Microstft 0, Apple 2

Round 2 of Microsoft’s “We’re not as lame as you think we are” campaign aired last night during The Office.  Check it:

Ok.  It’s better than the Seinfeld ads.  I’ll give it that.  But that’s not that much.

My beef with it is this: these people are not cool (that’s the point, right?).  They’re fine.  They seem perfectly nice.  But the thing the Mac vs PC commercials got right was the attitude of the Mac.  He just seems like a great, smart guy who you’d want to have a drink with.  You want to hang out with that guy.  You want to be that guy.  So in the traditional advertising sense, they’re selling you an image: buy a Mac and you can be cool.

So fine.  Not all ads have to play into that old-school ad logic.  What does this ad have to say for itself?

What this ad tells me is that many dull people who lead semi-adventurous lives are already using Windows.  I knew that.  They all seem like people who are not particularly savy or tasteful — and wouldn’t necessarily know the difference between a Mac and a PC.  Or, like, they get grant money from Microsoft so they have to buy PCs.

With this crowd it doesn’t seem like an issue of taste or any sort of discerning opinion. As a savy (albeit ferociously pro-Mac) technology consumer, I don’t get the idea from the commercial that this product will help me lead a more productive, fun life.  It just proves that too many other people of all walks of life use PCs.

As far as I know, Microsoft is losing market share to Apple primarily in the 18-25 range. That age range cares more about looks, ease of use, and general coolness quotient far more than the fact that a large number of older people do their perfectly interesting jobs just fine in spite of the fact that they own PCs.

So what’s the point?  To make people who already have PCs feel like they’re in good company? Maybe.  I guess that’s valuable.  But then this whole campaign is more of Microsft trying to plug the dam of the outflow of users — rather than a counter-attack.

Safety.  Make people feel safe and secure in the boring products they already own.

I guess it’s just what you’d expect from Microsoft.

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