Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why it's important to smart-ass-test ads


Stung by bad street and slow adoption of Windows Vista, Microsoft is getting ready to launch a "fight back" ad campaign, says ZD Net.

If this is going to be the overall message of Microsoft’s much-vaunted new $300 million ad campaign, it might be money well spent. According to the folks at LiveSide, the first ads in the new campaign were previewed at Microsoft’s employees-only Global Exchange conference last week to rave reviews. As Tim Anderson astutely noted the other day, “Vista is now actually better than its reputation. That’s a marketing issue.” Microsoft’s biggest challenge is to get would-be customers to set aside whatever preconceptions they have and listen to its pitch for Vista. Aligning its most vocal Vista critics with the Flat Earth Society is a clever way to get people’s attention.

But the bigger job, that of actually changing people’s minds, will be easier said than done. Apple has largely defined Vista’s public image so far with its devastating “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads. Responding directly to those ads is a losing tactic. Largely thanks to John Hodgman, the humor bar is set extraordinarily high. Any kind of response ad would legitimize the claims in those Apple ads and run the significant risk of being seen as lame and uncool.

And there’s no sign that anyone in Redmond is going to go down that road. Instead, clicking the link on the “World is flat” add leads to a page headlined, “Windows Vista: Look how far we’ve come.”

ON THE OTHER HAND, shouldn't a "fight back" ad NOT be this damned easy to parody:


I MEAN, really. The concept of the spoof took about . . . ooooohhhhhhh . . . three seconds. All the rest was dinking with the freeware Paint.NET program.



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1 comment:

Partners in Grime said...

Vista waters look a little choppy.