Phase two of Microsoft campaign to parody Apple ads

Shortly after releasing its second nonsensical ad featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates last week, Microsoft said it was about to unfold a second round of ads that would focus more on Windows. A few days before, a Microsoft marketing executive had told CNet that the first part of the campaign was just a "teaser," and that it "would have been a mistake, after being silent for so long, for Microsoft to have just come out swinging with a bunch of shop talk."

According to an article by the New York Times, phase two of the campaign may be very different indeed from the sitcom-esque Gates/Seinfeld clips. Later today, Microsoft will release a new ad based around the theme, "Windows. Life without walls." The star? A John Hodgman lookalike who’ll mimic Apple’s famous "Get a Mac" campaign:

What follows is an audacious embrace of the disdainful label that Apple, Microsoft’s rival, has gleefully — and successfully — affixed onto users of Microsoft products: "I’m a PC."
One new Microsoft commercial even begins with a company engineer who resembles John Hodgman, the comedian portraying the loser PC character in the Apple campaign. "Hello, I’m a PC," the engineer says, echoing Mr. Hodgman’s recurring line, "and I’ve been made into a stereotype."

The Times says Microsoft’s ad firm, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, is no stranger to the concept of spinning criticism into a positive ad campaign. In ads for Burger King, the firm reportedly portrayed the consumption of an unhealthy, caloric menu as a "rebellious personal choice."

As the second phase of Microsoft’s campaign unfolds, Bill Gates and celebrities like Eva Longoria, Pharrell Williams, and Deepak Chopra will join "everyday PC users, from scientists and fashion designers to shark hunters and teachers, all of whom affirm, in fast-paced, upbeat vignettes, their pride in using the computers that run on Microsoft operating systems and software." The Times goes on to mention that Jerry Seinfeld will be AWOL "for now."

A raft of blogs, like Valleywag, see the shift in focus as an admission that the original Gates/Seinfeld ads fared too poorly among viewers and assert that the change was unplanned. However, the same blog quotes a Microsoft PR representative as saying the move was planned all along, and "there is the ‘potential to do other things’ with Seinfeld." The rep also pointed out, "People would have been happier if everyone loved the ads, but this was not unexpected." Or was it?

Comments closed
    • StashTheVampede
    • 11 years ago
      • DrDillyBar
      • 11 years ago

      I like ’em

    • revcrisis
    • 11 years ago

    brilliant ad. also the mac ads should technically be “i’m a mac, and i’m a windows”, but then why would they want to say that.

    oh, and how about “I’m a PC and i can build myself for 1/5th the price of an Apple!”

    • Pax-UX
    • 11 years ago

    Microsoft’s first two ads have been a resounding success. People are talking about Microsoft & Vista. By Vista not being used in the ads people are talking about it more in relation to the ads!

    Now how do you make even more publicity??? is it more of the same no, that’s getting old. You can’ the ads and say it was a failure, BAM! look at those headlines. Now people are interested again in the new ad line + this will have a Vista message so people want to see it as if it was a brand new ads campaign.

    This has all been just about publicity.

    • Vrock
    • 11 years ago

    q[

      • 5150
      • 11 years ago

      I recognize the first name, do I win teh prize?!

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        I hope it was the NFL link. If you’re a fan of daytime soaps or /[

      • Pax-UX
      • 11 years ago

      1. Is just some house wife.
      2. ???
      3. Deepak Chopra is a fictional character that was a plot device in ‘The Love Guru’ by Mike Myers 😛

    • MarioJP
    • 11 years ago

    Quite frankly i really don’t care about ads (mac or ms) its what we use everyday that counts. Mac commercial are not convincing either because they fail to realize that apple controls macs. Not really a fair comparison really.

    The real interests would be open source vs closed source. At least PC’s can run any type of software that nobody controls.

    What i find mac commercials flawed is when they say “hi i am a mac. Hi i am a PC”. PC’s not only runs windows but also open source. What does macs runs? OSX. And what happens when you try to run OSX on non apple hardware??. Oh thats right it wont run.

    At least you can run windows on a mac and yet you do see MS doing anything about that do you?

    • martin0641
    • 11 years ago

    Just because a some people can’t appreciate the ads does not make them unfunny.

    Just like all art forms, it’s in the eye of the beholder. Using popular Americans tastes to judge quality would most likely result in McDonald’s for gourmet meals and Denny’s platters for a healthy breakfast. The public is stupid, which is why we have a democratic republic instead of a pure democracy.

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    q[

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      Gee, didn’t know Engadget and Gizmodo (2 of the biggest gadget oriented blogs out there) are equivalent to Mac blogs. Thanks for the heads up !

      Adi

        • Sandok
        • 11 years ago

        Adi, reread Engadget at least… Most people seemed to, and I quote, “lol”.

    • IntelMole
    • 11 years ago

    I might be the only person who has not watched these ads and just doesn’t care.

    • MarioJP
    • 11 years ago

    Overpriced macs LOL. Last time i heard is that apple is moving away from intel to a more “proprietary processor”. About this ad i heard this before about the Seinfeld and gates. Just didn’t know when this was going to happen

      • echo_seven
      • 11 years ago

      just for iPhone. Apple would have one heck of time building a CPU to
      outperform Intel on their mainstream desktop and notebooks. Isn’t there a certain company that also starts with an ‘a’ that’s been trying to do that for quite some time?

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 years ago

        yes but they are PHENOMINAL processors all teh same. *ripsnortingoodtime)

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      Correction : the rumour that you heard referred to Apple moving away toward other kind of chipsets (think south bridge/north bridge). Again, that was just a rumour with nothing to back it up for the moment.

      Adi

    • MarioJP
    • 11 years ago

    Yea i heard that as well about the Seinfeld and gates ads. Just wasn’t sure when it was going to happen.

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    q[

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      I can’t find that website.

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      The predominant response from the public was : WTF. And in terms of media, most blogs on the intertubes had that reaction. One would look at Engadget, Gizmodo for a little glimpse..

      Adi

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        “Way To Fly”?

    • Jigar
    • 11 years ago

    Some people never get convinced, especially Mac fanboys…

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      tis a two-way street, you know.

    • adisor19
    • 11 years ago

    So let me get this straight, since the first 2 ads have been deemed as “FAIL” by almost everyone in the media, MS has sacked Jerry and claims that this was planned all along ?! Wow 😮 Just WOW

    Adi

      • cegras
      • 11 years ago

      That’s certainly one way to look at it.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      I would LOVE to get sacked for $10 million. Where do I sign?

        • tfp
        • 11 years ago

        The place I work for should be looking for another new CEO in say 6 months to a year maybe you should apply.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        AWOL =/= sacked

      • lordT
      • 11 years ago

      Two can play the “almost everyone said so” game.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      I didn’t know your middle name was “almost everyone in the media”.

      • DukeNukem
      • 11 years ago

      Wow Adi. Just wow. Your pathetic troll like ways are simply amazing. Then again its no surprise you spend all your time trolling the web when you have no life and friends. Have fun jerking off to Apple products jackass.

        • Jon
        • 11 years ago

        *snicker*….

      • CampinCarl
      • 11 years ago

      How do you know it wasn’t planned all along? Perhaps they created shitty ads to begin with just to get people talking, and looking for the next Microsoft ad to see just how stupid it is, then they get hit with this new one.

      Or any one of a dozen other things I can’t think of. The main rule of advertising is: get people talking. Any talk is better than being flat-out ignored.

      • clone
      • 11 years ago

      the ads were fine, I much prefer the 2nd one over the first and I’m eager to watch the 3rd because of the first 2……. that isn’t a fail it’s exactly what they wanted.

      I also enjoy the Mac vs PC adds although they’ve drifted from satire to more blatant which isn’t nearly so good.

        • adisor19
        • 11 years ago

        While the ads might be entertaining, they’ve done nothing in terms of increasing the positive perception that pple have about Vista.

        On the other hand, the mac ads have managed to hammer in the message that Vista sux and yes i do agree with you that their latest ones are more to the point then ever.

        Between the 2, I’d say the mac ones have been more successful. Right ?

        Adi

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          The Mac ones have been playing for /[

            • adisor19
            • 11 years ago

            There was more than just the ads that killed the Dreamcast. One of the reasons was the early soft hack that appeared that made the security system of the Dreamcast totally irrelevant. No developer wanted to make games for it at that point.

            Adi

          • Anomymous Gerbil
          • 11 years ago

          The fact that you truly seem to care, is “Wow 😮 Just WOW”

    • poulpy
    • 11 years ago

    The word on the -internet- street is that it’s more a cancellation of the weird and unsuccessful first campaign than a “phase 2” but eh..

    /[<"What follows is an audacious embrace of the disdainful label that Apple, Microsoft’s rival, has gleefully — and successfully — affixed onto users of Microsoft products: "I'm a PC.""<]/ You've just got to love marketing 🙂

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