There’s always been an element of us-and-them to Apple marketing. Forbes magazine’s Roger Dooley says the company took a unique approach to turning its brand into a social identity among its legions of rabid fans: It attacked not its competitor, the PC (aka Microsoft) but its competitor’s customers.

It wasn’t always the gentle, goofy I’m a Mac humour, either. Early commercials (remember the Ridley-Scott-directed, 1984-themed Super Bowl ad) had a much harsher tone.

I don’t know if Apple’s marketing department was au courant of experiments in the early 80s regarding creating social identity by creating conflict, but Dooley says it’s a textbook example.