As you would expect, all the Apple Fanboys are hating on the new “I’m a PC” campaign from Microsoft. In particular, bloggers are pouncing on the fact that the ad was likely created using a Mac. In my opinion, this is just another example of Alan Wolk’s NASCAR Blindness where the left leaning, Mac loving writers of the online world completely miss the point because they have their blinders on.
The fact is, this new campaign is pretty clever for Middle America
Let me start by making some assumptions based on my experiences in the Mac vs PC debate.
- Apple’s most passionate Brand Advocates seem to be concentrated on the East and West Coast, especially in cities like New York and San Francisco.
- These Apple Fan Boys (and Girls) are more likely to be in a creative line of work (like advertising)
- They are reading media in places like the New York Times, where Apple has gotten so much praise for their “I’m a Mac” rich media buys.
- Apple celebrates their “trendiness” and the fact they are “cooler” than PC users.
So given these facts, I think the “I’m a PC” campaign is a brilliant move by Microsoft to shore up Middle America. Put yourself in the shoes of a Microsoft Brand Manager. You recognize the above assumptions but realize that the do not describe the majority of America. Just as important, you realize that a lot of people might find Apple and their smarky spokesman Justin Long just a little too smug. And finally you recognize that in this time of political division and economic uncertainty, people might appreciate advertising that does not play up stereotypes.
The new Microsoft ads work because they focus on what brings us together instead of what sets us apart. They work because they call out that most of us “are not what you call hip”… nor do we want to be. They work because they show that PC users are not about stereotypes and looking down on others. And they work because they are funny with things like “I turn #2 into energy” or “I’m a PC and I sell fish.”
My girlfriend Cindy summed it up best when she saw the ad during NFL football on Sunday. She said, “now that’s an ad for someone that thinks its stupid to spend $3,000 on a Mac just because its cool.” Enough said.