Microsoft’s newest ad campaign is puzzling. Watch this:
Apple has been making fun of PCs for awhile in their ads, so it is probably time for Microsoft to come back with something, but I don’t know that this is going to help them.
First, the add doesn’t even mention Microsoft’s products. It is kind of like Goodyear advertising Toyotas because they come with Goodyear tires. If Microsoft thinks their product (Vista, Windows 7, XP, etc.) is superior to OS X they ought to show the value of their products. I like Apple and OS X, but I think there are some things Microsoft could really capitalize on.
Second, their current approach basically says that software is interchangeable and the only think you should look at is the hardware specs for the price. If consumers take this type of approach to buying, Microsoft loses. A machine with Linux is generally cheaper than the equivalent machine with Windows.
Third, I don’t know that the “we are cheap” slogan works very well. It is kind of like BWM saying “we are the ultimate driving experience” and Hyundi saying “Oh, yeah! Well we are dirt cheap!” Instead Hyundi has been saying “we are reliable and we will give you a warrantee to prove it.”
Apple is advertising their machines as non-commodities. In this ad campaign Microsoft is trying to reinforce the idea that PCs are commodities and that the only difference is price. In the end I don’t think this will help PC makers. Which also means it won’t help Microsoft.