You might have enjoyed the latest advertising attack by Microsoft on the iPad like I did, during Sunday night football while I was…on my iPad.
The narrative of the mock Siri caught my ear first. Then the side by side comparison with its clever wording (no kickstand!, I’m going to need a “hand” with that). Clearly entertaining, regardless what side of the technology divide you sit (or type) on.
I’m not going to go into technical specs of one vs. the other, whether Microsoft displayed “truth in advertising” when it showed the Surface RT’s keyboard as part of the tablet’s total price (which is actually only available as an add-on for an extra $100), or whether the $900 million accounting charge was related to the product’s price cut and excess inventory, no, no, no dear reader. What I do want to talk about – what we need to get to the bottom of, is…Did you enjoy the commercial?
Did you really?? Did you enjoy it enough to:
a) laugh out loud
b) try to insert the closest available USB into your iPhone while engaging Siri to get her to say dirty things (“…No, no, I don’t do that”)
c) continue to watch the game while yelling into the other room “Are you sure there aren’t more chips?!?!”
d) buy a Surface RT at the next available moment
I was impressed, a bit taken off guard. I mean, Microsoft (or at least an agency hired by them) was, for a moment, funny. Apple started this whole spat back when it made Justin Long famous enough to make Drew Barrymore consider dating him for a nanosecond in the PC vs. Mac commercials. PC was a chubby, boring, uptight, pretentious square. Justin Long was….I guess….just Justin Long but, whatever he was, he was cooler than PC.
The Mac vs. PC commercials did several things that these new Microsoft Surface RT ads don’t. They established a brand identity for Apple. They presented a new idea, a new way of doing things vs. the old and trite. They got people interested in and behind the Apple brand and what it stood for. These ads were funny, and they sold product.
The new Surface RT ads merely pit one product against another, product spec by product spec. And, if you believe the bit above about the accounting charge mentioned above, these ads don’t even sell units. Really, if you took away the faux Siri voice I probably wouldn’t have even looked up from my iPad.