Tonight, during The Office, Microsoft began airing its “phase 2″ of their $300 million ad campaign (after giving Seinfeld the boot) which features regular, everyday users saying “I’m A PC”…yes, it’s a direct response to Apple’s I’m A Mac/I’m A PC ads. The ads are actually […]

Tonight, during The Office, Microsoft began airing its “phase 2″ of their $300 million ad campaign (after giving Seinfeld the boot) which features regular, everyday users saying “I’m A PC”…yes, it’s a direct response to Apple’s I’m A Mac/I’m A PC ads.

The ads are actually better than I thought they’d be but something still just doesn’t sit right for me. I still don’t feel like they’re selling their brand or even their products. Sure, all of these people say they are “a PC”, but I’m not sure everyone will equate that to the Microsoft brand.

As John Gruber so eloquently put it, the problem here isn’t that the ads themselves are bad – in fact they are quite well made – the problem is that Microsoft effectively doesn’t have anything to sell. They don’t stand for anything. They’re just there. A “blah” company, if you will.

Where Microsoft is so painfully failing is that they don’t have a product worth selling. They can thrown money at branding campaigns but until they have something that actually creates a positive user experience for the masses, they’ll always been throwing away money by trying to improve their brand perception.

At the end of the day Microsoft has a fundamental product problem, not a brand problem.

Here are a few different versions of the new ads. Check them out and let me know what you think.

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  1. Weren’t they supposed to say “I’m Pissed Off!!!” ?? :P

  2. Well, the ads do tell you one thing: Microsoft doesn’t even have enough inventiveness to come up with original ads.

  3. I actually disagree, I think it’s a huge step in the right direction for Microsoft. Apple’s been making a big thing about being hipper, “funner,” easier to use, etc… Much of which I would say is true. Apple’s been doing a lot of their marketing from the standpoint of the little guy against the big corporation, and it’s definitely been working. However, with this campaign Microsoft is showing that all sorts of people–not just stiff guys in suits or college students (though they’re in there, too) use their products on a daily basis. They’re making it quite obvious that “the masses” *are* actually using their product–and successfully.

    And yes, I’m an ex-PC user converted to the Mac world who’d never dream of going back. So this isn’t coming from any sort of Microsoft loyalty, I just find it to be a great ad campaign on their part.

  4. “I’m a PC, and I wear glasses.”

    Come on. Seriously. What’s next? I’m a PC, and I drink coffee? I squeeze my spots?

    If the last ads were impenetrable, these are simply patronising.

  5. “I’m a PC and I run Linux”

    “I’m a PC and I run XP”

  6. I actually like the ads. Yes, they may have banked on the existing ad campaigns by Apple but i believe that’s an advertising/marketing strategy.

    And i apologise, i dont think MS is a “blah” company. My first computer was a PC and i learned to appreciate the technology because of that; without the PC giving me a lead on how amazing computers are then i wouldn’t have come to love my Mac.

    I give credit to the PC (MS) for opening my mind that great things are possible and to Apple for achieving them. I give credit to both companies as i use both their products in my everyday life. They are just tools to me, they’re not suppose to become the “benchmark” of my pride as a person.

    I do believe, though, that PC’s have, generally, a “product” problem and i believe as well that they have to focus on this more seriously. BUT having a campaign that could strengthen the MS brand is would never hurt.

  7. I havnt read any of the comments so that it wouldnt influence my answer but i was quite impressed with these ads. Microsoft are biting back at Apple at what was a good, but affectively childish pc, mac campaign. How often do you actually hear about companies fighting eachother and actually naming the bad things in their competitors in a tv add… Never, apart from a recent Tesco and Asda advert (the only one i can think of)

    This microsoft add is ofcourse no where near enough. The mac adds actually have legitimate reasons for switching and why its better. Microsoft need to do that same in a different way.

    P.S-im actually a mac also im just not biased about all this

  8. The ads are fantastic but, yes, fundamentally misleading (as all ads aim to be I guess). What all those nice people should be saying is: “I am a human being with work to do – and the solution I have right now is using Microsoft products. I don’t really know what else there is out there and although at times what I use might not do just what I need it to do it’s not a deal-breaker because I don’t have the time, wish or energy to look for alternatives. I just need to get my job done.” So the real message should be: “We use PC but we are not PCs” – Most Mac users don’t just use Macs they ARE Mac’s – it’s different.

  9. Microsoft is going down!!! DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN!!!!!!!
    HA HA HA

    You know this will just raise people’s attention to the “fight” between this 2 companies. People who never thought to even try the mac will go “hmm what’s this all about? Got to try out this mac thing one of these days.”

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