Apple Ads Stay Positive Despite Microsoft’s Negative Campaign

| Analysis

Apple has yet another new iPhone commercial out touting the smartphone's features by showing it as a personal device and a part of people's daily lives. In contrast, Microsoft's latest ads take a more negative spin by trying to show Apple's products are inferior.

Apple's ads target emotion, not tech specsApple's ads target emotion, not tech specs

Apple's latest commercial shows people using their iPhones to listen to the music they love at home, at work, with friends and when traveling. Like the Photos ad before it, and the other ads in Apple's iPhone and iPad campaigns, the message is about making these devices personal and showing how they are a part of our daily lives.

Microsoft, in contrast, is going for a more aggressive anti-Apple message -- much like Samsung -- instead of a pro-our-products style. While Microsoft's most recent commercials are at least entertaining, they go for a comparison to Apple.

For Apple, it's about emotion and making the message personal. There isn't any talk of product specifications, what the iPhone does that other smartphones can't, or any mention of competition at all.

That lack of competition in Apple's ads makes the iPhone and iPad the star, and by focusing on feature comparisons, Microsoft is making the iPhone and iPad the star, as well.

Apple isn't guilt-free when it comes to targeting the competition in its commercials. One of the company's most successful ad campaigns was the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" series where the computers were anthropomorphized as personalities played by Justin Long and John Hodgman. Even still, Apple managed to keep the focus on its products while keeping the message light hearted enough so that the ads never felt negative or mean.

In the end, it's about deciding what message you want to send to your potential customers and while Microsoft is saying "Look at us," Apple is saying "Look at you."



There is wisdom in that… A Market Leader does not do comparison ads. It only leads customers to ask, whats so good about the competitors product Apple is comparing against.

Much the same like Microsoft didn’t even respond to the I’m a Mac and I’m a PC ads.


I wonder why this doesn’t seem to work in politics. Seems like whenever a candidate declares that they are going to ‘take the high road’ and not go negative they not only drop in the polls but the political pendents and the rest of the talking class rip them a new one for every slip or perceived gaff.


By doing comparison videos, Microsoft and Samsung are indicating that they want people to believe that their products are as desirable as Apple’s. They are also giving Apple products free publicity in their ads, just by showing or referring to Apple products.

When you are at the top, there is no need to waste advertising time and money comparing your products to anyone else’s. This is why you’ve never seen competitor products in Apple’s advertising for iPhone and iPad. All of Apple’s ad time is focused on the products themselves, and the benefits to consumers.


Apple’s ads are all about emotions and I really like that (I wont bother to talk about Samsung’s or Microsoft’s ads). They envelop me with a feel good vibe that crescendos right before the voice over starts a concise and strong statement signed with the iPhone’s signature and Apple logo at the end. Class, powerful, aesthetically sharp. Good for the brand I think…


The classic example here is the advertising battle between Coca-Cola and Pepsi in the 1970s-1990s.  Coke was the decisive leader during this time, and their TV commercials showed people having fun, participating in events, and generally doing the Great Things in Life. Pepsi, in comparison, had every commercial saying “we’re [tastier|better|cooler|fizzier] than Coke”.
It was hard to find a Pepsi commercial that didn’t have Coke as a reference… and that didn’t really change until PepsiCo had more sales than Coca-Cola.


The ol’ amnesia factor. How quick y’all forget Apple’s relentless negative ad campaigns; PC guy was only one of the latest. I think if I was a M’soft fan I would LOVE this new ad. It’s not negative, it exploits some weakness or two. I love the Chopsticks thing…. totally making fun of the silliness of “playing piano” on a toy.
It’s a harmless Hail Mary to these ol’ Mac eyes, nary a “negative” vibe at all. Grow some skin kids, I still wouldn’t buy the product.
Since when did “negativity” not exist as a major dynamic in almost all human social competitive endeavors starting as l’il kids scamming on their siblings for more desert etc etc. Apple’s no different; Jobs was the ultimate Bosshole for cryin’ out loud. Man, that amnesia factor is a pill, ey?

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