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September 23, 2008


Matt Byers

Hey Johnny! Thanks for the dedication!

Thank God you started writing again. I was afraid that maybe something tragic had happened and I was going to be stuck wandering aimlessly around cyberspace looking for my next good knowledge fix.

When I first saw the new campaign I was definitely underwhelmed, but after considering the arguments you make, I have to agree. At the very least, the arguments are definitely well structured! haha

I have to say that although I personally am a PC fan, I still think that Apple has a much better campaign. I would agree that Microsoft does have to start somewhere, but here is the question I pose to you:

I can’t help but notice the similarities between Apple’s less than flattering humanization of a PC and Bill Gates himself (minus the massive fortune of course). I agree that including Jerry Seinfeld has helped to make the brand much more relatable, but what is the underlying message Microsoft is sending by still depicting Bill Gates (PC) as a hyper intelligent, yet still mostly out of touch super geek? I can’t help but feel like on some level they are just reinforcing the subliminal message of the Apple campaign that Apple is cool and PC is nerdy and out dated. How does this further their mission of cultural change?

Nick Urbani

@matt- You can't depict billy gates any other way. we all know he's a nerd. I think what johnny said about using pharrel and rashad evans answers your question.

@johnny- it'd be cool for matt and everyone else to hear what you told us earlier about wieden+kennedy. I think you underemphasized the use of bill gates as the fall guy.

Also, I'd like to add one to your list. Feel free to put it under the magical category of "Other Issues":

They indirectly remind people that MAC OS only has a little over 7% of the market. In their commercials they use people of all different lifestyles. The ubiquity of the apple commercials had me thinking that apple's share was much larger, but the microsoft commercial reminded me that almost everyone uses PCs.

Johnny Chan

Matt, sorry I didn't catch your response earlier! Good question, but I think you answered your own inquiry.

Bill Gates is presenting himself as an out of touch geek - yes. No one denies that and I doubt anyone running the campaign would ever mistaken Gates for Bono. But what Gates is doing is tossing himself under the bus. Deliberately. This opens the flood gates and gets the worst response out of people. As Nick mentioned, this is a Wieden + Kennedy tactic - get people to attack a scapegoat first and after the storm passes, everything becomes more palatable.

Hope that makes sense.

Nick - great reference to the market share equation!!!

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