Wednesday, 24 September 2008

It continues... Microsoft's long awaited comeback to the "I'm a PC" campaign!

First things first, I'll get the movie-length follow up to the Shoe Circus ad done and dusted...

Check it out below if you want to see Gates doing a highly embarrassing robot dance:

I've got really mixed opinions about this one. It is actually much funnier than the first Shoe Circus TVC; I find it always helps when you take the piss out of yourself ;) They are less subtle this time around with divulging the campaign's purpose, it resonates around Seinfeld and Gates trying to connect to the 'real people'. Overall it's an ok follow up that I wouldn't find assaulting if I watched it more than once due to some hidden meaning. The major downside is the tagline which is PC = perpetually connecting - to me this is nothing but meaningless jargon. Yes it's an acronym - congratulations but I would have preferred something that broke through the current clutter and noise - something which was dimensional and in line with the repositioning strategy.

Anyway onto the second video offering, after all this is where is gets interesting!

So after setting up their own YouTube channel back on the 28th of August, Windows/Microsoft have added a new video launching The Real PC campaign. In true Microsoft style they are back to full fledged sporting competition, but this time it's an away game (against team Apple, hosted at Google Stadium). The channel can be found here: and the video in question:

Featuring Sean Siler, the piece talks about the stereotype of PC and the idea of collective uniqueness within PC users. They've also integrated it into the updated website:, which encourages PC users to become the face of PC by submitting a photo/video and PC-use spiel which then can be shown on their website in the PC Gallery, in online advertising and in Times Square. Nifty.

Three reasons why I think The Real PC campaign will work:
1) No Gates (currently too much of a negative brand ambassador?)
2) Branding of choice is Windows throughout and not Microsoft, it makes sense to distance Microsoft as the parent company
3) Acknowledging the past attack from Apple, turning it around and saying touché - what is 'cool' anyway!

For it to work, you need to have an understanding of what their core objective is. To me it revolves around changing consumer perception and launching the Windows portfolio as a serious competitor in today's online climate by using the concept of the PC as a channel.


  1. Kate,
    I think i kinda agree with your points on this one.
    The second bill and jerry ad was better. I actually think Bill is good to watch - he comes across naturally funny. Apart from the negative brand associations he has (as you pointed out) he could just do funny ads himself.
    The "i'm a pc..." ads worked well i think. I would love to see an ad taking down the crap stuff about apple/macs - because sometimes they are just stooopid. Though probably not a good idea for microsoft to get into a mud sling match with apple though!

  2. Hey Nat,

    Thanks for the comment.

    Usually I would stay with the usual "Marketing 101" strategy - which is that the market leader should never get into a mud sling match as you call it, with the market underdog i.e. Apple.

    But in this case, I think that whilst Microsoft will never be the underdog in the computing category due to the massive dominance of PC users, they should nut it out with Apple extrinsically to get a bit of consumer street cred! It will also help them to be perceived as being more competitive and relevant.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.