Microsoft Targets Mac in "Spin Before You Spend" Slot Ads

Microsoft has begun targeting Apple's Mac platform in series of Web ads titled "Spin Before You Spend." The ads are part of Microsoft's Choose PC campaign, and accompanies online videos of people like "Lauren" choosing a PC laptop and related TV commercials.

The new online ads are currently featured prominently on the New York Times Web site, and include a banner ad and two tile ads on either side of the Times' logo. The banner ads consist of two slot machine wheels -- on one side is a wheel with a washed out Mac and various worthless items, and on the other is a vibrant (if Vista-blue can be considered vibrant) wheel with a cheap PC and other not-worthless peripherals and other items (including the ever-popular 600 diapers).

As the slots spin, and new combinations of Mac+crap and Cheap-PC+not-crap appear, the Windows side lights up. If readers click the "Spin Again" button once the slots stop spinning, the ads are accompanied by slot machine sounds.

Microsoft "Spin Before You Spend" ad
Microsoft's "Spin Before You Spend" slot machine ads on the New York Times Web site.

Clicking through on the ad takes you to the "Choose PC" Web page at Microsoft's site. There, people are offered tips on how to choose a cheap PC that is right for them. For instance, are you a cheap gamer? Perhaps a cheap parent? Maybe a cheap jetsetter? Microsoft has the solution for you.

In the commercial with Lauren, she's filmed live (according to the narrator) looking for a 17" laptop for less than a US$1,000. After going into an Apple Store, Lauren comes out saying there was only one laptop for under $1,000, and it only has a 13" screen (the white plastic-cased MacBook). She then goes into a Best Buy where she's able to find a cheap, clunky 17" for $699, which she gets to keep (according to the narrator).

Microsoft's Laptop Hunter commercial featuring Lauren

The new campaign was created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the same firm that developed the often-panned Microsoft ads that featured Jerry Seinfeld (this reporter did not pan those commercials, for those keeping score at home).