OK, I am the first to admit that the title is purely sensational, but there is some element of truth to it. Microsoft‘s new advertising campaign is about some “regular people” going to an Apple store, not finding something in their price range and feature requirements, but finding a PC that fits the bill.
There has been loads of coverage over the two commercials, and some people have liked them. However, in the tech blogosphere, there has been a consistent tone of dislike. Here is a summary of some of the comments I have seen:
- Microsoft calling Apple elitist by using the “I am not cool enough for a Mac” line.
- Microsoft trying to poke fun at the PC/Mac ads from Apple but failing miserably.
- The “regular people” are actually actors/actresses.
- The PC that was purchased was not as good/fast/big/whatever as a comparable Apple machine.
- They never mentioned Windows in the commercials.
That is just a small sampling of some of the comments across the web in the past week. Some of these comments are OK, but some are rather silly. Using “regular people” instead of actors is a humorous comment. Why would any company use “regular people” in an advertisement when they get some level of acting talent from a registered actor? The PC/Apple debate on price/performance will continue as long as the two companies exist. Both types of machines are better suited for some people and some tasks. Those types of “religious” arguments just get people upset. Lastly, the fact that Windows is never mentioned is not a big deal. If they promote PC purchases, they are indirectly promoting Windows and Microsoft Office purchases. How many non-tech people buy a PC without Microsoft Office? By not focusing on one product and promoting the entire platform, they are targeting a larger audience.
I am here to say that Microsoft has been very successful with these two advertisements. Why? Advertising is about buzz, and these ads have generated a ton of buzz. You may like it or not, but Microsoft has people talking about the PC/Mac debate again. They have people talking about Microsoft advertisements again.
Basically, it comes down to the fact that people are talking about Microsoft in the context of PCs again. Now tell me, is that not the point of advertising? And, why do we care so much?