‘I’m a Mac’ star Justin Long becomes new face of Huawei phones

Justin Long, the face of Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign for three years, is now starring in ads for Huawei phones.

The Chinese Android maker is desperately trying to break into the U.S. market, and it will be hoping Long’s familiar face can raise awareness of the Huawei brand.

Huawei is now the third-biggest smartphone maker in the world behind only Apple and Samsung. It shipped 44.9 million handsets last quarter to grab a 10.2 percent of the global market, which is the first time it has ever reached double figures.

However, much of Huawei’s success stems from emerging markets like China, where its affordable handsets are more accessible to consumers. The company is now trying to break into Western markets, with a big focus on the U.S.

What better way to do that than with the face of Apple’s famous “Get a Mac” campaign, which aired from 2006 to 2009. Long currently appears in two Huawei ads for the U.S. — both of which are focused on its smartphones, with a brief appearance from the MateBook.

Campaign reports that Huawei originally wanted Long to be more explicit about his previous relationship with Apple during its new commercials, and this was the primary reason why Blast Radius, the firm behind the campaign, hired him to be the star.

The original campaign “was a much more emboldened approach to call out the previous relationship with Apple,” the agency said. However, Long negotiated “a nice middle ground where that idea is inferred as opposed to explicitly stated.”

Long played the cool, casually-dressed Mac user in Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign, pointing out the advantages Macs had over PCs at the time. Playing the PC user, John Hodgman wore a suit and glasses and complained about issues like viruses and the disaster that was Vista.