Thursday, September 18, 2008

From the "You Paid for That" dept

Microsoft has ended its recent ads featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld. It is being debated if this was premature and simply in reaction to the negative reaction the ads have received. I thought the ads were OK, even a little funny. And though they did seem to ramble with no point, there was a subtle element to them that was humanizing Bill Gates and, by extension, Microsoft. But since Bill does not run Microsoft anymore, the timing seemed a little odd.

Now Microsoft's ad company will start to air commercials with a John Hodgman look alike as a direct confrontation with Apple's, "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" ad campaign. Aside from being in poor taste to rip off your competitors characters, does Microsoft really think it's in their best interest to look like they are ripping off Apple... again?
Historically, one of the main complaints and accusations of Microsoft Windows was that it was just a bad rip off of Apple's OS. Now, with their ad campaign they are doing the exact same thing. Granted it worked for them in the past, but they had a lot more going for them at the time and I'm not sure that rekindling that old rip off argument will serve them well this time.
I wonder how much they paid their ad company for such a stunningly bad idea?
Even if the ads come out OK, the ridicule they will cause will likely negate any positive effect.

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