Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm A Misunderstood PC

Ah, I love the smell of desperation in the morning! Now that Microsoft's two new commercials featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates has left people scratching their heads - they're ready for "Phase 2" of the attack.

According to a New York Times article - one of the new ads will have a real Microsoft engineer that looks like John Hodgman (the comedian playing the loser PC guy in the Apple ads) opening up the commercial with "Hello, I'm a PC, and I've been made into a stereotype."

Wow! That's really "edgy!" How "crisp" can you get? There's NO WAY that Apple can come out with an ad that's 10,000 times better just mocking them even more... er, wait.

The problem isn't that Microsoft (and their ad agency the incredibly hip - up until now - Crispin Porter & Bogusky) doesn't have a creative bone in their entire body - it's just that they don't like to be picked on - so they do what they always do - copy someone else's innovation.

It's like high school all over again. You know - the Mac guy is the "cool" kid with the cool friends - and the PC guy is the dweeb who can't get a date. The nerd gets endlessly teased, and maybe even "befriended" by the cool kids as a convenient brunt of their jokes behind his back (boy, that brings back memories!).

The thing that bothers the nerd is the fact that his daddy is really rich, so he can get the latest and greatest of anything he wants at any time - but he still can't buy respect. But he's the only one that doesn't know it.

That's exactly what's happening here. Now, I'm sure that the Microsoft ads will be somewhat entertaining. They will feature real Microsoft employees and also cameos by various entertainment folks: Eva Longoria, Deepak Chopra and Pharrell Williams. But will it have the same impact as the Apple ads?

Ummmm... nope. To demonstrate just how "me too" it actually is - Microsoft has set up a separate site and has bought billboards that show how people use Vista in "real life." Well, real life in the rarefied bubble that is Microsoft PR.

If it were REALLY "real life" - there would be shots of people cussing and throwing laptops through windows (no pun intended), against the wall, and out of dorm rooms.

And if copying their ad campaign wasn't enough - Microsoft is now hiring 155 "Windows Gurus" (see - it's NOT the same Apple's "Genius" folks) and is putting them in Circuit City and BestBuy stores to walk around and try to convince people that Vista doesn't suck. For $20-$25 per hour.

According to the recruiting site ( Gurus will work full time (including weekends) and need to need to be able to run how-to trainings and workshops, and answer customers' questions, and that they'll need to "innovate, educate, inspire" people according to the job description.

To buy a Vista machine over a Mac. In BestBuy. Riiiiiiight....

Oh, and don't worry - NO ONE will try to corner you for tech support "How do I open a picture my son tried to send me in email..."

1 comment:

Brenda Christensen said...

I've always said that Apple are the Greeks and MS are the Romans...great post.

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