Microsoft’s new ad campaign: a case study in how to start online controversy

I’m as close to a Windows fanboy as you can get without having to do something demeaning to win a piece of Windows-branded clothing at a trade show somewhere. There, thats my disclosure. Friends have been asking what I think of the new Gates / Seinfeld ads as much as what they used to ask me what I thought about the old Apple ads – being a PC guy, I thought the Apple ads sucked :). To be honest, I don’t yet know what I think of the new MS ads, because I’ve only seen the first and second one – I don’t know where it’s going, and am not privvy to knowing what will unfold in the coming releases in the series. One thing is for sure, it looks like the guy shooting the footage came straight from the bar. Thats how you achieve edgy camera work for minimal budget – get a wino to do it. 

The extended, 4 minute long version of ad 2.

At any rate, people are talking about it. There are over 3100 Diggs for the blog post on the second ad on Engagdet. I think the key to this discussion is in it’s complete and bewildering obscurity (in this regard it reminds me of Demitri Martin & the Clearification campaign for Vista). I’ve been following various email trails amongst friends and colleagues speculating what people think the ads are really about – the favoured theory is that each of the characters are a metaphor for various people and products in the Apple / PC firefight that Apple kicked off in earnest with their ads… the little girl may or may not be Mac apparently (thats pure speculation so don’t quote me).

Anyway, in wrapping this up, if this is not buzz, then what is? It’s a different story, of course, whether buzz translates to results.

EDIT – 18/09/08: So Jerry’s been dropped from the ads. Hardly surprising.


1 Response to “Microsoft’s new ad campaign: a case study in how to start online controversy”

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