Here’s some good news for the Mac users. Microsoft has decided that it should emulate the Mac, even in advertising!
After the success of Apple’s “I’m a Mac – I’m a PC” ad campaign, Microsoft came up with a few spots that featured Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld. Apparently, these ads “ran its course” according to Microsoft, while the critics claim the ads were a flop. Now, Microsoft is trying a new tactic by launching a campaign that takes pride in being a PC user (“I’m a PC”) and will try to subvert Apple’s famous PC/Mac series. They’ve even hired a guy who looks like the “PC Guy” in the Apple ads – and the irony is in him claiming that “a PC is not a stereotype” while looking like a carbon copy of the original PC Guy..!
Starting with an official website that reminds us of Apple (again!), Microsoft plans to lead the campaign in to more traditional mediums and of course with a touch of “Microsoft-like innovation” by getting PC users involved in the campaign. PC users can “hit the big screen in Times Square, appear in online advertising, and join the PC Gallery on the site,” according to Microsoft. Just imagine PC users standing in Times Square and seeing their pictures appear on a billboard right in front of them... WOW, how genius is that..!
(Mini ran a campaign of interactive billboards in San Francisco in 2007 where the drivers were greeted individually by the billboard as they were driving by. Even after two years of experiencing the “Mini phenomenon” couldn’t Microsoft be a bit more clever, I wonder.)
The Apple ads were in fact favourable for Microsoft – even the die-hard Mac users got to know about the capabilities of a PC. Microsoft trying to take on Apple in advertising is, treading on thin ice, and potential suicide for the campaign, in my mind. Where all this would lead is something we’d have to wait and see.
Perhaps there would be an I’m a PC 2.0 released much sooner than we expect...
Sources: Microsoft; Victor Godinez/The Dallas Morning News (Sept 18)