Former 'I'm a Mac' Actor Justin Long Joins New Huawei Ad Campaign
Actor Justin Long, well known for his role in Apple's popular "Get a Mac" ad campaign, has signed on to star in a series of Huawei commercials promoting the company's latest Mate 9 smartphone.
Huawei reportedly sought out Long due to his past work with Apple, despite the fact that Long hasn't been in an Apple ad since 2009. "It was key when we considered Justin as a possible partner for Huawei," Jessica Grizzel, director of the WPP Blast Radius agency behind the campaign told ad industry news site Campaign U.S. in an interview.
From 2006 to 2009, Justin Long played a Mac computer in Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign, starring in commercials alongside John Hodgman, who played a PC. The commercials always started out with the tagline "Hello, I'm a Mac," and were some of Apple's most iconic ads, featuring Long as the cool, casual Mac while Hodgman was a stuffy PC in a suit and tie.
Huawei is China's largest smartphone maker and the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, but the company has bigger ambitions.
Huawei consumer head Richard Yu recently said the company's goal is to break into the top two market share, and, by 2021, become the top smartphone seller in the world. Given its ambitions, it is not surprising Huawei is attempting to take some advertising cues from Apple.
The ad agency behind the campaign even wanted to highlight Long's past relationship with Apple in its new line of ads, but Long reportedly convinced the company to go with a more subtle approach.
In fact, Grizzel says the original concept "was a much more emboldened approach to call out the previous relationship with Apple," but that Long and the client encouraged them to find "a nice middle ground where that idea is inferred as opposed to explicitly stated." [...]
"The storyline for the video series positions Justin as a new director providing guidance to a series of Huawei products as they are looking to break into the market and make their mark," she said. "There is no doubt that Justin's history as a pitch-man for Apple adds a nice subtext to the videos and builds on Huawei's challenger position in the market."
Long's first spot, "The Interview," features Long interviewing with a Mate 9 for the opportunity to direct Huawei commercials. The ad is fairly different from Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign, but it does feature the same light humor used to highlight Mate 9 features.
To secure a position as the top smartphone manufacturer in the world, Huawei will need to make serious inroads into the U.S. market, something the company may be hoping Long will help with. Huawei has not managed to establish deals with the major carriers in the United States and it has a ways to go to impact Apple, the U.S.'s top smartphone manufacturer.