Mac Owners Are Just Like, Well, the Mac Guy

Study: Apple Computer Users Less Modest but More Open Than General (Read: PC) Population

By Published on .

YORK, Pa. ( -- So it's not just that Mac guy in the "Get a Mac" ads who thinks he's better than everyone else. Apparently so do many of the people who use Apple's computers.

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Research from internet ad network Mindset Media confirms the ad's personification of Mac users as superior and self-satisfied. Its recent Mac user "mind-set profile" -- a psychographic ranking system that scores respondents on 20 different elements of personality -- found them to be more assured of their superiority, less modest and more open than the general population.

Mindset did not work with Apple, Microsoft or any other PC company for its survey of 7,500 Nielsen online consumers. The questions were structured so Mindset could discover information about groups they were interested in -- in this case, Mac and PC users.

Far fewer cohesive personality traits emerged among PC owners, likely because of the breadth of PC ownership. Given that 95% or so of all computer users own a PC, those users essentially are the general population. The one area where PC users did stand out as statistically different was in creativity -- low creativity, that is. Mindset Media found they tend to be realists who are emotionally steady and work well with what they're given.

Increasing share
The "Get a Mac" series of ads, also known as "Mac vs. PC," began in 2006 and has almost 40 creative iterations, along with innumerable riffs and takeoffs on YouTube. Apple has made significant strides in market share since before the commercials began running. It has gone from hovering at a low 2% to 3% share to a 6% to 8% share today, depending on whose numbers one believes. Exact calculations aside, by most estimates Apple is now the solid No. 3 seller of computers in the U.S. with forecasts for double-digit share by decade's end. While Mac adoption is being propelled by several forces -- such as the iPod halo effect, along with the dismal reception of Microsoft Vista, aided by Mac price drops and feature extensions -- Apple's clever and consistent marketing also deserves credit.

But just who is that Mac guy? We took Mindset Media's psychographic rankings, added some additional market research and found ... actor Justin Long. Just kidding. Click on the graphic above for more information.
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