Latest Microsoft Ad Shows Off Apple Again

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Microsoft's third "real world" PC shopping commercial features a mom and son looking for a new laptop, and like the previous ads in the series takes time to show off Apple's offerings.

The "Lisa and Jackson" ad follows in the footsteps of the "Lauren" and "Giampaolo" commercials by sending the two into a Best Buy store to shop for a PC. When the mom and son team pick out a PC laptop, Microsoft pays for it.

The two check out the store's MacBook selection, which Lisa says is popular with her son's age group. She ultimately dismisses the Macs as pretty, but too expensive. They also pass over a pink PC laptop in favor of a Sony product.

All three of Microsoft's new ads follow the same formula: don't mention Windows, and say that Macs cost too much. While they do consistently highlight Apple's products, none of the commercials show of any features from Microsoft's products.


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Who is their marketing genius? Never show off your own products.

Next up, Pepsi will be targeting Coke by selling Snapple.


Since when do Sony VAIO computers not come with a considerably larger price tag than other Windows computers?! In the past, I’ve seen plenty of cases where VAIO’s were actually more expensive than Macs in the same general model category and with very similar hardware specs.


Aren’t people eventually going to get suspicious about these ads? Ads that talk about nothing but price? I mean, everyone knows Chevys cost less than BMWs. But people still buy BMWs.

I wonder what the OEMs think about these ads. The margins are already razor-thin on WinTel PCs. If Microsoft reinforces the idea that PCs are always less expensive than Macs, that more or less forces OEMs to compete against Apple solely on price. If someone sees an Alienware laptop that costs as much as a MacBook Pro, they’re going to wonder why, since PCs are so much cheaper than Macs.

Also, if Apple ever became concerned about these ads, it would take ten minutes to figure out how to counter them. Macs ship with Mail, Safari, iCal, Address Book, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, Preview, etc. It would be fun to line up each of these apps against the equivalents that ship with PCs. Does Outlook Express even HAVE a calendar?


I think these would be kinda valid commercials for these times.  Even if these folks weren’t actors.  If someone tells you that you could have a free laptop, but it has to run window, wouldn’t you take it anyway?

Frankly, I might consider taking one; and running Linux on it:) Hey! “in this economy” even normal people(actors) need a bail out!

Gareth Harris

John Ruskin said:
“There is nothing in the world that some man
  cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper,
and he who considers price only is that man’s lawful prey.”

After using MS software for nearly 30 years, the only apt metaphor
I can come up with is that it is like the fake economy of buying a
falling down fixer-upper house to save money
- and then spending twice as much trying to make the thing livable.



“But Outlook has a host of features that Outlook Express does not have, such as a calendar, a task list, a journal, and automatic backup into archive files.”

Source =


Alienware targets enthusiasts who don’t build their own machines, not the kinds of people depicted in these commercials.  Your average ignorant end user will dismiss Alienware just as readily as they would Apple, and enthusiasts will dismiss Apple for reasons other than price.


Chevys cost less than BMWs. But people still buy BMWs.

But Chevy and other non-BMW car makers do advertise their price, and often argue that they offer a great “value.”  The difference is that if Kia ran an ad where a car buyer was comparing their cars to BMW’s and having the buyer quipping that BMW’s were too expensive, all s/he needs is a means to get around, and that s/he’s paying too much for a sexy badge, the commercial would be stupid.  The gap between a Mac and a cheap PC might not be as obvious, but apple’s strategy relies on customers who are able to see through this.  I suspect that the advertisements work best to give confirmation to buyers who were going to buy cheap computers anyways.

An interesting comparison between cars and computers: one of the key arguments of these ads is that PC’s give consumers the choice they want.  GM got to the point it was by doing just that—giving consumers greater choice than Ford did.  Now, ford is Ok and GM is having profit problems, and planning on pairing down their brand portfolio.  With the greater choice PC vendors, they have been undercutting their margins, where apple is still making a healthy profit on their hardware sales.


As I see it, among the people these ads are targeting, there are lots and lots who have never heard of Macs before, or just vaguely, remotely. Through these ads they will see that Macs are there and that they are an option to consider. Perhaps Apple is paying Microsoft to run these ads? smile

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