Who came first – The Mac Guy or the Mac User?

That Mac Guy in the Apple ads is pretty confident.  He knows the Mac is a superior machine and so he can afford to be nice to the poor PC, who can’t really help being inferior.  Afterall, it’s not that he isn’t a nice guy, but it’s just that he’s not Mac.

That’s the basic theme of the Apple spots, featuring the Mac Guy.  Here’s a great example of how Apple has positioned the product and personality of their products.

They’re funny, memorable and different.  They’re also very spot on, when you think about your favorite Mac user.   Most Mac users I know (myself included) feel a little cocky about the fact that they’ve discovered (in their opinion) the superior computer. 

In fact according to a recent article on AdAge.com, Mindset Media did a study and found that the ad’s personifications of Mac users was dead on.  Their research "mind-set profile" — a psychographic ranking system that scores respondents on 20 different elements of personality — found Mac users to be more assured of their superiority, less modest and more open than the general population.  (The article goes into more depth on the study…a good read)

On the flip side, the one and only 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.  (Sorry, PC readers, I just really could not resist.  I know lots of you are very creative….despite what the study said!)

But here’s the marketing question.  Which came first?  Has the Mac Guy influenced and shaped the Mac Users’ attitude?  Or does Apple have a remarkable handle on their customers and was able to create Mac Guy as a compilation of all their Mac Users?

Marketing question #2 — what do you think the impact is, from the Apple brand perspective, of this alignment long term?