jackofallgeeks: (Geeky)
[personal profile] jackofallgeeks
So, OK. It's been going on for a while, but I kind of wanted to throw out
my two cents on Microsoft's "I'm a PC" ad campaign and why I think it's
really poorly done. I might've said something sooner, but I don't watch TV
(like, ever) so I haven't really been exposed to it.

I'm not sure what really spurred Microsoft into action, though I expect
(especially judging from the rather pointed head-nod of the current
campaign) that it was due to Apple's "I'm a Mac" commercials. I'm a fairly
dedicated PC user (mostly because I'm a gamer, and all games are PC games),
and if I ever got up the will to leave I would probably go to Linus (of one
flavor or another); but I love the "I'm a Mac" commercials.
They're funny, informative, insightful, clever... I've downloaded pretty
much all of them to my iTouch. It's a very well done set of ads.

Originally, Micosoft ran an ad that had Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates trying
on tennis shoes and eating churros. You don't get much more mid-90s
has-been as Seinfeld, and the ad didn't really say anything. But it
got people to notice and it got people to talk. They were
complaining, but they were talking. Microsoft had people's
attention. Instead of hold to their guns and take advantage of the
attention to actually communicate something to their audience, they caved
under the criticism and pulled the ad. A really dumb move, in my opinion.

Their follow on ad(s?), though, were an even dumber move. Like I said,
they're an obvious head-nod and direct response to Apple's ads; the first
one even apparently had a raggedy Hodgman-lookalike saying something like,
"I'm a PC, and I'm a stereotype." Such a direct reference to Apple's ads is
a big mistake, I think, because it just serves to remind people of the
deeply-entrenched ads of the competition. they're trying to compete
directly with Hodgman, and they look even more lame for the comparrison.

On top of that, though, it seems the whole thrust of the ad is just a parade
of "regular people" all saying "I'm a PC." I'm not a PC.. I'm a
gamer, I'm a geek, I'm a goof -- I just happen to use a PC. Mac and
PC from Apple's commercials are very obviously meant to reprisent the
machines themselves, not the users. By pretty much equating their users
with their machines, I think Microsoft does a lot of harm to themselves.
No one (except Mac users) defines themselves by what computer they
use.

Anyways... as lame as Seinfeld is, Microsoft would have been better sticking
with that, doing their own thing, and communicating relevant information to
their audience. instead they've fallen back on typical, bland,
uninformative advertising which is at best forgettable, and at worst
implicitly insulting. Fail.

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John Noble

August 2012

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