Windows Phone Ad Mocks Apple & Samsung Fans

| Analysis

Microsoft has released a new ad for the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone smartphone, an ad that mocks fans of both Apple and Samsung devices. The commercial poses each party as guests at a wedding and draws upon memes that will be familiar to the echo chamber.

Apple Fanboy

Microsoft's Image of an iPhone Fan

The commercial is cute and clever, and it smacks both parties using inside jokes without the insulting and derogatory attitude Samsung used in its Apple attack ads. For that, Microsoft should get some points, but just as with the Surface ads, I find myself wondering who Microsoft's target market is.

From the ad (embedded in full below the fold):

Samsung Wedding Guest 1: "iSheep!"

iPhone Wedding Guest 1: "Copy Box!"

Samsung Wedding Guest 2: "Autocorrect this!"

[NERD FIGHT ENSUES]

I also like the two Samsung Galaxy S3 owners who make a point of bumping phones, which gets an iPhone owner to launch Siri and say, "Search, one-trick pony." That's funny stuff on both sides.

Those are lines straight out of article comments and nerd arguments heard 'round the echo chamber. On the other hand, that's the problem—all of the humor is aimed squarely at partisans who have already chosen sides. The message of the ad—that you can do cool things with the Nokia 920—is lost to those who might actually be interested in that message.

The bigger takeaway in the commercial is that iPhones and Samsung smartphones are fun, exciting, and useful. You can search on them with your voice. You can take photographs. You can wield them like a truncheon. They're devices that engender passion, like the guy above with the (fake) Apple tattoo.

The the help chimes in. They're standing there, two of them, an isle of calm with the rest of world swirling around them in a passionate display while they look on in detached boredom.

Hired Help Male: "Do you think if they knew about the Nokia Lumia they'd stop fighting all the time?"

Hired Help Female: "I don't know. I think they kind of like fighting."

The Hired Help

The Hired Help Letting the World Pass Them By

Which brings us to the next weird point. The ad paints the Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone as bit players no one knows about. Is that really the message Microsoft should be delivering?

I watch this commercial and I find myself coming back to the advice I offered Microsoft's board last week: identify the people responsible for this commercial and fire them. Keep going up the chain until you get to the CEO spot and find someone to replace Steve Ballmer.

[Via CNet]

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Comments

John Martellaro

The ad paints the Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone as bit players no one knows about. Is that really the message Microsoft should be delivering?

Right on Bryan.  As you said, all the passion is with Apple & Samsung.

I also wonder about the message.

 

Lee Dronick

Good point Bryan and John.

geoduck

Remember the ‘good old days’ when somebody would make a product and then advertise what that product could do for you?

Oh yeah, that was yesterday when I saw the iPhone5 camera commercial.

Lee Dronick

Windows phone, it is not worth fighting over it.

Ziggy

It is NOT funny. The video is really stupid. Microsoft has gotton moronic.

macrat1

A “Switch” commercial by M$? Never mind.

GrahamExton

Way to go, Microsoft. You just advertised your competitors.

Drew Stroikus

There was an ad for Tayton cigarettes from the sixties which used the tag-line “I’d rather fight than switch”—http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB6C3o_-RdE—can’t wait to see the remake from Apple/Android fans in response…

dmuzzy

Lee Dronick - “Windows phone, it is not worth fighting over it.”

smile

Andhaka

I really cannot understand commercials that basically insult potential customers.
In MS’s eyes I’m an iSheep or a Droid copymachine and not smart enough to know about their product. Not really what I’d like to hear to make me switch platform. :D

Cheers

ctopher

I don’t know, I thought the ad was pretty funny.

“Aren’t you a little young to have an iPhone?” - that made me laugh out loud.

Also, the ad has its own laugh track, that’s how you know it’s not taking itself seriously.

So I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.

MOSiX Man

I’m sorry to be the dissenter, here, but I thought the commercial was pretty damn funny. Will anybody notice that it was supposed to promote… some other product? No. So, it’s a waste of MS advertising money. (It was better than a lot of SNL skits that have been done in the last ten years, though.) That seems to be the hallmark of MS advertising, though. It’s not as bad as the commercials for the Surface, that only seem to relate to flash-mobs of people throwing the product across the room and making the cover click onto the body.

mrmwebmax

+

I found the ad very funny and very well-made, but agree with Bryan and John: The ad does a poor job of selling the Lumina 920. About the only positive thing I can say about the ad’s selling the Lumina, though, is this: The ad has people talking, and posting articles such as this one. Maybe they were hoping for the ad to go viral? Or maybe the whole point of the ad was to drive home that there’s an alternative to Android and iOS/Samsung and Apple?

Dean Lewis

I’m one of the few people who actually like the Surface ads. They show a lot of people having a lot of fun with a Surface tablet, and I don’t think they are much different from iPod ads: show the product amongst dancing people (or dancing silhouettes) with some fun music and maybe a few shots of the screen showing something fun. They’re just to get the viewer thinking, “Hmm. I may check further into that.”

Insulting the users of the competition, however, doesn’t do much at all. Potential switchers feel they’re being called dumb.  Current users may feel superior for a bit, but you already have them. You want to draw in more users.

Drawing the line between insults for cheap laughs and spec heavy voiceover (which nerds love but goes in and out the ears of most customers) can be difficult. iOS ads tend to do pretty well: pick one or two things and show the device and apps doing that; repeat for different things in a second ad.

mrmwebmax

+

I’m one of the few people who actually like the Surface ads. They show a lot of people having a lot of fun with a Surface tablet, and I don’t think they are much different from iPod ads: show the product amongst dancing people (or dancing silhouettes) with some fun music and maybe a few shots of the screen showing something fun.

I have to disagree with this, because of the exact point you make: Surface ads do look a lot like iPod ads, with people dancing around. But that makes perfect sense for an iPod ad. The iPod’s a digital music player. It plays music, and people dance to music. Makes perfect sense to show people or silhouettes using the product as intended.

But Surface? Be it RT or Pro, the #1 claim to fame for Surface is that it runs Office. It is supposed to be taken as a serious productivity tool, a bridge between PCs and tablets, and the exact opposite of consumption-centric for-entertainment-only iPads. So the commercial completely contradicts the main message of what the Surface is all about. And then there’s audience: What audience were those Surface ads targeting, anyway? Certainly not serious business users and enterprise customers.

Slogo

Lighten up.  That was freakin’ hilarious.

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