Friday, September 19, 2008

Microsoft's Latest Spot

So the Microsoft advertising saga continues. Each time I read about what's happening I get a bit more confused. If you want more clarification and a good critique, check out this Joseph Jaffe post. The latest ad came out yesterday, for the 'new' campaign, which I guess I thought would at least somewhat tie to the bizarre Seinfeld teasers, but no, it's very much a separate campaign. It doesn't connect to the teasers in tone or messaging which begs the question, what was the purpose of the Seinfeld spots? Just to create a bunch of buzz and then never lead us anywhere? Highly annoying.

That being said, I do like the new spot. It exceeded the very low expectations I outlined in my last post. The funky music, amusing characters and nice editing make the vignettes much more interesting than I expected. It's not a new idea by any means—a pretty straight and traditional concept actually, but it's well executed and thus nice to watch. Check it out below:

The biggest question in my mind is, did it work? My boss, a PC user, would say yes, they totally called out Mac's stereotyping. I, a Mac user, am a little less eager to praise it. Yes, they called out Mac's stereotype, but it was a satire, so it was supposed to be. I mean did those Mac commercials really make PC users feel dorkier? Did anyone not know that PCs are 97% of the market share and used everywhere? I mean, being in the minority is one of one of the things I've always like about being a Mac user. And I've been a Mac user since it was an even smaller minority, way before it was 'cool' and even before I went into design. But as a die-hard Mac user I doubt I'm the target audience, so I guess if it's making PC users feel better about being PC users, we should call it a success. What do you think?


joshjs said...

I think it's a wise move for them to highlight the fact that many, many people - most people - use a PC, not a Mac. I'm not so sure they *need* to, but it's a nice counter-punch to Apple's ads. Should help raise the spirits of anybody who was feeling like a loser for using a PC. (Though I can't really imagine such a person.)

By the way: The irony of the "I'm A Mac/I'm a PC" ads is that John Hodgman is way cooler than Justin Long.

Anonymous said...

The new spot works and it's not because it provides self-affirmation to PC users. It's working because the Mac spots suddenly seem like some high school clique that invites a kid to their party so they can laugh at him behind his back (and occasionally to his face). They paint Apple as hipper-than-thou. The selling proposition was, "All the cool people use Macs. Look we've hired two actors to prove it." And this is from someone who loved the Mac spots until yesterday. I still have to figure out what happened in my brain after seeing the new Microsoft spot.