Oh, Microsoft… Part 2

I’ve been waiting for a commercial ever since I wrote about Microsoft’s Geniuses awhile back.  I might stop writing about them for awhile, I feel like I’m beating a dead horse.  Anyways, here’s Microsoft’s latest failure:

I never understood why companies do these commercials with disclaimers that say “Real people. Not actors.”  It’s a TV ad!  Why would you try to deliver a genuine message on the medium that’s known for distorting reality?  Besides, you edited out everything you didn’t want people to see, so it’s inherently biased anyways.  It doesn’t matter that they’re not actors — we’re still not going to trust your commercial.

Microsoft does not have a marketing budget; they have an advertising budget.  And there’s a huge difference between the two.

Advertising is what you tell people to think about your company.  Marketing, on the other hand, is what you get people to think about your company on their own. So when you tell me your software is great in an ad on TV, that’s advertising.  When I find out that your software actually sucks after installing it and I complain on a message board about it, that’s marketing.

If you don’t have great content, you’re standing on a very weak foundation.  Scrap your advertising budget and put all your money into finding a way to get your product to market itself.

4 comments on “Oh, Microsoft… Part 2

  1. You nailed it with your statement about advertising vs. marketing. I see a lot of misinformed companies that think advertising IS marketing.

  2. I think I need to disagree a little bit with you on this one. The reason that they put real people not actors was to counter the mac vs. pc ad that mac has been running successfully for a while now that is obviously actors. If they can get “real people” to talk about what they like about Vista, it sort of downplays the “actors” that mac is using. Plus with the music I think they did a decent job, at least a step in the right direction. However I do agree with you and Devin that panorama applications seems like kinda a weird angle.

  3. I know Microsoft’s thought process behind this commercial — I understand that’s why they chose “real people.” But to think it effectively countered the clever, satirical ads Mac ran is ridiculous. Mac had a groundswell of loyal followers and Microsoft was driving people crazy. Those ads didn’t change anyone’s opinion; they just confirmed what people already knew.

    This campaign was a waste of money. Why not put all that ad money into making a product that appeals to the IT people in the business world? Even better, why not have them help fix Vista so it’s something they’re emotionally invested in? People in IT are the decision-makers for all things tech at companies, ie. they’re the influentials. If you can get them behind Vista, things will get a lot easier for Microsoft. But no, now they’re trying to convince people watching TV that Vista is “really simple.” It’s moronic.

    And what do you mean they did a decent job with the music? Please don’t tell me you’re referring to the background music in the commercial.

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