It's gold, Jerry, GOLD!
Everyone see the new MSN homepage today? I admit it...I love it. It's "noiiiiiiiice".
I know a lot of people have been hating on Microsoft's new marketing campaign but I love it because it's such a subliminal campaign. The beauty is in the nuances. And in typical eBoost Consulting fashion, I will explain why in 3 main points:
- "I am a PC" is brandable AND it's written to be repeated in the first-person. Never underestimate the power of a short, repeatable slogan. "I am a PC" is simple and anyone, from 5 to 50 can repeat it without fail. Also, I'm convinced that the first-person reference is subliminal messaging at its pure form. Remember that it's an uphill climb for Microsoft. It has to start somewhere and over these next few years as they seek to change culture (and let's not forget, it is about changing culture), then first-person references should how relatable the brand is.
- Pairing Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates is genius. Great pairing. Clearly, others disagree but again, it's about changing a culture over the next few years. How better to make a statement then pairing the most unrelatable celebrity of the world with one of its most relatable? Seinfeld has significant pull; he's the everyman and he made a living out of finding hilarity out of the most mundane situations. I love this.
To those who think that this commercial series was/is a bomb, I'm not one to disagree. However, I do posit that the first Microsoft ad of this campaign would have been hated on anyway since most of the blogosphere's top influentials are Apple diehards. You could have gotten the top stars of today on the first big commercial and they'd be under even more scrutiny. Notice that most of the conversation out there is making fun of Bill Gates, NOT Jerry Seinfeld. This wouldn't have been the case with other celebrities who don't hold the same everyman credibility as Seinfeld does. This is as good as a first big commercial could be and though they pulled it, I don't think it wasn't by design. Gates took the first trashing for the team, leaving the next commercial ad to go nowhere but up. It's like being on the frontline.
- Mixing culture-changing celebrities with the every day person is awesome. While the Seinfeld/Gates pairing is the big bang, what is subtly but effectively executed is the interactive marketing end (for instance, the homepage). By mixing in videos of everyday people saying, "I am a PC" while weaving culture-changing celebrities such as Pharrell into the mix is a great way of saying that the PC is universally applicable. Also, I think the celebrity selections were by design. Pharrell, Rashad Evans, et al, are all fringe celebs who do things that change culture. These aren't your Bonos of the world, nor would the Bonos of the world work in this campaign. They are the fringe and they use PCs. Add that with the vintage Bogusky Mojave experiment and you have a well-rounded starting point.
This is an outstanding starting point for Microsoft. Changing worldviews is difficult especially for a brand like Microsoft. I love watching how Microsoft is attempting to change culture and for all intent and purposes, this is an EXCELLENT starting point.
Can't wait to see what comes next.
P.S.- this blog post is dedicated to Matt Byers who stumbled upon BoostStrapping and proceeded to read two years worth of posts in one day. Matt, you wanted more...you got it!