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Friday, September 19, 2008

More On Microsoft Ads

So having recently found the whole "surprise, we replaced your Folgers with Windows" concept a bit odd, Microsoft changes up their ad strategy again with a new "I'm A PC" ad. Quite obviously a direct response to Apple's fairly successful "Get A Mac" ads, this has a large number of people reminding everyone that the monopolistic operating system is, in fact, still being used by people.

In some ways, to be honest, I kinda like the ad. It's modern in that it plays off the YouTube generation concept of "video as a dialogue" without being overly "I'm so 2.0" (and yes, this post will break new records for "using quotes") that fills my life enough these days. There's potentially more personalization of the rather impersonal than we were getting with the Bill and Jerry comedy minute.

But sorry if it still feels like a bit of a cry for attention. Do we really need reminding that people use Windows? The fact that most of them are more or less forced to use the operating system seems to work against the premise. The real distinction here between "I'm a PC" and "Get A Mac" is that Macs (or Nix's) aren't invited on stage. We don't know why random person by his pool uses a PC for whatever it was, just that he does. For all we know it's because he lives in Wallalla, Boondocks and they don't have an Apple Store yet. Or, like what happened to my mom - he went into a Best Buy to get a Mac and got a ten minute FUD speech about how bad they were.

Some companies use advertising merely to shore up brand appeal. Most of us don't really needed to be reminded that Nike exists, for instance. We're familiar with the shoes and every store sells them (and often displays them prominently). Nike spends plenty on advertising to enhance their overall appearance. Apple does this as well with their iPod ads (and you can tell the difference in content between the iPod musical ads and the "Get A Mac" comedy ones).

If anything, though, Microsoft just keeps reminding us that they kinda suck - but that people still use their stuff. Or that they can be tricked into using it. With this ad they seem to be going with empowerment, but fall pretty darn short of it.

Not that anyone in Redmond will listen to me - but why not a brief history of the epic timeline that is the company? I'm no Microsoft fan, but they have come along way from that command line OS they probably stole from someone else.

Oh right, they'll have to edit that kind of stuff out...

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