November 2 2008
Appear on TV in "Windows: Life Without Walls" ads
After I posted my thoughts about Microsoft's Life Without Walls ad campaign, I discovered Microsoft had already implemented many aspects of what I thought they should do. They went the community video route and set up a site where anyone can upload a picture or video. Microsoft then chooses the ones they like and splices them into TV ads. So close and yet so far.
Microsoft did have a great idea: let their customers speak for them. It nicely battles Apple's professional Mac ads, and it gives normal people a place to be heard and possibly be on TV. And yet, Microsoft designed the entire campaign around "I'm a PC and...," rather than "Microsoft makes my life easier because...." The ad campaign is embarrassing for Microsoft. They're explicitly acknowledging that Apple's ads have been damaging. But moreover, their rebuttal campaign is implicitly acknowledging that their own products are indeed worse than Apple's by not discussing them. Instead, Microsoft is encouraging people to identify with a fairly meaningless slogan, "I'm a PC." The campaign is effectively saying, "We know Vista is worse than Leopard, but more of the world runs on Microsoft." Very true but probably not a useful marketing strategy.