When it comes to advertising, lately Microsoft just can't seem to get it right. First it was the weird and incomprehensible onscreen banter between Gates and Seinfeld, then a series of commercials with a montage of various people chanting "I'm a PC" which only served to show how that Microsoft was intimidated by Apple's portrayal of the PC, and now this.
In a new one-minute spot, Microsoft shows what a "real person" does when given a budget of US$1,000 to shop for a notebook--the real person in this case being a woman named Lauren, who also just happens to be an actor (to be fair, actors need computers, too). Microsoft offers her $1,000 to purchase any notebook she wants within that limit and she gets to keep anything that might be left over after the purchase.
Since a 17-inch screen is her primary requirement, it's unsurprising that she finds nothing within her budget when she walks into "the Mac store". After she leaves the Apple Store, she remarks that maybe she's "just not cool enough to be a Mac person." A YouTube video is embedded below as proof so you know I'm not making this stuff up!
Clearly, Microsoft's intention here is to point out to the whole wide world that Macs are too expensive and, really, they would all just be better off with a cheaper PC, but if this is the best the company can come up with, then someone is not doing a very good job. Microsoft's backhand shot at "coolness" is just trying to reinforce the view that Mac users are simply stuck-up snobs who pay too much attention to such mundane things as how good a computer looks--but I think it might just come across as an admission of inferiority to the casual observer.
Of course, like the Mojave Experiment that preceded it, the basic idea behind this ad is skewed. If you start out with a set of criteria that already eliminate the possibility of Apple being a contender (like, say, a notebook with a 17-inch screen under $1,000), is it really that surprising that its products don't pass the test? It's like Microsoft saying that it'll give you $1,000 to buy a computer, as long as it doesn't have an aluminum casing.
[via Daring Fireball]
This story, "Microsoft Ad Says Macs Are Too Cool for Its Customers" was originally published by Macworld.