Buzz was that Microsoft’s last three ads changed the effectiveness of Apple’s “I’m a PC/I’m a Mac” ads. To recap: the first Seinfeld/Gates “Churro” ad left the techies wondering WTF and the general public wondering when Gates and Seinfeld’s new sitcom was going to be airing. The general public got their wish with the second “move in with the typical dysfunctional American family” ad… kind’a. The TV-version cut out all of the funny bits and what was left was even more WTF than the “Churro” ad. Adding insult to injury, probably only the techies saw the four and a half minute much funnier YouTube version, laughed and then moved on to the next YouTube video. The third “quit picking on me, I’m not a stereotype” ad was the most pathetic. The company that single-handedly killed IBM’s OS/2 operating system (thus eventually ending IBM’s role in the microcomputer world) and out-maneuvered Apple with it’s own graphical user interface “revolution” in the 80’s and 90’s is now whining, “Hey, I’m cool too!” And where do all three of these ads fail? Well, just compare a Bill Gates’ keynote with a Steve Jobs’ keynote. Which one perfectly balances the graphical message with an easy to remember verbal hook and which one clutters the screen with words and drones on with no decipherable message?
So, with two new 30-second “I’m a PC/I’m a Mac” ads, Apple redirects the conversation back to Microsoft’s failed Vista OS and points out that throwing money at ads or choosing to banish the “V” word won’t change Microsoft’s uncoolness. Nothing flashy, no WTF factor, no “churros” or subplots, just a silly little observation that Microsoft continues to miss the point.
This has got to piss off someone at Microsoft. $700-million in advertising undercut by two simple 30-second spots. That’s gotta hurt. jbb