Friday, January 16, 2009

Microsoft Finds Brand Focus and Makes A Relevant Ad

2008 was a horrible year for Microsoft advertising. First, the Jerry Seinfeld / Bill Gates ads were unfunny and nonsensical. They sullied the brand by making Gates and their product look silly.

Next, Microsoft made a another error with the "Mojave Project" ads. Through strange, hidden camera ads Microsoft admitted that they initially dropped the ball on Vista and probably released it too soon with too many errors in the system.

Finally, there was the horrendous "I'm a PC" campaign. With Apple taking shots at every turn, Microsoft made the most critical error in years. A brand leader never needs to take pot shots at competitors because it is only going to drive more attention to the competition. Plus, Microsoft doesn't make PCs; they make software. We didn't see Dell, Sony, Lenovo, or any other computer that runs on Windows fight back at Apple. Why did Microsoft decide that it would be worth it to turn back and try to stare down Apple?

This new set of ads from the software giant focuses exactly on what they should, software. Moreover, this is software for business. I cannot remember how many times that I heard people say, "Well, I use Windows at work so I should get it for my home computer too." With software becoming more interoperable this statement is not as important as is once was. However, if Microsoft focuses on this market again, they might be able to rebuild their brand to represent the software company that enables people to work.

1 comment:

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