomorrow if they give you the job?" I said, "All right, you called my bluff. I guess I have to." It was unknowingly the best negotiating I had ever done in my life.

April 8, 2006: The finished team gathered in Los Angeles to shoot the first round of ads over the course of three days.

Mike Refuerzo: There was a lot of learning on that shoot. We were writing scripts all the way up until we shot.

Scott Trattner: It was very important to me that they would address the camera as the audience. That you weren't just observing a scene. You were invited into a conversation. The purity of that structure was really important. 

Jason Sperling: It was instant chemistry between the actors. They really hit it off, really well.

John Hodgman: I had seen a horror movie Justin was in called "Jeepers Creepers." I'm not sure that he felt very proud of it, because I said, "I liked you from 'Jeepers Creepers,'" and he was like, "Oh really? Well, my parents like you on 'The Daily Show.'" Which I took to be a subtle dig at my age. But we hit it off immediately. 

Justin Long: We're very different people, but we got along very easily right off the bat. We ended up spending so much time together, just us on that white expanse for so long, that had I not liked him as much as I did, it could have been a different job.

Danielle Kays (wardrobe stylist): On a scale of 1 to 10, the attention to detail on an average job is about an 8. For Apple it was 100, just off-the-charts, unprecedented attention to detail. Should the sleeves be rolled up twice or three times? Should the jeans come in at the bottom just a half-an-inch? Are those shoelaces off-putting?

I just needed to look terrible. Even without clothes on, I was already 90 percent there. — John Hodgman

Mike Refuerzo: Everything that Justin would wear was designer. He would have very tailored designer denim. Even though they were T-shirts, they were fitted, well-designed, the best fabric, the best T-shirts you can buy. If it was a hoodie it was like the best cotton hoodie that you can get, and by a designer that would make it fit on his body well.

Danielle Kays: With John, it was just so straightforward. Just schleppy suits. 

John Hodgman: I just needed to look terrible. Even without clothes on, I was already 90 percent there.

Mike Refuerzo: John obviously represents the basic PC but could also represent business. He represents the lack of design with his ill-fitting business suits, no color, no life.

John Hodgman: They started showing me glasses, and I said, "Well, I just got these new glasses, what do you think about these?" They had magnetized sunglasses that went on the frames, and when I took off the sunglasses portion they were like, "Yeah, those are the ones." And those are the glasses that I wore throughout the campaign. I had just happened to get them from Lens Crafters the weekend before.

On a scale of 1 to 10, the attention to detail on an average job is about an 8. For Apple it was 100. Should the sleeves be rolled up twice or three times? Are those shoelaces off-putting? — Danielle Kays

Eric Grunbaum: Early on, we shot maybe up to eight in a day. We were really cranking them out so Steve and the team would have a lot of spots to choose from.

Danielle Kays: One of the things that was different then any other commercial is we could be on-set and they're writing commercials to shoot that day. All of a sudden, the producer would come up to me and say, "Could we dress a therapist by this afternoon?" I'd have to run out to the costume house, quickly get a whole bunch of stuff, come back, sift through it. That's never how it's done.

Jason Sperling: There would be times where we would shoot, and within the first couple of reads you just go, "The script isn't working," and you just pull it.

Eric Grunbaum: It was so stripped down, so naked, that we saw when we were making it if it was good or it sucked.

Mike Refuerzo: When something didn't feel right, we stopped, we sat around the table and we rewrote the script until we got it right.

John Hodgman: It was pretty tightly scripted, but I will say that Phil Morrison and the Media Arts Lab gang gave us the freedom to mess around, and in the mess around we would find different energies and looks and responses and gestures that we could then condense into the final 30-second vision. [Ed. note: Media Arts Lab, the exclusive Apple agency born out of Chiat\Day, would be founded in June 2006.]

Justin Long: The first few rounds, it was a lot more kind of back and forth, it was a lot more of a little scene, just two guys talking, two friends. 

Danielle Kays: The crew and I would just have to be burying our faces to keep our laughter down during a take, just cracking up at John. He was so funny.

John Hodgman: What I clued into immediately was, I am 10 years older than Mac is, and my guy thinks he has shown up to teach him how to be a computer.

Obviously I read for the PC, which I found to be a little bit surprising, because at that point I was about to turn 35—I still considered myself to be a 24-year-old thin, cool person. — John Hodgman

Justin Long: Inherently, the conceit was that I'm looking down on him. I'm better than he is. And I hated it. It also ran counter to my natural feelings about John himself.

Mike Refuerzo: We found out was it was better for us to be more encouraging to PC than tear him down. They were actually friends.

Scott Trattner: I knew in the first week we were shooting that they were really special. Their chemistry, the purity of the story, that what we created was really special.

Jason Sperling: We shot 12 spots the first round. After Steve saw our first-round rough cuts, he understood and appreciated them. And we got sign off.

Eric Grunbaum: When we presented the edits at Marcom, Steve killed a majority of them. Only four survived. We found this emotionally disheartening at first, but soon learned that Steve didn't care about the "failures" or focus on them. He focused on the ones that were great. We learned that trying a bunch of ideas, falling short on many, and succeeding on a few, would be the way we would get to the three or four winners with each round of this campaign.

In Part 2, "Get a Mac" debuts to glowing reviews; the campaign moves to the United Kingdom and Japan; an actor struggles with his role; and a who's who of celebrity guests never make it to air. Click here to keep reading


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