Apple-Microsoft add war gets ugly

21 Oct

The multimillion-dollar ad war between Microsoft and Apple has turned nasty, with Apple firing the latest salvo in an attempt to continue to define Vista as a broken, bug-ridden operating system.

Apple’s ads have long lampooned the PC for being staid and uncool but, this time, Apple’s target isn’t the PC per se, but Microsoft’s marketing strategy.

The first of two new ads shows PC, played by John Hodgman, allocating stacks of dollar bills toward either “advertising” or “fix Vista”, with the bulk of the money going to advertising.

The ad is a swipe at Microsoft’s $US300 million ($430 million) ad campaign to redefine Windows Vista’s image, which featured stars including comedian Jerry Seinfeld (reportedly paid $US10 million for his appearance), actress Eva Longoria, singer Pharrell Williams and even the author Deepak Chopra.

A belated response to Apple’s highly successful “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads, the campaign sought to paint Apple and Mac users as elitists by presenting a slew of everyday PC users, such as scientists and teachers, espousing the virtues of their platform of choice.

“Hello, I’m a PC and I’ve been made into a stereotype,” says a Microsoft engineer in one of the ads.

The second new ad from Apple shows PC brandishing a buzzer, beeping out the word “Vista” whenever it is mentioned by the Mac character, played by actor Justin Long.

“We don’t say the V word any more. It doesn’t sit well with frustrated PC users. From now on we’re going to use a word with a lot less baggage: Windows,” PC says in the ad, which appears to be a dig at Microsoft’s strategy of not mentioning the word “Vista” in its ads.

While Microsoft’s entire campaign seeks to convey the message that many of the earlier problems plaguing Vista have since been fixed through software updates, Apple’s new ads ignore this and continue to portray Vista as a broken operating system.

Apple appears to be winning the public perception war. Its ads ran for years without a response from Microsoft and, even after the company’s recent ad campaign, Apple still appears to own the narrative and its definition of Vista has stuck.

A ranking of global brands released in March this year put Microsoft in 59th spot, down from 11th in 2004. Brand consultancy CoreBrand, which produced the rankings, said at the time that Apple’s advertising campaign “may have taken its toll on Microsoft”.

In a recent experiment Microsoft rounded up people who had negative views of Vista and showed them a “new” operating system, codenamed Mojave. More than 90 per cent of respondents gave positive feedback on Mojave, which was actually just standard Windows Vista.

Microsoft hasn’t been helped by the fact that private emails released during a court case this year showed that even Microsoft’s top executives had compatibility and stability problems with Vista when it was released.

Further, Vista is in danger of being skipped over by a large proportion of consumers because the next iteration of Windows, dubbed Windows 7, is due for general release late next year.

An early version of Windows 7 will be handed out to developers attending Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles this month

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Apple-Microsoft add war gets ugly”

  1. realizePhiladelphia October 30, 2008 at 8:49 pm #

    If you wanna read more about the on-going Apple vs PC debate, check out web.illish.us/?paged=2 to read a blog on the topic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: