Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bill Gates vs. __________

Microsoft reported a 48% comp growth in July. But despite these incredible results PCs (Microsoft) have been taking a mighty beating in the brand wars from the Mac/Apple folks. And maybe it is with due reason, but I will not speak to the pros/cons... I have both and I am equally technically inept on either system. But I am curious about the direction their advertising is taking.

This year Microsoft hired Crispin Porter + Bogusky as their agency of record. They are a fantastic shop, and despite the Jerry Seinfeld spots (which one day I may consider genius, but still baffle me) they kept the gig. In a Fast Company article Alex Bogusky said the ultimate challenge and victory would be to get folks like him (ad folks) to use PCs... but that it is not about putting down one's iPod.

Microsoft/PC just released a new ad. Does it make you proud to be a PC or thrilled to covet your MAC?

Here it the new Microsoft spot:

And here is a Apple/MAC one for reference:

My thoughts:
Good ad. Nice use of 100 seconds of time. And I heart Tony Parker.
But despite the nice little smile I have on my face, Apple still comes out ahead.

What makes this so juicy is that PC didn't seem to have a choice, they had to define themselves through the lens of MAC. Is that a branding faux-pas or a gold medal? I say faux-pas; to win this thumb war PC will need to sing loud and proud off their own song sheet.

I am curious to see what comes next for PC, they have perhaps painted themselves into their own corner with this one.

...I am no expert on the art of wars. But this reminds me of some good 'ol Cola War ads.

p.s. as a follow up check out this Ad Age article. oct 03/08

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