Saturday, September 13, 2008

Microsoft's new ad campaign

Why am I up at 4:17am on a Friday night? Watching Microsoft's new ad campaign videos, of course... what else would I be doing?! :)

These are freakin' HILARIOUS. A lot of people seemed to be complaining about the first one... but I think it's fantastic. It's soooo weird and funny and random, and it's clearly just the start of a series of Jerry and Bill Ads which aim to improve the image of Microsoft (and by proxy, Vista) in the face of the years of Apple Vs. PC negative Mac ads. I like it, and I think it's inspired and hilarious. Kudos to Microsoft on this. The 2nd ad just came out and is actually a lot funnier, and it's pretty funny to see the situations these guys are getting themselves into. Bill Gates doing "the robot" is absolutely priceless. Nice work!!

In a way this is almost like Microsoft is taking the "moral high ground" in a world of unfair attack ads (sound familiar?) from Apple. Don't get me wrong - I like the Apple ads, they are clear, the actors are funny, and they are plain and simple enough to reach a common denominator with most people. But in some of the Mac ads there are some pretty blatant statements like "PCs get more viruses that Macs" - since PCs are 90% of the market share, and they've been popular in business and personal use much longer (and with a bigger market) than Macs, obviously it is the case that more people write viruses (or have written viruses) that impact PCs. I think we can safely say that Mac computers are in no way "immune" to computer viruses, they just haven't been slammed the way that Microsoft Windows has typically been intentionally hacked in the past. So omissions like this are obviously done to "simplify the issue" and reach Americans with just sharp, witty talking points.

Don't get me wrong - I love Apple, and they are really awesome. I think this is more a statement on American culture rather than on Apple's approach. It is smart. But American society loves small, bite-size, easy-to-swallow talking points. This is akin to the McCain/Palin ads against Obama/Biden and now that I've thought about this issue a bit, it actually makes me like the Microsoft ads EVEN MORE. I see what they are doing, and they are trying to heal their image which has been broken down by negative advertising (and with some blunders on their part too)... and they are making a clear statement that they are not going to play the game of "I'm better than you are". And I applaud them on that, actually.

Bill and Jerry Ad #1: Shoe Circus

Bill and Jerry Ad #2: New Family

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