Saturday, September 20th, 2008

Microsoft ads leverage flaws in Apple’s strategy

Microsoft ads leverage flaws in Apple’s strategy
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I’m a bit of a fence-sitter when it comes to the Mac/PC “thing”. At home I run Macs, while at work we use PCs. (We also use iPhones.) There are things that I like about both platforms, and aspects that I dislike as well. To be completely honest, a large part of me would love to only use Apple products, due to their beauty and simplicity.

Apple products are simply very well designed. (When you’re as obsessive as I am, such attention to detail is particularly appreciated. That being said, I struggle with the notion of embracing Apple products entirely. This is in-part due to their “walled garden” approach, and also as a result of the smugness inherent in some of their advertising.

The problem with Apple’s ads

First of all, I have to say that the “I’m a Mac” campaign was landmark advertising. Personifying these companies as they did crystallized almost immediately in our collective minds. Put simply, we were all left with the idea that only “dorks” would use anything other than Macs. Watching Apple, which had been clobbered by Microsoft for so many years, claw itself back from near bankruptcy and was kind of delightful. The ads were bold and refreshingly different.



After a while though, they seemed to lose some of their luster. Yeah, yeah, Vista sucks… Sure, PCs are used for business… Yes, sometimes we have to work on “pie charts”, while it would be more fun to play with GarageBand… Yadda, yadda, yadda. The gag was getting old.

Apple’s people toyed with the format in interesting ways and sometimes did something rather funny with the spots. Eventually it started to feel like they were trying to turn a one-liner into a feature film. A brilliant little “zag” turned into a series of seemingly endless pot-shots, which I (and perhaps some others) found a little overly tedious and adolescent in nature.

From challenger to champion

I suppose I’m restating the obvious when I note that Apple has for some time now played the role of underdog. In this particular position, they’ve had the liberty of focusing on pleasing a smaller, fervent user-base, eager to spread the word about the company.

We are predisposed to like this “David versus Goliath” story: our aspiring hero against the soulless ubiquitous computing giant. The tough part here is that Apple isn’t really the underdog any longer; nor, is Microsoft quite the unstoppable force it once was. Apple does phenomenal business, while Microsoft seems to be stumbling about, unsure of where it’s headed. Antitrust suits, the misestimation of the web’s growth, losing the search battle, the migration from desktop to cloud… The obstacles for Microsoft continue to add-up.

As I reflect on this topic, I continue to reflect on Jean-Marie Dru‘s book Beyond Disruption and the discussion he has about the conundrum faced by challengers becoming champions. Apple has done well playing the underdog card, but it’s not going to work much longer. As they become more powerful, the game changes.

Why this campaign is backfiring

One of Microsoft’s core problems over the years has been its size. It turns slower than the Titanic, while Apple has been able to make bold moves rapidly. As Apple gains market share and broadens its offering, however, we see them in a similar paradox to Microsoft. The better the product the bigger they get; the bigger they get, the more they do; the more they do, the worse the product. It’s also important to remind ourselves that Apple doesn’t just create hardware and software; it also is a massive player in the media game.

It’s starting to seem like they are biting off a bit more than they can chew. MobileMe has been a blunder even according to Jobs; the new iPhone software has been hampered by pretty substantial bugs, and talk of hardware related quality issues are becoming quite common. Recently TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington posted on the topic. When people like Michael start saying things like this, it’s time to take notice.

Apple is having problems “scaling” and that’s understandable; however, it makes the finger-pointing tone of their ads more difficult to swallow. Everyone makes mistakes, but Apple has set the bar rather high. So, when the button on my iPhone falls off in my hand and the apps stop working (these aren’t isolated incidents), I start to shake my head at those “Macs just work” statements. (Those of you who follow my Twitter feed are probably tired of hearing about this already–sorry.)

There are more nerds than hipsters out there

I’m often critical of advertising in general; nevertheless, the people at Crispin Porter + Bogusky have earned every million that Microsoft has paid-out for their recent campaign.





They first started by generating buzz with those rather puzzling Seinfeld/Gates ads. Weird as they may have been, they certainly represented a quantum leap from the thinking behind the phony “Wow” campaign and those completely asinine “Mojave project” ads.

The new ads were something surprising and unexpected. It was a little like seeing the nerd in high school show up for class in a purple cape. (Even if you didn’t know what was going on you’d probably want to find out.)

On Thursday, the next phase began, with Microsoft embracing Apple’s “I’m a PC” taunt and turning it into a bit of a hammer. The folks at Bogusky discovered a gaping hole in Apple’s campaign. The “I’m a Mac” ads aren’t just personifications of the machines; instead, these caricatures extend to the users, serving as a statement (on Apple’s behalf) about the people who use them. With their ads, Apple says that people who use PCs have no personality. As a result, Apple’s ads make fun of about 90% of us.







Most of us use PCs, so Apple’s ads are in a way a grand indictment of all of us. Similarly, most of us are (or have been) un-cool. Although I deeply wanted to be “cool” in high-school, this no longer seems particularly important; moreover, I find the notion of any company playing the “if you use our stuff, you’ll be okay” card to be a little patronizing.

The new Microsoft campaign is brilliant because it’s inclusive. Their message is centered on the notion that all kinds of people use their stuff to do many different things. In part, it’s a unifying and affirming statement: “Yes, I have a PC but that doesn’t make me, or what I do, boring. Frankly, suggesting otherwise is a little silly.”

The Microsoft ads may be a little hokey, but they are smart because they include everyone. While the Mac is personified by a “20-something” skinny white guy, the people at Crispin Porter + Bogusky recognize that this is a small and incredibly homogenized representation of the computing populace. The Microsoft ads celebrate that PC users look different from one another, act differently from one another, and likely do different things.

Apple has to focus on the basics (and loosen the chains a little)

The funny part here is that the “I’m a Mac” ads belay Apple’s trump card, which is that they build great stuff. Their design is impeccable and the experience one has with their products is generally very good. While Microsoft is going to need much more than one great ad campaign to turn itself around, Apple’s management doesn’t have to do as much to solve the problem I’ve outlined.

First of all, they have to drop the name-calling. In fact, I think it would be best to sidestep the comparisons altogether. Instead, they could concentrate on showing how they make the user experience great. This is a no-brainer; their iPhone ads already do this incredibly well. It’s time to stop worrying so much about what the other guys are doing.

The bigger thing (and I see this as a less likely possibility) is for Apple to treat their users less like inmates and instead open things up a little. Many developers find the Appstore’s policies Draconion. If Apple doesn’t like an app, they quash it, and purportedly without unbiased reasoning. This leaves a huge “out-of-the-gate” advantage to Google’s Android. Although it’s sometimes messy, many of us would rather be part of an open marketplace, no matter how beautiful the walled-garden may be.

Ironically, as Apple exercises its power amongst developers and customers in such restrictive ways, it increasingly looks more like Microsoft in the 90s. Most of us don’t like being spoken down to; nor, do we appreciate companies limiting our choices. Apple has to learn this; doing otherwise has proven to dethrone even the mightiest.

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Comments & Trackbacks

  1. Good observations Eric. I agree Microsoft has stepped it up a notch with their ads, but I can't help but notice that they are treating therir advertising like everything else they do: look at what Apple is doing and steal it but add a million needless features.

    Frankly, I'm not all to sure who the demographic is they are going after. Mac fanboys will stay mac fanboys, PC fanboys will stay PC fanboys. So I guess that leaves those one the fence in the middle of all this. The average joe.

    I'm not the average joe, you're not the average joe, in fact anyone working on this ad campaign or even reading this blog is the average joe. So I guess only sales will show us if they have worked or not.

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  3. Stephen Beck says:

    As usually, another great post Eric. We've had some conversations about Mac vs. PC so you know i tend to lean more towards the former.

    Rather than assuming Apple ads to be hipsters pushing mac products, putting their customers in contrast to the suits that use PCs (which i agree is an clear observation), i think what is overlooked is that Apple is also working very hard to tap into another market: those that buy and use computers for personal and non-business use. Apple has created both software and marketing that speaks to the lifestyle support it provides for students, casual computer users, and soccer moms. Simply look at iLife, iTunes, and the iPod to see the shift Apple has made away from business and towards lifestyle. Apple is in many is a non-business tool, so much so that Apple's use in business is predominantly in design.

    Sure Jason Long could be assumed to be something of a hipster, and John Hodgman is clearly a bit of a dork, but Mr. Long also seems to represent a very average joe, and Hodgman a symbol of american business. Long seems to be somewhat a slacker, doesn't seem to care much about anything, and his use of Apple products doesn't seem to pertain to any form of business use. Hodgman on the other hand is making pie charts.

    Its interesting that many see these ads and try to relate to either character. Sure, that may have been Apple's (or TBWA's) intention. The unfortunate thing is that most PC users have no choice, with Windows being the low-cost standard for business. Apple products are over priced and incompatible with many of the tools of business which is why Apple's market share in the US is a meager 10 - 20%.

    Microsoft on the other hand is a horrible brand with a mediocre product (especially as of Vista's release). Microsoft is what it is because its the low cost solution and the standard. Crispin Porter + Bogusky is going to release some interesting ads, and though the Seinfeld spots are somewhat bizarre, they have provoked a good amount of discussion - likely the point. It will be interesting to see how this campaign evolves but no matter what, Windows is what it is. It'll be tough to convince folks that it provides any form of lifestyle solution with any amount of cool factor. My perception of the personal-use Windows user is one who hasn't yet become a Mac user for whatever reason: cost, hassle, or otherwise.

  4. Vito Mori says:

    Eric

    You know I am a Mac head, been one since 1989. I love the Apple stuff, no doubt about it and always get excited when I hear that something new is coming out. I have really enjoyed the come back years ago because I was there during the almost dead days. I stuck it out and now they are in a better position then ever before.
    You may have noticed recently on Twitter that I mentioned how I was tired of the Mac PC ads. I really wish they would show how cool Macs are instead of bashing Vista. the iPhone commercials are definitely a great example and I would like to see similar Leopard ads.
    I read your blog and really thought it over. I have to say I agree with a lot of what you say and I also have noticed how Apple getting bigger has not totally been for the best. I think sometimes that they are spreading themselves thin . I find it amusing that MS is spending 300 million dollars directly defending themselves from the Mac/PC ads. I thought this entire ad program was going in a different direction, I was very surprised. It made me giggle actually. What the hell are they afraid of? a company with 5% of the market? Or those Mac/PC ads pissed them off so much they thought they should fight back:) Its all crazy.
    good stuff Eric
    later
    Vito

  5. This is a thoughtful article but I disagree that the personification of the computers in the "Get a Mac" ads extends to represent the users. This is clearly stated at the beginning of the ads "I'm a Mac" and "I'm a PC." Never is it stated that "I USE a Mac/PC" nor is it ever implied in the ads. In fact, the actors often act out crashes and other computer-specific actions but never act out actions typical of users.

    The ads are so successful precisely because most of the audience understands and accepts this. I think that people who extend the representation of the characters to actual computer users probably identify a little too closely with the "PC" character and end up assuming that the ads are being critical of them personally. The response ads from Microsoft fall flat to most people because they seem to be responding to this personal criticism and completely ignore the valid points the ads make about comparing the computers.

    For the record I am a mac user but personally identify more with the Hodgman character than the Long character. My opinion of the Mac ads is that they clearly make their points in comparing computer systems. You can agree with them or not but the Microsoft response has completely missed the boat by not addressing the real issues.

  6. anonymous says:

    My identity is worth more than my opinion.

    Apple are onto a winner with these ads. Everytime I see the PC guy I think of Apple. Pure genius from Microsoft. Remind everyone of Apple and we will all buy PC's.

    I have a confession though. I do run Vista.

  7. JS says:
  8. Paul Greatbatch says:
  9. Andrew Rice says:

    Wow, what amazing observations Eric, excellent article!

  10. DoreenatDMS says:

    Interesting post, Eric ... yes, Godin''s post is also an interesting angle. Sure, Microsoft's latest phase (non-Seinfeld) of the campaign is refreshing and inclusive..but perhaps it, too, will be short-lived if more posts like link below gain traction...

    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2008/09/19/microsofts-im-a-pc-ads-created-on-macs/

  11. Jen says:

    Spot on observations, Eric. I enjoyed reading this entry.

    In every "I'm a Mac" commercial, I've always been more charmed by PC than Mac. I think it has a lot to do with the points you raised. Well, that and my adorable husband is a dead-ringer for John Hodgman.

  12. Mr. Reeee says:

    I see the new Microsoft ad in completely the opposite way.
    Yes, it reminds me of the Apple ads, but the pathetic PeeSea users cry... I'm cool, too! Really. I'm cool.

    It just doesn't fly or hold water. Microsoft releases crappy products. (Maybe some of their mice are okay, if you like mice.) They don't innovate, they acquire, bully and steal. They think that advertising will convince people that their wares are quality. They've got an entrenched IT sector that NEEDS poor, buggy, security riddled MS software to keep their jobs, so they shill it vigorously.

    MS advertising is now the real release, the software is almost an afterthought.

    Crap is crap no matter what color you paint it, or skin it.

  13. Tom Sarton says:

    I think the Apple ad still have legs. I look forward to seeing each new one, and I can't say that about the Microsoft ads. Knowing Microsoft's past penchant for FUD, I can't help but wonder if some of these blogs opining that the Apple ads are getting old, are just in fact spreading a message for Microsoft, ie, these things are working too good, and we've got to find some way of killing them.

  14. Arthur says:

    As a fan and user of the Apple company and products I do agree with you Eric when it comes to the lack of quality of the products lately. I have had many mac computers, iPods, and an iphone and I have never really had any problems until lately. Things do seem to be going south on the quality end and it is frustrating because that is what us mac fans love.

    I hope they can keep the products coming without losing the quality like Microsoft did.

    I don't think I have ever seen a Microsoft ad till this week.

  15. yani says:

    Great observations. when Apple released their ads, I found them a little too smug (a feeling I get from those employed in Apple stores). I think the Microsoft ads are good retort to the Apple ads, just a few years late.

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  17. Ike says:

    I've got to catch up on that Samson vs. Goliath story.

    The one where the strong guy got crushed by a giant because he got his hair cut.

  18. D-oh! You have me there! (Sometimes I write too fast and either mix metaphors or biblical references.)

    I've corrected the reference, and will have another cup of coffee to see if it might speed-up my "noggin" a little. ;-)

  19. Luke Magee says:

    Nice one, Eric.
    I hadn't seen any of these Microsoft ad over here in Scandinavia - well except for the Conquistador one, I managed to catch that on YouTube. Someone said it was supposed to be about sex, and I didn't get it.
    After reading your article, I gettit, and even though I have been mac-faithful my whole professional life, I do find these ads charming. I find the Apple one's charming too. Like a high school sketch they are fun simple and to the point. Microsofts are a bit more like a play, and once you get into them they are quite fun, too.

    The "I am a PC" ones are quite cool actually. I particularly like that "BG" plays off his nerdy image. Him "Powering Down" is priceless:)

  20. Paddy C says:

    I'm a Mac user and will be for the foreseeable future.

    I have always assumed that the "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" spots were aimed squarely at a younger audience (I'm thinking under 30 here). In other words, they weren't aimed at you Eric, or me, or many of the already converted. They were going after younger generations in a long-term attempt to build brand loyalty. If you see them this way (and I may be wrong of course) then they are perfect no matter if you read them as character attacks or not.

    I also don't know if Apple needs to open up any more than it already is. Apple's success has been built, since day one, on keeping tight control of things. This, IMO, is why Apple computers are so great and, to me, far better than a PC.

    When you give up any amount of control in design (as you are well aware) you sacrifice. Knowing how much to give up and how much to retain is extremely difficult. Right now I think Apple has a good mix, and I do not want to see the platform suffer from being overrun by crap.

  21. Alan Wolk says:

    Eric:

    Nice analysis - too many Mac fanboys in the ad world who display a sort of what I call NASCAR Blindness to this: the inability to remotely fathom that people could like something that they and their friends don't.

    That said, I wonder if these spots reinforce something I suspect is Microsoft's Achille's Heel: People CHOOSE to use Macs, whereas people HAVE to use PCs.

    It's a big distinction and at some level these ads seem to be saying "it's okay-- if you're one of the millions who has to use a PC because that's what your company uses, then you're in good company."

    Which, barring any compelling product messages, is not a bad message.

  22. JC says:

    The Apple ads were originally more about how the majority of people (the PC people) were suffering with PC bad design, etc. Switch to Mac and loose all those troubles. It was not meant to connect PC users with the PC but rather to show them how to leave the PC for greener pastures. So you got that slightly wrong.
    But you are right. The ads for Mac have now run their course and need to change.
    Apple is no longer Apple.

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  24. One of the dangers for MSFT with this campaign is underlining their monopolistic control of the market.

  25. bg says:

    Short take: These are the spots MS should’ve been running sooner, like, a few years ago sooner.

    Alan and Eric hit two points I agree with: CP+B hits on a need to let people know PC users are real, everyday people, and that part absolutely rings true. Nobody wants to be told they’re uncool or dorky. (Well, most people.) But, those same real people are also ‘stuck’ using PCs while Mac users ‘choose’ to.

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  27. tmac says:

    I fear you have viewed this PC campaign through the lens of a marketer, not joe public. The overwhelming response from people who have seen the Seinfeld PC ads is: "I don't get it." Yes, the ad has succeeded at generating buzz -- but most people don't know what to feel or think, which makes it a massive failure. No amount of intellectual deconstruction can deny this sad cold fact.

    As for the "I'm a PC" response ads (plan b?), others have noted that the ads simply reinforce the Mac campaign's message that Mac IS the one to beat. True, we have a stronger gut reaction to these ads (PC people are just like you and me - diverse and unique), but the ads still come off as wannabe cool and hip.

    Here's an insight: If you're dead set on referencing a competitor's campaign, why not embrace the stereotype -- in this case, the underdog PC, which more people identify with anyways -- and turn it against the smug young protagonist? How about a simple storyline showing an awkward "freak or geek" getting slagged and abused, then overcoming the obstacles and winning the day? The message is this: "PCs aren't perfect. But we're getting better all the time, and we'll succeed in the end."

    Was that an old Mac campaign? I guess my lens is blurred too. I love that you are taking the contrarian view on this Eric.

    For the record, I just bought Vista, and after some networking setup issues, it's now working great. Of course, the cool kids all laugh at me, but I don't care.

  28. anonymous says:

    i think you're reading into the Mac ads a lot. they dont say that apple users want to play in a garage band instead of doing real work (in fact, the personified Mac doesnt really say much at all. he observes). and it doesnt even say the PC is a dork/boring. he's actually rather determined, endearing, cute, even fiesty. if they wanted to portray PC as boring, they'd use a guy like the one in those Clear Eyes ads w/ the really monotone voice. so in other words, the Mac ads succeed because they were new, fresh, and dont even shit talk PCs. they casually reference some real differences in features. and the more recent ones dont even talk about actual Macs, or even show them! imagine that: a successful ad that doesnt talk about specific products or show them. instead, they have a pizza box commenting on college students and what have you. and that brings me to your comment how the ads make 90% of us feel like dorks. well that particular ad is at least talking to college students, which represent a very small percentage. so whats the problem? 40 year old "dorks" shouldnt feel singled out, becuase the ad's not talk about them.

    and regarding those stupid PC ads: a little too little, too late. if they're going to copy the mac vs pc ad in a much lamer way, they should at least pull it together someone shortly after teh original release (what, 2-3 years ago???). sorry PC. ive used u all my life, but your lame ads make me never want to use a PC again.

  29. Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for the comments. I hear them and I appreciate them. Really... I do.

    One other thing I really appreciate is when people post their names here. It means that their opinion actually means something. It means that they're in fact invested in the debate, not just umm... "lurkers".

    But you're "anonymous", and that doesn't tell me much about you. (Sigh.) That being said, your IP address tells me a little. From it I learn that you're on the planning team at TBWA\Media Arts Lab. Hmmm... Correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't that the team that developed the campaign? Oops. (Busted.)

    So, I guess I read your rebuttal a little differently now. Instead of seeming insightful, it appears that you're just defending your own firm's work. You know, I just have to wonder about the firm that defends its campaigns by anonymously posting on blogs. Perhaps it's time to "respond less" and "brainstorm" more?

    Then of course, what do I know? Clearly, as a recent college graduate, you understand all of this much better than people like me. As you know... I'm just another one of those aging "dorks" and we certainly don't represent much of the market anyway.

    Sorry TBWA. I’ve liked “u” a lot but your lame juniors make me never want to like you again. ;-)

    Have a nice weekend!

    Eric

    BTW- Most of the above is in jest. Thanks for reading the blog and for your insights. But really, I couldn’t let you get away with this without “razzing” you at least a little.

  30. awesome from top to bottom

  31. I think that it was a mistake to blink -- to acknowledge Apple's legacy of pitting PC vs. Mac. Now we're all talking about the ads instead of enjoying improved Microsoft technology. Oh, wait... that's coming in 2009.

    On a side note... someone at work left me some "I'm a PC" stickers and I discovered that it's way too easy to cut up the "I'm a PC" slogan so it spells out "I'm a Mac." Hmm... http://changeorder.typepad.com/weblog/2008/10/im-a-mac-no-rea.html

  32. Carly H. Franklin, MGDC says:

    For those who have responded to Eric's post by saying that the Mac vs. PC ads are not comparing Mac users to PC users...wake up and smell the inference. Of COURSE that's what it's intended to convey, whether it's spelled out or not.

    When you see an ad for a sports car and there's an attractive woman gazing seductively at the male driver, do they say specifically "If you buy this car, hot women will want you." ??? No, of course not. But, the insinuation is there and the message is conveyed just the same.

    Isn't that what a lot of advertising does - get the message across without having to spell it out for the audience?

    It's no different in the case of the Mac vs. PC ads. It's still telling the audience - via demonstration of the differences between the two "products" - that buying this product will deliver a certain lifestyle or give you a specific appeal...you'll look cool, have more fun, have the latest must-have gadget, etc.

    I've always been intrigued by the whole Mac vs. PC thing. Being a PC-based designer in a mostly-Mac design world, I'm a bit of a black sheep to begin with. I couldn't care less. I've never had problems sending a file to a client or working with anything they've sent me and that's what matters from where I stand. And, if one hardware component in my system breaks, I can easily buy a replacement.

    I, too, am amused by the Mac vs. PC ads, but it doesn't make me want to buy a Mac. For me, it's more effective as entertainment as opposed to something that makes me want to become a born- again Apple disciple and accept Mac as my personal saviour.

    The iPhone ads, on the other hand, are much more convincing because, rather than focus on the opposition, it shows me how much convenience it could provide.

    Great article, Eric. Kudos to you for going against the grain to make some valid and interesting points.

  33. Ian says:

    My only small criticism: Any time a company lifts another company's ad campaign and tries to make it their own, I wonder if they're hurting themselves.

    Here, Microsoft is only strengthening the story around the Mac ads. I know that's not their intent, and it's also only a side effect. But it seems to me they're turning a one-company ad campaign into a mythology...

  34. Hi Ian,

    I think that's a pretty reasonable argument; in fact, I thought the same. One of the people at CP+B had an interesting thought on this note.

    Their comment (and I'm paraphrasing liberally here) was that the Mac ads were so culturally important that not adressing them really wasn't an option. As such, they reasoned that it was a spot where they would "hug the stereotype to death."

    Again, I'm not sure if this entirely works, but I was pretty impressed by the move they managed to pull-off. :-)

    Cheers!

    Eric

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  36. ikiu says:

    mac luver = hate pc's
    pc user = dreams an imac
    this had nothing to do with who's the geek n who's coolest, it's simply "i bought a PC because i couldn't afford a Mac"
    yes, millions of people use PC's because they couldn't afford an iMac. Apples to Oranges.

  37. Wow ikiu! Good one!

    Instead of wasting time thinking like the rest of us, you just nailed it!

    Of course! That's it: poor people have to buy PCs and rich ones like you buy Macs. Well folks, this topic seems to be pretty much wrapped-up as a result of Ikiu's observations.

    Thanks buddy! Keep on, keeping on, and feel free to drop by again and share some of your keen insights!

    Stay in school. (No, really... stay in school.)

    Eric

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  39. Egads. As much as I appreciate the campaign, someone has to hide this guy away:

    http://gizmodo.com/5052680/steve-ballmer-goes-nuts-again-to-sell-windows?autoplay=true

    What a mess.

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  41. Talent Pun says:

    I think the fatal flaw in Apple's advertising is the inference that the 98% of entirely normal and decent people that use PC's are losers and dorks. People's reluctance in endorsing Apple products have more to do with their pocketbooks than their lack of taste. While Apple believes they are marketing a lifestyle change, what they're really creating is a kind of class war due to the cost, short lifespan and 'insularity' of their products.

    Microsoft should be marketing their products as the blue-collar solution; a PC-for-the-people solution. Microsoft and the Gates Foundation does enough work in second world countries for that argument to have legs.

    PS. I just read ikiu's post, looks like he beat me too it. Dang.

  42. Samuli Perttula says:

    One rather funny parody on these Mac/PC ads are the Novell's Mac PC Linux ads. I really don't want to ruin the surprise of the ads so I'll let you see them first:
    http://www.novell.com/video/
    or use this tinyurl to see all of them in a single video http://tinyurl.com/2h3jum

    PS. I've never truly understood why Microsoft takes these Mac vs. PC so personally, after all they've made lots of stuff that runs on Apple's (personal) computers and even their dear operating systems can be run on Macs.
    (btw I've heard that there are also some software by Apple that works on Windows like iTunes ;)

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