September 19, 2008

Will these ads make people proud to be a PC?

Microsoft launched the next phase of their campaign with this spot:

(Did you notice the email addresses at the beginning? I'll let you know if I get a reply.)
They also ran this spread in yesterday's Wall Street Journal:

And these ads in Times Square:

I love the inclusion of Tron Guy saying "I'm a PC."
But I can't help but think that diver holding the "I'm kinda scared" sign is worried about Vista crashing instead of the sharks around him:

I think this campaign does a great job of turning Apple's "I'm a Mac" campaign into a rally cry that Microsoft can hang their hat on.

UPDATE: Here are the replies from the emails in the TV spot:

Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 15:40:40 +0000
Subject: Out of Office AutoReply: I'm a PC

Hello! I’m a PC – and I can’t answer your email right now. I’d like to say that I’m out climbing Mt. Rainier or biking across Europe with the Swedish Beach Volleyball Team, but in fact I’m probably just chained to a desk somewhere in the depths of Redmond pounding out product specifications.
Now that I have been in a commercial, Microsoft has given me access to super-secret “BillyG” level of executive resources. That’s right – I have my own email auto-responder!
This, as you have probably surmised, is my pre-prepared auto-response (All natural, no filler. No animals were harmed in the making of this response. Except for a ferret.) I really would like to have answered you myself, but if I did, (a) I’d probably get no work done, and (b) then I’d get fired, and (c) then I’d have no chance of doing any more of those really awesome commercials.
So let me try to prognosticate a few of your questions and answer a few of them.
Why did they put you on TV?
I think it’s my devastating good-looks and animal magnetism. No, really – there’s a ferret stuck to my leg right now.
But really – you aren’t even an actor!
No I’m not. But I play one on TV. I really am a Microsoft Program Manager. I work on IPv6, and other things that you haven’t heard of.
How did you get selected?
I auditioned along with a couple of hundred others. I guess I looked very Engineery. And the ferret probably helped.
Are you interested in more acting?
Oh no, I think that Engineering is MUCH more fun.
What’s with Windows Vista?
You’ve been watching those commercials again, haven’t you? Windows Vista rocks. Listen to real users, not actors.
-The Real PC, Sean Siler

Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 15:40:47 +0000
Subject: Out of Office AutoReply: I'm a PC

this is an exciting time… wait, you know what? it’s always an exciting time. i am as excited and passionate about Microsoft as i was when we were Micro-soft. the goal never changes for us, so everyday seems like the first day, and the first day was really just about one thing: connecting people.
maybe this didn’t answer your question at all. but I wanted to say it anyway. i mean, this is an auto-response email. and i will try to answer a few of them, but they will all say the same exact thing…
this is an amazing company. and, yes, the future really is delicious.


  1. Anonymous8:23 AM

    I'm a PC, and I use a mac.


  2. Anonymous8:59 AM

    Let me just say I am primarily a Windows user. I think the new "I'm a PC" campaign is not that bad in and of itself, but it shows that Microsoft is still trying to play catch up to the coolness factor of Apple. When your whole big, new marketing campaign is entirely based-on and derivative of Apple's successful campaign, it can only serve to remind people of their competitor over and over again. This is probably not what you want a marketing campaign to do.

  3. I hate this campaign. It's derivative, cloying, clumsy and makes MS look like a me-too brand. Okay, they are a me-too brand, but that doesn't mean they should advertise the fact.

    Also, I hate you for moving to a city where you see cool ads every block. Plano blows.

  4. Anonymous5:30 PM

    I use Linux, PC and a Mac - all depending. And these ads leave an akward taste in my mouth. It's too much of a thumbs-up-"we're all different, and that's okey!"-political-correct-thing, topped with a complete lack of authenticity and personality. It is too rational, it embarres me as a PC user, and it underlines what Jobs said of Microsoft: "They just have no taste. No taste at all"

  5. I love these ads!

    For the simple reason that they bank on the shortcomings of the apple ads.

    Apple, if you're listening: I'm a PC user, and shockingly enough, I don't like being treated like I'm an idiot for my choice of computer.

    These ads are all, damn right I'm a pc, and frankly we're the best in the world.

    Of course these ads won't appeal to mac users, they've been inculcated to macdom and steveness. Fact is, they don't need to, Microsoft already has the whole market - all they have to do now is instill their user base with enough pride and confidence to continue using it