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Microsoft commercials that work.

Finally Microsoft has some advertising that will appeal to ordinary people.  The gist?  PC’s are cheaper (a lot cheaper!) than Mac’s. Haven’t I been saying that here for a very very long time

The campaign is very clever – pose as a market research firm, give ordinary people a budget to go buy a PC (or a Mac), and then film them.  As a bonus, let them keep the difference between the budget and what they spend. It reminds me of that classic of the 1980’s — the Pepsi Challenge. 

Ad #1 features Lauren shopping for a computer under $1,000.  She visits the Apple Store, can’t find what she wants, and then heads over to the PC store.  $699 later she walks away with a nice new HP laptop and cash in hand.  

This ad works.   Perhaps the best line in the whole commercial came when,   disappointed in not being able to find the laptop she wants at the Apple Store, Lauren says “I’m just not cool enough to be a Mac person”.  In this economy, where conference calls trump travel, and staycations replace vacations, saving money is the new cool and Microsoft is surely banking on it.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Mitch Brisebois March 27, 2009, 5:28 am

    It's great marketing for Microsoft to focus on out-of-the-box price comparisons. The challenge for Apple has always been to sell based on total cost of ownership. For non-technical users, TCO could be way up for Vista machines. Perhaps this isn't always a cash outlay, but the cost is annoyance of your dev friends to rebuild / fix your PC every 6 months.

    But TCO is difficult to quantify…

  • Andrew March 27, 2009, 5:38 am

    That is a great ad, although chances are it was probably made on a Mac…

  • Alec March 28, 2009, 9:23 am

    Yeah yeah, Andrew. I wonder if Sony uses their own camcorders to shoot their commercials… when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail!

  • Mitch Brisebois March 28, 2009, 2:00 pm

    Alec – Sony actually makes camcorders. Microsoft doesn't make PCs. Maybe they've signed up to HP's reseller program for extra cash…

  • Brian Hogg March 28, 2009, 3:33 pm

    This really plays on our society's 'instant gratification' mentality. The commercial should continue by showing the buyer one year later, likely with a PC that needs repairing and a barely usable installation of Windows full of viruses and spyware.

    Not to say that Apples are invincible, but I'm pretty sure if I dropped an aluminum Macbook it would happily bounce and keep on ticking. A $499 bargain laptop – I have my doubts…

  • Carey Linker March 29, 2009, 9:37 am

    Two points here:
    I read a nice analogy to the ad you talk about; imagine someone challenged to find a car under 20K in a BMW dealership and then buying a brand new Yugo for 10K and waving the extra 10K in cash she "saved".

    Second, Apple Stores are always full of customers but the PC displays at Best Buy are devoid of shoppers. The next generation is buying MacBooks no matter what they cost. Many will continue to use Macs as they enter adult life.

  • John Critchley April 1, 2009, 12:08 pm

    I agree with Carey…give me a Mac any time.
    For the price you pay for a Mac you get some great software in the iLife suite. Just don't get anything like that in the PC world without paying heaps for it.
    And of course no virus's/spyware……that's piece of mind!!

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