UK Microsoft Ads Leave Apple Without An Answer


The new Microsoft ads which have finally responded Apple’s more direct and hard-hitting approach towards Redmond themselves have been (justifiably) applauded far and wide.  After the lukewarm reception which the Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld ads received, Microsoft’s second wave of ‘I’m a PC’ ads thankfully fared rather better.  Then, in recent weeks Microsoft has aired a series of ads showing Lauren and Giampaolo with a certain budget shopping around for laptop PCs.  The key points highlighted in the ads are the vast range of choice for hardware running Windows and, perhaps more crucially, the fact the shoppers quickly dismiss Apple as a viable option because of the extortionate prices they charge for their hardware (which the bevy of Mac fanboys out there remain perpetually blind to of course).

And now with the release of a series of UK ads (such as Danni above) Microsoft have really upped the ante.  Specifically designed to showcase the simplicity of MS software, these ‘charming’ ads have gone down an absolute storm.  As Paul Thurrott pointed out in his blog:

[w]hat's so perfect about these ads, of course, is that they cannot be attacked. While Macworld and every Mac fanatic site on earth are busy deconstructing the "Laptop Hunter" ads and "Apple Tax" stories with frenzied and increasing desperation, there is absolutely nothing that Apple or its crazy fanatic followers can do to counter these cute kids using Windows. Any retort would just look stupid and mean-spirited.

You can view the other UK ads here.

Love it.


  1. Even better, it's not "Don't buy Apple because [negative argument]" it's "Buy Windows because [cool feature]" and integrated panorama stitching IS a cool feature. It's much more positive advertising Windows as a product adverts this time round.

    The oddest thing about the laptop buyer adverts to me was basically that the buyer appeared to have a look at Apple computers and then not have enough money to buy it which is a) a comment on the price and b) vaguely aspirational. It's like the awesome pair of designer shoes that you look at in the window but you can't afford and that seemed weird. That and how a Windows advertising campaign managed to mention "HP", "Sony" and "Apple" more times than "Windows".

  2. About 15 years ago back in the beleaguered days Apple actually ran Mac ads featuring kids and granddads doing homework and other assorted activities with the point of showing how easy it was to do these things on a Mac. Looks like Microsoft is becoming increasingly desperate to the point of following the concepts those Mac ads pioneered such a long time ago! All these ads show is Microsoft following once again in Apple's footsteps.

  3. iPhoto can do more and much simpler to operate than what MS is trying to portray here.

    Know more about OS X and the iLife softwares before attempting this trivial stunt.

    A total no event...hahahaha

  4. Aah, bless. Now, if she can debug my new Vista installation, I would be seriously impressed.

  5. Microsoft continues to show the same cluelessness in marketing as it does in designing and developing operating systems.

    There are many logic faults in Microsoft's recent ads, a few of which:

    1) Microsoft is trying to respond to Apple's Mac & PC ads, but they miss the point. The two characters in Apple's ads are anthropomorphic representations of computers. They are NOT meant to represent users. Yet Microsoft has people demeaning themselves by saying "I'm a PC", as if they consider themselves to be machines instead of human beings.

    2) Microsoft's recent ads don't advertise, nor do they even mention, their own products. The spots advertise Personal Computers ( a generic term for the hardware category produced by other companies). There is no mention of Windows Vista, and probably for good reason. The evasiveness of not trying to sell their own product is not missed by most people who understand that if there were any merit to advertising Vista, which even Microsoft views as a lost cause, they would be doing that.

    3) Microsoft's ads compare other similar (but not comparable) computers to those made by Apple, on the basis of price alone. They ignore all other important factors in purchasing decisions made by consumers. If all consumers purchased products based on price alone, the only cars you would see driving the streets would be Tata Nanos.

  6. You had a point, miniscule yes but a point all the same....yes, kids are adorable. Then you quote Paul Thurrot and blow any creditability you could have salvaged by not being able to recognise an MS apologist fanatic who openly brags about posting anti-Apple rubbish for personal enjoyment and intertubes hit-whoring.
    On a site like this, I'm staggered at the lack of perspective and research. Perhaps it's just easier to indulge in injured pride Apple hate instead.
    Get linux... and a sense of humour.

  7. The ad's are pretty cool, especially with the cute kids...but if only they could sort out my Vista update error I keep getting!

  8. These adverts can indeed be attacked - because everyone knows that they are a travesty of the truth.

    Since when was a Windows computer easy to use?

    More of the same with Microsoft pulling the wool over innocent, often ignorant, ordinary people's eyes...

  9. First of all, and to quote Michael Winner, I would say this: Calm Down Dear – it’s only a commercial. :-)

    I know that feelings run deep and a lot of the Mac fanboys out there are pretty highly strung. I expected that. Collectively you’ve raised some interesting points (with some being rather more fanciful than others). Just remember, I was only calling it as I saw it.

    Like some of you have mentioned, it certainly is interesting that these most recent ads (like the other 2008 MS ads) do not focus on drumming the names ‘Microsoft’ and ‘Windows’ into their audience. Whether it’s an unlikely oversight or deliberate strategy, it doesn’t matter: I think the divide is clear enough in people’s minds and the brand of Microsoft and their principal product is sufficiently well-established for the ads to still be effective. By not focussing on dropping the names ‘Microsoft’ and ‘Windows’ at every turn is arguably a show of strength and not a weakness.

    As I see it, highlighting the various strengths of their brand and particularly the affordability, the fact Microsoft and Windows is synonymous with PCs (and to a certain extent the mainstream computer market itself in being the de facto standard) and the huge range of hardware available etc. etc. is exactly the right way to go about responding to Apple.

    I think the methods of advertising delivery are a bit more subtle these days than some of you seem to recognise. Perhaps there would have been a more effective means of delivering Microsoft’s message – or perhaps not. Either way, they’ve at least responded to Apple’s disingenuous line of advertising and by refocusing consumer’s attention to the strengths of Microsoft’s brand will likely nip in the bud the chances of an average-Joe consumer seriously considering an Apple computer. On that basis, then, I think the ads can be justifiably regarded as effective.

    But like I said, I’m just calling it as I see it. :-)


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