Microsoft’s New Ad: Tell Me Something I Don’t Already Know
Microsoft has a new PC ad which at first glance, deserves a complement. It’s much more straightforward (as opposed to those terrible Seinfeld ones) and hits Apple in a well-acknowledged weak spot – Macs are on average, more expensive than PCs.
I’m not going to get into a big debate about “cost of ownership,” ease of use, or wasted time troubleshooting computers. Nor will I discuss why buying the “middle of the road” product seems to be the best use of one’s money, as opposed to the cheapest or most expensive.
Instead I’ll just criticize this ad for stating the obvious. Like, Macs are more expensive than PCs. Uh, duh. Tell me something I don’t already know.
The question Microsoft should be asking is: why are Mac users willing to pay more? All I’ll say is: it’s not just about hardware specs. There’s also this thought: when I am using a Mac, I feel like I’m using my computer and OS X is helping me get stuff done. When I use a PC, I feel like I’m using someone else’s computer and Windows is deliberately preventing me from getting things done.
Secondly: it’s not just about the Mac. Sure Miss Recent College Grad didn’t pony up for a MacBook, but it’s a safe bet she’s “cool enough” to purchase an iPod at $79, loads of music via iTunes, or an iPhone. Call it “nano-cool.” Apple makes money either way. How are those Zune sales?
Anyhow, to get back to the point of this post, the fact that Macs are more expensive than PCs is not new information. Anyone who bought a Mac in the last decade has already done the math in their heads and not bought a PC. I’d say pretty much every PC user has done the exact same thing and come up with the opposite conclusion. So they get a Dell and save a few hundred bucks. Then they turn around and blow it on an iPod.
In conclusion, this ad says nothing new and therefore will convince nobody of anything they weren’t already thinking beforehand. Still, congrats on replacing Seinfeld with Captain Obvious.
(Note: as I finished this post, I noticed MG Siegler at VentureBeat came to a similar conclusion. Mac users, great minds, yada yada yada.)