The competition between products is more than a little like the competition fostered in politics.
When one candidate says this, the other candidate has a TV commercial the next day twisting and distorting the position.
No matter the position, phrase, or statement, a political candidate can, and often does, take their competitors words and throw them back. Guess what? Apple and Microsoft do it, too. Who’s winning?
For years Apple has touted the superiority of Macs and OS X on a series of “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” television commercials, featuring a pleasant and computer savvy Justin Long and a bumbling, fumbling PC in John Hodgman.
Add to that TV campaign Apple’s ability to get free and positive press, the iPod halo effect, a superior product offering, to Microsoft’s inept handling of both Windows XP and Vista, and Apple comes across as a breath of fresh, competent air vs. Microsoft’s buck of problems.
In other words, Apple’s TV campaign is working very well and has for years. Every TV commercial featuring Hodgman and Long show PCs and Windows to be troublesome and plagued, while the Mac and OS X are God’s personal gift to computer users.
Or, something along those lines. Is Apple’s angle working? Yes. Market share is up. Sales are up. Profits are up. As important, mind share belongs to Apple.
Microsoft decided to counter the I“‘m a Mac, I’m a PC” television commercial campaign with their own version of “I’m a PC” commercials.
This TV commercial campaign is inept at best, a waste of good advertising budget. Why? The commercials say nothing about why a user should stick to Microsoft or buy a new PC with Vista.
The commercials say nothing about the competition, Macs, which may be the only thing Microsoft did right in the campaign.
How does Microsoft’s attempt at tit for tat parallel politicians vying for attention? What a politician in a heated campaign says today may show up on the competitor’s commercial tomorrow.
Microsoft has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars on commercials touting the “I’m a PC” theme. What is Apple’s response to Microsoft’s lame television commercials?
The two latest “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” show how effective Apple can be with a nearly perfect and very familiar ad theme.
In the first, PC sits at a desk with a huge pile of money, creating a new pile for Vista advertising, and a smaller pile to improve Vista. The point is clear. Microsoft is more intent on advertising than making a bad product, by perception, better.
In the second, PC calls PC users frustrated and notes that Vista has become something of a word no one should hear—so bans the use of the word Vista from the conversation with Mac. Bzzzzzt.
These counter commercials are highly effective in that they acknowledge what Microsoft is doing with their recent television campaign—spending money on ads—and what they’re not doing—making Vista better.
In fact, Microsoft (PC) doesn’t even want to use the word Vista.
It’s remarkably easy to understand what Apple has done with years of advertising PC as inept, bumbling, incompetent. They’ve tied PC to the problems PC users face every day, while giving them a more attractive alternative, the Mac.
Not only are Apple’s commercials wholly thematic, they’re comfortably predictable. PC will screw up. Mac will watch. The implications are always the same.
Even when Microsoft decides to counter with their own pumped up, trumped up commercials about Vista, they do it wrong, as evidenced by Apple’s counter commercials.
Vista, as acknowledged by PC and Microsoft’s own commercials, has become a bad word, so bad that Microsoft must consider it as poison, not to be used. Instead, it’s just Windows, paving the way for Windows 7. Is there any danger for Apple?