Reuters asks: Is PC the new black? Ask Microsoft

Just returned from the Company Meeting at Safeco field (that was fun) and happy to have a hand in one moment, helping my friends in Live Search (they know who they are, and how raising a few hands helps the cause ;).  Nuff said.

Unfortunately, I missed seeing our folks from the Microsoft Canada Development Centre (apologies!), but I read on the ride home (courtesy of Sound Transit Wi-Fi as I noted on Twitter) a blog post today, "Is PC the new black? Ask Microsoft", Daisuke Wakabayashi at Reuters. Wakabayashi asks the question in reference to a new set of ads coming out from Microsoft later…

Microsoft I'm a PC adMicrosoft is launching (another) new commercial campaign Thursday night. It takes aim at Apple’s “Mac vs. PC” campaign that has portrayed personal computers running Windows as clunky and uncool.

The commercial starts with a real-life Windows engineer who looks eerily similar to John Hodgman (the comedian who plays the role of "PC" in Apple’s commercials), saying "I’m a PC and I’ve been made into a stereotype." After that is a montage of celebs and normal folk, saying "I’m a PC."   Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, along with the aforementioned celebrities, makes an appearance in the ad.

"The new commercial is easier to understand than the first series of ads from Microsoft that featured comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Microsoft said the Seinfeld ads were meant to be an "ice breaker" and get people taking about the company and Windows. (Although it could be argued that there was already a conversation about Windows, just not the one the company wanted.)"

On Microsoft Presspass today, I see that we announced that the next phase of the long-term Windows marketing effort continues, now with "Life Without Walls".

Multiple Devices: Marlin

"The new tagline reflects how Windows connects people across PCs, phones, devices and the Web. Get the background story on the new marketing approach, and see the latest campaign elements."

Of interest, Video of Microsoft’s Bill Veghte on the Windows Brand: Life without Walls, I’m a PC and More (01:27), Life Without Walls Preview & Bill Veghte Soundbites (01:55), and an Image Gallery for the Life Without Walls Campaign.(Links to Downloadable Files: Broadcast (.mpeg) and Video (.wmv)

As Ina Fried notes on her blog today, a new commercial hits tonite… and this one is a little more to the point…

"I’m a PC and I’ve been made into a stereotype," says Microsoft employee Sean Siller, who looks a whole lot like John Hodgman, the actor who plays the PC in Apple’s ads.

The spot then goes on to have other people say that, they too are PCs, including an Obama blogger, a McCain broadcaster, actress Eva Longoria, a school teacher, and a fish salesman, among others. (My favorite is a guy standing near cows saying "I turn No. 2 into energy.")

Bill Gates does make a cameo, saying "I’m a PC and I wear glasses." The ads will debut later Thursday on NBC’s The Office.

The commercial will certainly be entertaining.  I have my Media Center and ReplayTV set to record The Office tonite, and I expect that more will be posted to as available.

Also of interest: this article in the New York Times by Stuart Elliott, Echoing the Campaign of a Rival, Microsoft Aims to Redefine ‘I’m a PC’.

Tags: advertising, Microsoft, Windows Vista

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