Microsoft and Apple ads fight for your attention

by ron on July 10, 2009

Here’s a video Microsoft have put out to generate some buzz on Office 2010:

Some people are criticizing it saying that it’s all hype and doesn’t show anything about Office 2010 at all.  I say “who cares”!  Good on Microsoft for finally waking up from their typical boring advertising.  It’s great to see some creativity and humor for once.

The Apple “I’m a Mac” ads are excellent.  Creative, funny, intelligently poke fun at Microsoft, and contrast the difference between their own brand and “the other guy”.  Thanks to my DVR I never watch commercials anymore….but when I see a new Mac ad while fast forwarding the commercials, I always rewind to watch these.

Microsoft responded first with the Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates ads which were about nothing – but then again, that fits in well with the Seinfeld show.  I didn’t mind these ads.  At least they were creative & different, and it got people talking, which is what buzz creation is all about.  But most people didn’t like them at all, since they truly were about absolutely nothing, and people felt their time was just being wasted.  Microsoft even had additional Jerry Seinfeld ads which they decided not to air due to the negative feedback they were getting.  Overall, this marketing campaign was a failure.

Microsoft then tried to ride the Apple marketing wave, and twist the Apple message for their own purposes.  They attempted to make the “I’m a PC” phrase cool.  They had 3 ads which showed a very wide range of people, some cooler than others, as PC users.  These ads also didn’t get much traction.

Microsoft then followed up with the “let’s go buy a computer under $1000” marketing campaign.  I personally thought these ads were terrible.  Even though they released 5 or so of these ads, they were all exactly the same.  They also all had the exact same message: buy a PC because it’s cheaper than a Mac.  They addressed absolutely none of the more important issues which the Mac ads constantly poke fun at.  Not a single ad mentions anything whatsoever about Microsoft software; they spend all their time promoting cheap hardware from 3rd party manufacturers.  As I’m mentioned, I thought this was also a very bad marketing campaign, as many other have also commented on.

And now we have the new Office 2010 prelaunch video shown above.  I think it’s a great start.  Yes, it lacks substance, but it’s a great first buzz-creation video.  We’ll see if Microsoft can now follow up the marketing with further good promotions.

Rumors are that Microsoft will be announcing Office 2010 online (ie a web version of Office programs) this coming Monday 13th of July 2009.

Here’s a 10 minute video showing you a demo of Office 2010 Online, which consists of an online version of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote.  It should be an interesting product release from Microsoft.


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