The superiority complex of Mac users has been confirmed, again. And we will pay for it.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a study conducted by Orbitz Worldwide Inc. found that people who use Mac computers spend as much as 30 percent more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts. Orbitz.com, the travel-booking website, will of course begin to bank on this by displaying the pricier options more prominently to those of us using our high-and-mighty MacBooks. The best deals the site has to offer will not be shown to us first.
The Orbitz effort, which is in its early stages, demonstrates how tracking people's online activities can use even seemingly innocuous information—in this case, the fact that customers are visiting Orbitz.com from a Mac—to start predicting their tastes and spending habits.
This is not the first time that research has supported targeting Apple users as if we are a different species. In 2008, a study that proved the holier-than-thou complex "Mac people" have was explored in PCWorld:
According to Mindset Media, people who purchase Macs fall into what the branding company calls the "Openness 5" personality category -- which means they are more liberal, less modest and more assured of their own superiority than the population at large. Mindset Media helps companies with strong brands develop ads targeted to people based on personality traits or people's "mindsets," and does research to that effect.
In May, Jumptap, a company that specializes in targeted mobile advertising, studied the number of clicks advertisements received on mobile Apple devices as opposed to Android devices, finding iPhone and iPad users were much more responsive to the advertisements.
In January, Forrester surveyed nearly 10, 000 information workers in 17 countries in an attempt to paint a portrait of the typical person who uses an Apple device for work. According to The New York Times:
[T]he study...says that 43 percent of people making over $150,000 a year use an iPhone, iPad or Mac for work, making them far more likely than any other group to use an Apple product. In comparison, 27 percent of people earning $100,000 to $149,999 said they use an Apple product for work, while 23 percent of people making $50,000 to $99,999 a year and 19 percent of earners below $50,000 said the same.
Similarly, 41 percent of the respondents who identified themselves as “directors” at their companies said they used an Apple product for work. For self-identified “managers” and “workers,” the figures were 27 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
It makes sense, from an advertising standpoint, to target the apparently wealthy, ad-receptive, self-assured, high-spending contingent that buys Apple products. But what about those of us who irresponsibly purchased our iPhones on credit, have only been "directors" of our own unemployment, and are only looking for the cheapest roadside motel in Devils Lake, North Dakota?
I guess we'll have to log onto Orbitz from the computers of our low-spending, ad-averse friends. You know, the ones with inferiority complexes. Thanks, a lot, research.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.