Microsoft advertising is HELPING Apple

Microsoft is pretty happy with their new ad campaign from Crispin Porter & Bogusky.  After all, what could be better than pairing one of the biggest and most venerated technology brands on the planet with the creative weirdos who brought us “subservient chicken?”

In a survey of some of the recent ads in the PC Hunter campaign, “Lauren” says “I’m just not cool enough to be a Mac person.”  “Giampaolo,” a tech-savvy and demanding user, says “I don’t want to pay for the brand, I want to pay for the computer.” “Sheila,” a filmmaker, says “this Mac only comes with 2GB of RAM.”

So, what’s the big deal?  First of all, they’re factually inaccurate, but that’s never been a huge concern in television advertising anyway.  In fact, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner is now confirming a rumour that Apple called Microsoft and threatened legal action if they don’t pull the spots, based on some erroneous lines.

Second, someone should probably tell these “users” that in all of the Microsoft empire, you won’t find a single laptop being produced.  Not one.  Not anywhere.  But I suppose that an ad campaign comparing operating systems would be a bit much for the prime time audience, even coming from Crispin.

Okay, enough about the spots.  What about the marketing behind them? It seems like Crispin is doing more for Mac than they are for Microsoft in this very un-Crispin-type campaign. First of all, they’re positioning apples (nice pun, eh) against oranges…Microsoft is an OS only, Apple actually MANUFACTURES and BUILDS laptops and desktops. It’s like comparing GoodYear Tires with BMW cars and then bragging that the tires are cheaper.

But of all the marketing strategies that were considered, and for all the aura and creative mystique of the agency, and all the inherent attributes of the Microsoft brand – and its history of success – that were laid on the table, they went to war with a “we’re cheaper” strategy? Wow. Suddenly those old ads from Mc-Cann Erickson – the ones with the kids and the drawn-in rocketships – look really good right now.

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