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Commercial Break: Get a Mac, Bean Counter

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William Arruda, called the personal branding guru by Entrepreneur magazine, is the founder of Reach Personal Branding. He shares his personal-branding wisdom through his public speaking and his bestselling book, Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand.

But he is also passionate about TV commercials. In fact, William has an enormous collection of advertisements dating back to the 1970s. Sadly, he says, most of his TV ads are on VHS. But thanks to the Internet and YouTube, he nonetheless has access to most of the commercials he has collected over the decades.

Here, William shares some of his favorite ads. And true to his style, he offers up a lesson for how the ad relates to your personal brand—after all, it's all about personal branding... at least, in his world.

Client: Apple
Campaign: Get a Mac
Ad: Bean Counter

Year: 2008


We love this commercial because...

"It pokes fun at a competitor's weakness—and most people who know me know that I am an Apple brand ambassador!" says Arruda. This ad and the others in the series hit Microsoft so hard ("BTW, I am a Microsoft fan as well," Arruda asserts) that it created its own series of ads rebutting Apple's claims.

This ad and YOUR personal brand: "While it's most important to tout your own strengths and what makes you exceptional, sometimes (when it makes sense) it's also valuable to demonstrate your differentiation by highlighting a glaring weakness in a competitor," Arruda points out. "What do you do that your competitor's can't?"

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