Microsoft takes aim at Apple’s ‘stereotype’

22 Sep 2008

I’m a PC video

What do you do when a somewhat trendier company gets kudos for building a media-savvy image partially by comparing itself to you, and getting a snigger from the audience for portraying your users as out-of-touch fuddy duddies? (Think ‘I’m an Apple, I’m a PC’ ad series.)

Why, you take back and own that statement and wear it like a badge of honour!

Microsoft’s recent re-invention of what it means to be a Windows user began by getting comedian Jerry Seinfeld on board, but after two ads it decided to go it alone and finally face up to Apple’s jibes at its staid image.

Hell, according to this new ad, all sorts of interesting people use PCs, but not before the poor glasses-wearing nerd from the Apple v PC ads tells us that he is a stereotype. Even Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives fame and her basketballer husband Tony Parker got in on the act, as did DeepakChopra.

This advertising campaign is actually not a bad idea on Microsoft’s part, because when you visit the main site, you can see that many of the ‘stars’ are real PC users from around the globe and there are many more to see on the site.

In fact, you can submit your own ‘I’m a PC’ video footage and it may end up online, in the TV adverts or even on the big screen in Times Square in New York.

After receiving US$10m for his part in two recent Microsoft ads, it was rumoured that the plug had been pulled on further collaborations with Jerry Seinfeld due to unfavourable audience response. However, Microsoft has insisted this two-ad deal had already been planned, and that the new ad is part of phase two.

The question is, has Microsoft shown that the PC user is the everyman, with Apple living in its elitist ivory tower of all that is hip and cool, or is it simply an exercise in producing expensive ad campaigns to state the obvious – PC penetration is huge, lots of people use them.

If we’re already mostly using PCs running on Windows, then who are these ads aiming to impress and what market segment is being targeted? One would think the slightly younger, hipper audience, who may just see this as a futile exercise in retaliation against Apple’s monopoly of the hipster geek.

By Marie Boran

I’m a PC video