Microsoft has big brass ones.

As you are no doubt aware, Apple has been running ads for a while featuring Justin Long and a dweeby guy who is supposed to represent PC computers.  There has been a bit of a backlash as people finally are starting to tire of being told that they are lame for using a PC.  Nevermind that most people are forced to use a PC because of work, the truth is that there are a lot of people who don’t care (and probably wouldn’t notice) Mac’s OS advantages and superiority.  Many people LIKE using Windows.  They are comfortable with it and in the event something goes awry, they are used to rebooting and going on with their day.  

Now, a few months back, Microsoft hired Crispin Porter (I think, something like that) Advertising to handle their new $250 MILLION dollar campaign.  The goal of the campaign was to try and make the Ford Taurus of operating systems – Microsoft Windows – not seem so lame.  The first pass was a couple of ads with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates shopping for shoes and stealing garden gnomes.  While the spots had nothing to do with Windows, they certainly got people’s attention.  And while non-marketing types were busy poo-poo’ing the ads, they didn’t realize the effectiveness of that first step: people started talking about Microsoft.  In marketing, we call that the “introduction.”  Get the target’s attention, if only so they’ll be ready when you have something important to tell them.  That leads us to part 2, wherein the kids at Crispin rocked out a series of “I’m a PC” ads showing different interesting yet normal people professing to use Windows.  In one swoop, the “looking down our nose at PC users” tact of the Mac ads started to be less humorous and more insulting.  

 

Now, the third step has rolled out and frankly I’m amazed (in a good way).  Microsoft is putting kiosks outside of Apple stores with 3 experts standing by to talk all-things-Windows for people who may or may not be going in to the Apple store.  AWE.  SOME.   You didn’t REALLY think that Bill Gates and his zillions of dollars was going to sit around while Steve Jobs and company ridiculed his life’s work, did you?  

Head to Engadget for the full skinny and some pics.

http://www.engadget.com/2008/10/31/microsoft-placing-im-a-pc-recording-booths-outside-apple-stor/

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