We were looking forward to seeing how the comedic minds behind Family Guy would tie in a Windows 7 advertising campaign to a live variety show which, among other things, would have the Family Guy cast pitching the new OS. But that all came to a screeching halt when Microsoft decided to pull out of the deal because of concerns over the content.
But while Microsoft wants nothing to do with "Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show," the Redmond outfit apparently has cut a deal for independent ad spots with the Family Guy cartoon characters, some of which you may have already spotted on television.
If not, you can check out the full assortment of videos here. Once you do, hit the jump and share your impression. Was it what you expected?
Let's for a moment put aside the recent Snow Leopard debacle involving lost data due to a bug in the OS. And while we're overlooking things, we might as well disregard the multitude of positive reactions Windows 7 has received, which is still nearly a week away from being released. None of it matters, because Apple plans to continue its relentless advertising assault against Windows-based PCs.
According to BusinessWeek, Apple is prepared for the Windows 7 launch with a series of "Get a Mac" ads that will air at the same time. Whereas some of the criticisms coming from the Apple camp might have been justified during Vista's forgettable reign, what could the rival OS maker possibly have to say about Windows 7?
"It will likely make the case that Macs are less susceptible to viruses and are best suited to its popular iPods and iPhones. And look for it to poke fun at Microsoft making XP owners go through an arduous process to upgrade to Windows 7 -- one that includes backing up all their files to an external drive, reformatting their PC, and then reinstalling all of their old programs, assuming they still have the CDs," BusinessWeek wrote.
It's an interesting tactic, but we're not so sure Apple's message will resonate as loudly as it did when Vista made it all too easy to go on the offensive. Think about it for a moment - is a somewhat bothersome upgrade process for XP owners really enough to sway consumers over to OS X? Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP for Worldwide Product Marketing believes it is.
"Any user that reads all those steps is probably going to freak out," Schiller stated. "If you have to go through all that, why not just buy a Mac?"
We'd answer that one ourselves, but that would be no fun. Instead, we'll hit the jump to see what you have to say on the matter.
The iPhone exclusivity contract with AT&T ends this year and hot on the heels of AT&T’s poor 3G performance reports, and network upgrade promises, Verizon launches a zinger ad campaign directly targeting the shortcomings of their rival.
Debuting on Monday Night Football, Verizon launched its slick response to Apple’s “There’s an app for that” commercials. The new television ad campaign, “There’s a Map for that,” cleverly smacks AT&T’s coverage area in the face as the voiceover talks about streaming video performance and spotty coverage areas (yes they’re talking about you, AT&T).
Verizon will undoubtedly seek a contract with Apple should its exclusivity end with AT&T. As it is, they are locking up a partnership with Google to bring Android phones to their product offerings as well.
To the surprise of few, Microsoft is gearing up to dominate the airwaves with Windows 7 ads in preparation for their October 22nd launch. And, while there hasn’t been a lot of time to shoot the concepts for said adverts, the bar has been set quite high.
Microsoft apparently has had second thoughts about associating vomit with Internet Explorer 8. As part of a new ad campaign designed to push IE8 onto the masses, one of the four new ads showed a woman barfing all over her husband and the floor after borrowing her hubby's laptop and seeing whatever site he had been viewing, a site so horrendous as to cause her to lose her entire breakfast, and then some. Maybe he was watching Failure to Launch.
The video, which garnered a ton of online media attention, has since been pulled from the IE8videos channel on YouTube, as well as from BrowsefortheBetter.com, a site that is part of the ad campaign. In its place is a tag that simply reads "coming soon."
"We make a point of listening to our customers," a Microsoft representative told CNet. "We created the OMGIGP video as a tongue-in-cheek look at the InPrivate Browsing features of Internet Explorer 8, using the same irreverent humor that our customers told us they liked about other components of the Internet Explorer 8 marketing campaing. While much of the feedback to this particular piece of creative was positive, some of our customers found it offensive, so we have removed it."
Or maybe it just hit too close to home for some. Either way, if you missed it the first time around, you can still catch ad here.
We’ve all seen the laptop hunters in action over the past several weeks and though you may not have noticed it at first, these ads represent a significant shift in tactics. The new marketing campaign by Microsoft takes a much less passive aggressive stance than in the past, and for the first time, charges head on into their primary competitor. In the previous campaign which featured a diverse group of actors claiming to be PC’s, Apple is never specifically mentioned, but clearly if you’re not a Mac you’re a PC right?
Microsoft’s strategy up to this point has been to ignore Apple completely, and to never give them the satisfaction of being acknowledged publically as a valid alternative to Windows. This new campaign is much less subtle about the value of a PC when compared to a Mac, and it is not surprising that they have invoked a response from Apple as a result.
According to an Apple spokesman “The one thing that both Apple and Microsoft can agree on is that everyone thinks the Mac is cool. With its great designs and advanced software, nothing matches it at any price." So close, yet so far”. Certain publications such as BusinessWeek would also have us believe that Anti Virus software and Geek Squad visits will make up the price difference between a $699 HP & a $2,800 Mac, but we don’t buy that argument either. One thing is certain however; we can likely expect Apple’s next ad campaign to respond in kind, making this the start of a very interesting and public war between the two rivals.
No one has been more critical of Microsoft's first attempts at responding to Apple's "I'm a Mac" ads than myself, and I still contend that those quirky commercials featuring Jerry Seinfeld missed the mark wider than Brett Favre in a critical game (you Jets fans still steaming over a 3-interception, 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins know what I'm talking about). Judging by the comments in those earlier blogs (see here and here), either expectations were disparingly low, or other PC users really did find a certain charm in talking about chewy computers or watching Bill Gates do a geriatric robot.
This time around I'm more than willing to give credit where credit is due, and it belongs to Microsoft for its latest offensive against Apple. Microsoft has finally zeroed in on the high price tags that accompany Macs, and it isn't letting up. The first ad featured a woman named Lauren on the hunt for a 17-inch laptop under $1,000, and not surprisingly, she wasn't able to find one in an Apple store. "I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person," she concluded. Not long after, a second ad emerged, this time upping the ante to $1,500 and featuring a member of the opposite sex who surmised that "Macs, to me, are about the aesthetics more than they are the computing power. I don't want to pay for the rent, I want to pay for the computer."
See what happens when a mother-and-son duo take on Microsoft's "Laptop Hunters" challenge after the jump.
Redmond's ad writers drew blood with their first Laptop Hunters ad: "Congrats, Lauren. It's a PC," last month. They've wasted little time in following it up. This time, it's the guys' turn, and a little higher budget's in the offing: Giampaolo goes shopping for a powerful laptop under $1500. We watch him check out the stats, the keyboards, and hear him dismiss the Mac platform: "Macs, to me, are more about the esthetics, not the computing power." In the end, Giampaolo snags a Windows Vista-based laptop for about $1100. The tag line this time? "It's a PC because I'm really picky."
You can check out (Silverlight required) the continuing Laptop Hunters series at Microsoft's TV commercials website (including last year's painful "Mojave Experiment" and unbearable Gates & Seinfeld misfires). We like the Laptop Hunters commercials, but how about you? If you're on the Mac versus PC fence, do they push you off the fence? If you have Mac-loving friends or family members, what do they think? Join us after the jump for your chance to spill.
Microsoft's fourth attempt at an ad campaign may finally deliver a worthwhile message to consumers. The latest has nothing to do with Jerry Seinfeld and chewy computers (attempt one) or unattended 8-year-olds hooking up digital cameras to a notebook and declaring "I'm a PC" (attempt two), and then there's the Mojave Experiment (attempt three). Instead, Microsoft's newest ad takes aim at Apple by pointing out the gross pricing disparity between a Mac and a Windows-based PC.
In the ad, a young woman named Lauren says she's looking for a laptop with "speed, a comfortable keyboard, and a 17-inch screen" for under $1,000. Microsoft tells her if she can find it, she can keep it. Lauren's first stop? An Apple Store:
"For $1,000 they only have one computer available and that's a 13-inch screen," Lauren says. "I would have to double my budget, which isn't feasible. I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person."
After later finding an HP Pavilion that "has all of my qualifications" for $700, the ad flashes "Congrats, Lauren. It's a PC."
Well played, Microsoft. And also well timed.
View the video here then hit the jump and tell us if you like Microsoft's new ad campaign.
While it seems most PC users got a kick out of watching Seinfeld inquire about the future of chewy computers and Bill Gates doing the robot, I've remained critical of Microsoft's $300 million ad campaign and have yet to be impressed with one of its commercials, including the "I'm a PC" segments currently being aired. By contrast, I found myself chuckling at Apple's initial round of ads, not because I thought they were accurate (they're not), but because they managed to throw humorous jabs without going for that impossible knockout punch. For those of you who follow baseball, it's like being a Red Sox fan (which I am) and tipping your hat at the Tampa Bay Rays for outplaying your team last night (which they did), even though you despise them (which I do).
But lest anyone accuse me of sleeping with the enemy (you know, those whiny Mac losers), let me go on record as saying that the new Mac ads suck too, and not just because I've developed an urge to want to punch Justin Long-in-the-tooth square in the face (I bet he's a Tampa Bay fan too, the smug bastard).
Hit the jump to read my beef with the new Mac ads.