The Mac vs. PC series of Apple commercials are wildly popular with technology marketers because each video in the series highlights one thing about the Mac that is substantially superior to the PC, and they are all done in a clever and humorous way. The Mac comes off as hip and relevant, the PC as good for nothing but spreadsheets – pretty much the dream outcome for a marketer.
The series works in part because the products lend themselves to personification. This would be tougher for a digital product, such as software. It also works because there is a clear “us/them” choice. The comparison format presents a great way to describe the features and benefits of “us”.
Comparisons are terrifically useful to people who are trying to decide between alternative solutions to a problem – ie, those in a buying cycle. To be credible, the comparison has to show the positives and negatives of each type of solution, and the applications where each type of solution would fits best.
That’s not how industrial marketers think. They typically want to show only their strengths and their competitor’s weaknesses, like Apple did. That approach is unlikely to create a shareable video that reaches a wide industrial audience.
When to use a comparison video:
If your video goal is to create collateral that can be used by your sales team or resellers, or viewed on your site by people who are in a buying process, then this format will work well.
When to avoid:
If your objective for your video is to reach a broad audience and educate them as to the existence of your solution, a series of videos like this are unlikely to be the best path forward. They are inherently too commercial to be shared.