Computer technology is invested with human characteristics and personalities in Apple's recent (2006-10) "Get a Mac" advertising campaign. This paper will undertake an analysis focused on several commercials in the "Get a Mac" campaign that utilize health and personality as distinct markers of humanity, and which effect/reflect societal attitudes toward the computer. We will demonstrate that such anthropomorphic representations in visual culture are an important step in the seamless integration of computing into society (Jones & Jo: 2004).
Societal fears about encroaching technology were reflected in numerous visual representations of the computer in the 20th century, however Marshall McLuhan (1964) laid the groundwork for a more optimistic view of man's relationship to technology in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. While post-modernist Donna Harraway (1994) posited the cyborg as an awkward transitional figure in man's journey toward the adaptation of technology, in the most recent decade, Nass & Moon (2000) studied the humanization of our social responses to computers, and Lisa Nakamura (2002) has explored our ability to transcend identity beyond the human form in cyberspace. The "Get A Mac" campaign introduces a new phase of the expression of man's relationship to technology in which we accept computing unconditionally into the human realm as all physical separations have been eradicated.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/meg_knowles/10/