Well-known UK graffiti artist Banksy once said, “The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people.” It’s true that the advertising industry consists of many talented writers, designers, and other creative types, and the outcome can be quite remarkable.
For the computer giants, the game is on. After releasing a series of somewhat confusing commercials portraying Microsoft founder Bill Gates and comedian Jerry Seinfeld in an Odd Couple-esque situation, Microsoft has launched a new campaign revolving around the phrases “I’m A PC” and “Windows vs. Walls.”
This campaign is the first major creative push from Microsoft in a while, playing off of Apple’s successful 2 year long “Get A Mac” campaign. The first ad, featured below in this post, includes everyday people coupled with celebrities such as actress Eva Longoria, her NBA playing husband Tony Parker, and Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes / N.E.R.D.
Both Microsoft and Apple have sought help from two of the world’s most successful creative advertising agencies. Microsoft recruited Crispin Porter + Bogusky, best known for their MINI, Volkswagen, and Burger King campaigns, to launch their $300 million dollar advertising effort while TBWA \ Chiat \ Day, who also handles advertising for McDonald’s, adidas, and Absolut, is in charge of Apple’s “Get A Mac” ads.
Microsoft has taken a huge social media / viral initiative by creating a web site where Windows users can upload a video stating what kind of PC they are. The Microsoft ad is compelling in the sense that it is broad sweeping, addressing people in a way that says, “Hey you! Windows user! You’re one out of many, and you are not stupid! You are a person, just like all of us. Don’t let Apple make you think you are a stereotype.”
However, if this is indeed a reactionary campaign from Microsoft, the issue is that Apple’s commercials attack the core problems with Windows Vista rather than mocking its users. They want users to switch to their product by highlighting the flaws of Windows Vista personified in a human. Apple’s Mac commercials offer reasons why having a Mac would be better than having a Windows PC, listing reasons in a lighthearted manner.
Although Windows retains a huge portion of the operating system market share, it will be interesting to see whether these ads can enhance brand loyalty or perception.
At the end of the day, a computer is a computer. Whether you run Vista or OSX, you are going to have issues. From a creative standpoint, the brilliance and the inspiration lies behind the creative teams that develop each company’s strategies through its key messages, along with its design and advertising efforts.
Check out the latest video ad spots from both Microsoft and Apple here:
Microsoft’s “I’m A PC” Campaign
Apple’s “Get A Mac” Campaign
As creatives, what do you think of these ads? How do they appeal to the mass consumer looking to purchase a computer?
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