Friday, October 24, 2008


The Microsoft/Apple advertising tug-o-war continues. Oddly enough, Microsoft is only slightly tugging, and Apple is warring.

In recent ad campaigns, Microsoft has tried to connect to its consumers on a more emotional level. Their first attempt included several ads featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld. After the ads fell short, they were replaced with a series of spots that try to show consumers that PC users encompass all professions – most of which aren’t boring. You know the ads “I’m a PC, and I’ve been made into a stereotype.”

It’s nice to see Microsoft trying to build their brand beyond the corporate juggernaut that they are. For so long, they have been thought of as a greedy, numbers and figures company. And after the recent success of Apple’s “I’m a Mac” campaign, they are finally starting to realize that there is something to this whole branding thing. Your product doesn’t simply live on 6-square-feet of shelf space in Wal-Mart.

What I find interesting is Apple’s rebuttal campaign. Perhaps it’s because we’re in the middle of the political season, but Apple is using their recent ads to attack Microsoft’s tactics rather than promote themselves. Even if what they are saying is true, it still comes across as being on the defensive, which I find interesting.

I’m not advocating PCs over Macs, but I am intrigued with the ideology behind the recent change in tone of the Apple ads. Most of their previous spots included some sort of comparison where the Mac always came across as being hipper and more user friendly. Their last two spots, however, leave the direct comparisons on the cutting room floor. Instead, Apple is simply pointing out the flaws in Microsoft’s thinking. So let the politickin’ begin.

Thank you for reading the thoughts of Lucas.

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