Saturday, September 20, 2008

Microsoft Strikes Back!

In its new TV ads (view here), Microsoft finally delivers its answer to the "coolness" factor, of which Apple has so deftly commanded ownership. By taking everday people and some huge celebs (Tony Parker, Eva Longoria, Deepak Chopra, and more), the Microsoft ad opens the range of Apple's proposed polarized user definitions. What can small business take away from this marketing effort? While perhaps competition is not as fierce, if someone is going for jugular in your industry, find the loophole in their logic. Address it after a period of reflection, but don't wait too long. It takes calm, calculated thinking to strike back in a meaningful way so assemble a good team of strategic thinkers. Now that Apple is on the defensive, it will be interesting to see what their next move is.

P.S. I'm not debating which product/platform is better, only exploring the brand strategies. In fact, the Microsoft ad isn't about the product but the people who use it, which is really at the heart of the Apple campaigns. If you have seen the movie "Thank You for Smoking," you might recall a scene where father and son debate about what ice cream flavor is better--chocolate or vanilla. Aaron Eckhart's character says, "If you argue correctly, you're never wrong." It's the same thing. Here's a trailer for the movie.
P.P.S. I don't think the intent is to sell more computers, oddly enough. It's simply about making PC owners feel good about their decision and shaping a better image which in the long run may prevent defection to Apple based on identity issues.


redplaid said...

It's interesting to hear people discuss the Microsoft campaign because it seems to be very polarized. Is it a success? Or not yet? People are talking about that is good...but most of the talk is that isn't good, right? Or is *any* talk a good thing. Have you, Tracy, found the commercials entertaining?

Tracy Diziere said...

I personally find them entertaining, if nothing else because they are a sign of life! Success, I think, is another story and would depend on the exact goal that Microsoft set for the campaign. (And not necessarily what the press release says.) I'll bet they have a nice budget for testing and monitoring the results they're looking for, though, unlike most of us small businesses.