Microsoft’s $300 million Vista ad campaign has ditched comedian Jerry Seinfeld in favor of a John Hodgman-alike Microsoft engineer who says: “Hello, I’m a PC, and I’ve been made into a stereotype.”
Microsoft on Thursday is set to air several new ads, according to the New York Times, including one starring a lookalike of the bumbling but lovable PC character in Apple’s Get a Mac ads, played by Daily Show correspondent and author John Hodgman.
The Times says the ad is an “audacious embrace” of Apple’s Windows-baiting, and typical of MS’s new agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, which has a history of turning negative perceptions into advertising counterstrikes.
Apple has been “using a lot of their money to de-position our brand and tell people what we stand for,” Microsoft brand marketer David Webster told the Times. “They’ve made a caricature out of the PC.”
Other ads in the series will include musician Pharrell Williams, actress Eva Longoria and author Deepak Chopra, the Times says.
2 responses to “Microsoft Confronts Apple’s Mockery Head On”
The ad agency behind “Windows. Life Without Walls” is Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Their principal tactic in a number of recent ad campaigns has been the notion of perception reversing.
Therein lies Microsoft’s problem. Perception reversing by appropriating your enemy’s words can work only if your insurgency has an identifiable goal. Witness Apple which effectively used its insurgent status to barge into the consumer desktop, digital music and cellphone businesses and changed them in alignment with users’ shared aspirations.
Microsoft, one of the most lucrative monopolies ever, however, is no insurgent. Its enemy is smaller, cooler, better liked, more nimble, more creative and more aligned with users. So Microsoft has to not only show “it’s OK to use Windows” but tell us why it’s better and show us a goal that we can all identify with that the enemy cannot provide.
Microsoft “I’m a PC” ads are channeling Apple’s “Crazy Ones”