Thursday, November 20, 2008

Has Microsoft's $300 million gamble fallen flat?

Earlier this year Microsoft approved a $300 million advertising campaign aimed at countering the 'Get a Mac' ads.  First there were a couple commercials featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates, then there were the barrage of "I'm a PC" commercials and apparently print campaign.  So, has all this succeeded in the original goal of countering the Apple ads?  At least one writer doesn't think so.  Personally I think that the first couple "I'm a PC" ads were successful, but quickly became redundant and mockeries of themselves.


Nomad said...

Honestly, I think the whole thing was a big misfire. The "Mac vs PC" commercials overall have not been a bad thing for Microsoft. Yes, Apple has gained marketshare but MANY of those machines are running Windows nowadays! The Mac commercials did a great job of differentiating Apple, without really dissing Microsoft or PCs in general. The PC character is friendly, cheerful, and generally trying to do his best. This is NOT a bad image. It says "PCs are good. Macs are just better for certain things." It is the "PCs are Fords, Macs are BMW" image that Jobs loves so much.

If Microsoft really wants to blunt the edge of the Mac gains, they'd do better by showcasing some of their own clients. Put a Mac out on a table. Talk about its strengths. Then put out a budget Dell - strength = much cheaper in a tough economy. Then put out a Sony Vaio, strength = style with unique abilities, then put out an Alienware machine, strength = far more power than any Mac. THEN, end off the commercial by rebooting the Mac into Windows via Bootcamp. "Windows - No restrictions, no limitations."

My two cents. And keep away from any more Gates/Seinfeld ads. They're funny, but a waste of time and money.

shadwomom1 said...

All of the Microsoft ads left me cold. I am not their target demographic, but I might respond much better to the "more bang for your buck" strategy.
I disagree with Nomad on one thing. I DID see the Mac ads as poking fun at and heaping valid criticism on the weaknesses of PCs. I can see why Microsoft wanted to combat the image projected by the Mac ads, even if they were correct. (The rebooting issue, the original setup issue, the crashing issue, et al.) BUt, as Nomad says, they should have just emphasized their strengths. Even if all they said was that 90% of the computer market can't be wrong! (Of course, as a Mac user, I disagree with the last statement!) ;-)