The second phase of the Microsoft Windows campaign is out. This one is taking Apple head on. Almost like, ‘You dare to make fun of me, Mac? I have got a billion smart & everyday people proud to say that they are a PC’.
You can watch all the 3 commercials here.
A competent set of ads alright – like all testimonial ads it uses contrast of some kind. In some it could be the visual showing something and the audio saying the opposite. In this case the contrast is in juxtaposing different kinds of people and what they say. ‘Roger that Houston, I am PC’ leads into ‘I am Roger and I am a PC’. The people celebs include Deepak Chopra, Bill Gates and Eva Longoria. It does convey the message that from rocket science to every day tasks PC rules the world.
It will make a lot of PC users feel right about their choice. In other working towards meeting the objective of making PC cool. But does it run the risk of coming across as defensive (like one of the guys in the ad saying, ‘I am a PC ad I am scared’)? Or is the stance an aggressive one? I am not able to decide. There is a certain cockiness in the manner ‘I am a PC’ is said – like daring Apple in a ‘so what?’ manner. I guess too, like the Seinfled ads were not meant to increase sales of Windows – just improve the perception. In contrast, the Apple ads did both.
I still feel that Microsoft gave up on the Seinfeld ads too soon. They apparently have a third TVC ready but chose not to air it. Did they get cold feet after negative feedback about people not ‘getting it’? The I am a PC ads serve the purpose but because its the conventional way of advertising, it is less edgy. The Seinfeld ads blurred the line between entertainment and advertising.
For years, Apple and Apple users were not only the underdogs but made to feel so. And in market share terms, specially outside the US, Apple is not a significant competitor at all in the computer space. In the US, Apple is giving Microsoft a fright in terms of both market share & imagery. And the I am PC effort is an acknowledgement of that. As a Mac, I am happy.