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Microsoft's "I'm a PC" spot having little impact versus Apple ads

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
In spite of Microsoft spending $300 million on a concerted effort to get itself back into a positive public mindset, ads most directly targeting Apple are failing to resonate with web viewers and may have already been thwarted by the Mac maker's response.

The series of "I'm a PC" ads, which began airing in mid-September, have seen just 2 million viral views over their first four weeks on the Internet, according to research group Visible Measures.

While not insignificant, the number is dwarfed by those for the company's two Gates and Seinfeld ads: the deliberately eccentric videos have generated more than 6 million views in their history and have also had staying power that wasn't present for the newest commercial.

"I'm a PC" is estimated to have generated approximately half as many views in its first week and a half online and was down to 50,000 views per day just a few days later at the two-week mark, or a fraction of the 700,000 daily views Gates and Seinfeld were managing two weeks after their series launch.

That's a serious problem, according to the analysts: the "I'm a PC" spots, which softly criticize Apple's rendition of the PC as a trouble-ridden stereotype, are meant to be the core of Microsoft's ad campaign. A poor viral reception means web visitors aren't spreading and discussing the ads nearly as often as the Seinfeld pieces, which were reportedly intended as abstract teasers.







More worrying for Microsoft might be Apple's response ads, which tweak the software developer for allegedly spending more money on marketing its brand than fixing problems commonly associated with Windows Vista. The three Apple segments' first week of collective views generated a modest 70 percent of the viral views managed by the "I'm a PC" ad, but were also placed on twice as many websites overall -- 140 versus 70 -- and promised greater exposure than Microsoft's promos.

Neither of these most recent campaigns have had enough clout to outweigh the popularity of the Seinfeld ads, but the success of Apple's retort is said to demonstrate the relative commitment fans have to spreading the company's message on Macs. It also suggests to the research group that Microsoft may have inadvertently quieted the fervor that was circulating its ads and might not regain that spark until Seinfeld's commercials return.
post #2 of 35
Well I can totally see why the Seinfeld & Gates Ads have been watched more - they are far more entertaining than watching a bunch of people say "I'm a PC." Heck, I went and watched the Seinfeld ads and while I thought they didn't really do a whole lot of advertising for MS I certainly found them entertaining. Considering Apple's Mac vs PC has been around for years the fact that they are getting nearly as many views and twice as much placement as a brand new campaign that is spending much more than them speaks to the near cult-like following those commercials have.
post #3 of 35
I'm guessing people aren't watching them because there's nothing to see. After the first five or so "I'm a PC," I'd say most people are thinking, "Okay, already. I got the point."
post #4 of 35
There's also nothing new. PC users already know other people use PC's. Unfortunately PC users watching the commercial also know all about they trouble they've had with PC's the past 20 years.

All Microsoft's ads say are "We'd like to remind you PC users out there that you use a PC."

The public isn't as stupid about computers as they were 10-15 years ago and Microsoft's little games they've played have caught up with them.

Microsoft's operating system is such shit that it created a multi-billion dollar antivirus industry for God's sake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

I'm guessing people aren't watching them because there's nothing to see. After the first five or so "I'm a PC," I'd say most people are thinking, "Okay, already. I got the point."
post #5 of 35
I get the impression that the Seinfeld ads were cut off prematurely, like telling a story but don't even get to the second act, or telling a joke and forgetting to finish the setup, nevermind tell the punch line.
post #6 of 35
What the "I'm a PC" ad campaign accomplished is to sell the Apple and Mac brand. Apple really gave Microsoft and inferiority complex. Poor MS needs Bill Gates back at the helm before YHOO buys them. Balmer is so lame it's pathetic! What stupefies me is Apple has RDF's Microsoft into chanting mantras from Apple's own script. I've never witnessed lamer corporate public relations in my life!

From:
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscente..._mistakes.html

"In his keynote Tuesday, Sinofsky said Microsoft is learning its lessons from Vista, which was widely criticized by users and the press, and spoofed famously in humorous television advertisements by competitor Apple.

Sinofsky acknowledged that some of the criticism was deserved, particularly around Microsoft's lack of preparing its hardware, software and peripheral partners for Vista's release, even though it was more than five years in the making."

WTF is MS doing? Hari Kari?
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Microsoft's operating system is such shit that it created a multi-billion dollar antivirus industry for God's sake.

Indeed. From my perspective, Microsoft has robbed customers (individuals, companies) of time and money for the past 30 years by producing an OS riddled with bugs, security problems, and needless complexities in its usability.

This makes Microsoft one of the most criminal companies on the planet. Bill Gates should be jailed, IMO. I'm not exagerating.
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

WTF is MS doing? Hari Kari?

harakiri. (Or, seppuku).
post #9 of 35
With all of the crap that's going on the world, you think that BILL GATES needs to be thrown in prison?

Anyway... I doubt that any of you will recall, but I was among the few who predicted that the Seinfeld ads would be a good idea. Pretty much everybody said how Seinfeld is "washed up," and "irrelevant," but you were wrong. I was right.

Just wanted to gloat.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Well I can totally see why the Seinfeld & Gates Ads have been watched more - they are far more entertaining

the irony being that likely half if not more than of those viewers were checking them out just to say WTF? and then turned around and emailed tons of folks to "check out this dumb ass ad that Microsoft made"
post #11 of 35
PC users have a different mentality from Mac users; most Mac users are proud of the computer they're using, whiile PC users are using just an ordinay box.... How many cars have you seen with an Apple sticker on ? Have many cars have you seen with a Windows sticker ?
post #12 of 35
kinda like advertising that you drive a Chevy Caprice around town.... yahhh, soo.... who cares, it's a common Chevy, GM, Pontiac, big deal. There's nothing unique about it.

The problem with Microsoft is that they try too hard to duplicate Apple on every angle that they miss the point. Apple is unique which makes them stand out, there is nothing unique about Windows because just about everyone uses it or knows all about it, in what way can it stand out or be different.

Microsoft needs to spend more time making themselves unique or stand out (in a good way) and stop looking over at what Apple is doing all the time so that they can duplicate it in the worst way possible.

.....and then get rid of Ballmer who is the biggest monkey act they ever had. Too bad Microsoft doesn't care enough about their products and customers to make great products instead of sales, sales, sales. \ Oh well! someday maybe!
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

harakiri. (Or, seppuku).

I was too lazy to Google it. Thank you.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiaa View Post

PC users have a different mentality from Mac users; most Mac users are proud of the computer they're using, whiile PC users are using just an ordinay box.... How many cars have you seen with an Apple sticker on ? Have many cars have you seen with a Windows sticker ?

That's over simplistic. When I used Windows I loved my Dell. You make an ironic point, though. Apple is the only brand free of component logos but its users feel compelled to paste Apple's logo on their cars. I'm guilty, too. Does that make me an Apple component?
post #15 of 35
Microsoft don't need these ads - so many people use their computers that if they just released a good solid no-nonsense version of Windows, they would be incredibly popular.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

Indeed. From my perspective, Microsoft has robbed customers (individuals, companies) of time and money for the past 30 years by producing an OS riddled with bugs, security problems, and needless complexities in its usability.

This makes Microsoft one of the most criminal companies on the planet. Bill Gates should be jailed, IMO. I'm not exagerating.

No, you are more like hallucinating
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Microsoft don't need these ads - so many people use their computers that if they just released a good solid no-nonsense version of Windows, they would be incredibly popular.

Amen to that. If only they actually did what the company was set up for in the first place, there wouldn't be all this controversy. C'mon, Microsoft, for once make a decent OS. You did well with 3.1, and *okay* with XP.

Also, I find it rather funny that Microsoft spends all this money to compete against the negative campaigning of a computer company Steve Ballmer consistently dismisses as insignificant. So insignificant they're spending $300 million in advertising to combat against it. Ha!

On a slight side note, does anyone remember Steve Ballmer dismissing the iPhone, saying who was going to pay that much for a phone? Answer: a lot of people, Steve, a lot of people. Idiot.
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

the irony being that likely half if not more than of those viewers were checking them out just to say WTF? and then turned around and emailed tons of folks to "check out this dumb ass ad that Microsoft made"

Just seemed like a rejected scene from Seinfeld and as I really enjoy that show a rejected scene is still better than a lot of other things...
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cactus_man View Post

With all of the crap that's going on the world, you think that BILL GATES needs to be thrown in prison?

Anyway... I doubt that any of you will recall, but I was among the few who predicted that the Seinfeld ads would be a good idea. Pretty much everybody said how Seinfeld is "washed up," and "irrelevant," but you were wrong. I was right.

Just wanted to gloat.

You weren't right. The Seinfeld ads might be better than the I'm a PC ads, but they're both terrible ideas.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

harakiri. (Or, seppuku).

wow, I can't believe no-one has posted that "either form is acceptable in american english" yet, because thats what usually happens.

.. oh hold on.
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post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

wow, I can't believe no-one has posted that "either form is acceptable in american english" yet, because thats what usually happens.

.. oh hold on.

Yes, as I remember , 'harakiri' means belly-cutting, which is quite demeaning of the act, whereas 'seppuku' is the preferred name for the ritual act.

P.

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post #22 of 35
Let's face it, the most successful marketing campaign to come out of the Microsoft offices was conceived and executed by Melinda Ann French.
post #23 of 35
Maybe the next series of ads that M$ could run:

WWVD? (What would Vista do)

At least in the Seinfeld ads, you had some mystery and confusion as to figuring out what they were doing and looking for thing. Agreed with after the first five "I'm a PC" there is nothing left to see and once I've seen it, who cares.

My wife is now seriously considering the switch to MacBookPro from her PC - she will not run Vista under any circumstance. THIS is a significant change and there may, for once, be peace in the house around the Mac/PC subject!!!
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post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

I'm guessing people aren't watching them because there's nothing to see. After the first five or so "I'm a PC," I'd say most people are thinking, "Okay, already. I got the point."

Agreed!

Even Apple's first iPhone commercial that aired during the Oscars or whatever Hollywood event, showing all the actors picking up the phone saying "Hello", was short lived and just a teaser and ran only a few times until the phone actually came out.

The subsequent iPhone commercials have been geared towards telling people the multiple, every day uses of the iPhone.

Kind of like the HP ads about the computer being personal again. HP does a better job explaining what todays PC can do, they just don't tout one operating system or another. MS should learn from them and come up with a stimulating ad about what Vista can do for your computer and thus for you! Of course, MS will have to come out with the right version of Vista, one that they can be proud of tooting it's horn.

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post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cactus_man View Post

Seinfeld ads would be a good idea. Pretty much everybody said how Seinfeld is "washed up," and "irrelevant," but you were wrong. I was right.

Don't care which ad was better, 'Gates/Seinfeld' or MS's version of 'I'm a PC'.

Seinfeld, IMO IS "washed up" and "irrelevant" only to the fact that he is so '90's and that was when he was younger, hip, da bomb and in vogue, that watching him was cool, fun and interesting!

For MS to take him away from his comedy club circuit to make a couple of weird azz commercials leaving people who watched them to say, "WTF", is as disturbing as bringing back the '60's cast of "Gilligans Island" for a tv movie remake of that old sitcom. A wrinkled face Gilligan trying to get a laugh out of the same tired old exploits, just was not right. Same with "Return to Mayberry" and a 70 year old Barney Fife trying to pull off the same mannerisms as was done when he was a 35 year old, visually just didn't provide the stimulus to find enjoyment or to laugh along. "Washed Up" and "Irrelevant" because their time as that "character" has come and gone and trying to resurrect it when you've added 10, 20, 30 years of age to the character you liked just distorts the good memories you had and to try and resurrect a theme (as in a computer commercial about nothing vs the old tv show about nothing) just didn't tickle my fancy, is all I'm saying.

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post #26 of 35
Last night, I caught the "Get a Mac: V Word" commercial followed immediately by an "I'm a PC" ad. The result of the two running together was that the MS ad looked like it was part of the Mac ad -showing a bunch of losers using crappy webcams. I laughed pretty hard. I'm not the biggest fan of the "Get a Mac" ads, but seeing it against the MS ad, it is pure gold.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiaa View Post

PC users have a different mentality from Mac users; most Mac users are proud of the computer they're using, whiile PC users are using just an ordinay box.... How many cars have you seen with an Apple sticker on ? Have many cars have you seen with a Windows sticker ?

Or "Never ask a man what computer he uses. If it's a Mac, he'll tell you. If it's not, why embarrass him?" - Tom Clancy
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by nofear1az View Post

.....and then get rid of Ballmer who is the biggest monkey act they ever had.

Definitely. Although I never liked Gates' heavy-handed (and often underhanded) business practices, he understands technology and has a good sense for shipping product that people will buy, even if it is significantly less than perfect.

Ballmer, on the other hand, is totally clueless. With him in charge, the product changed from flawed-but-useful to fatally-flawed-and-useless. And he isn't a very good businessman either.

I've heard it said (and have often repeated) that if Ballmer wasn't Gate's college buddy, he'd be selling used cars today - and not doing very well at that either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgntscrawn View Post

... does anyone remember Steve Ballmer dismissing the iPhone, saying who was going to pay that much for a phone?

Q.E.D.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Microsoft don't need these ads - so many people use their computers that if they just released a good solid no-nonsense version of Windows, they would be incredibly popular.

I've been saying that for years. Microsoft had several wonderful opportunities to make a clean break from their past messed up architectures, and they blew every one.

The first was when Windows 95 shipped. A new 32-bit architecture means you don't have to mimic the old broken 16-bit architecture. (And Win32s could've been silently dropped.) Legacy apps could run in an emulator, like they were already doing on NT.

The next was when Windows XP shipped. There was already lots of app breakage going on. If they had gone to a new architecture and set up an emulation environment for legacy Win32 apps, the public probably wouldn't have reacted any differently than they did with XP-as-shipped.

The third was with the introduction of the 64-bit releases of Windows.

They refuse to do the really hard work needed to ship a modern world-class OS, because they're afraid to break legacy apps (even though these apps often end up broken anyway) and they're afraid to change their APIs (partly because developers would complain, but I think mostly because their own developers don't want to learn anything new.)

Apple, in comparison, has performed this kind of rearchitecture many times since the first Macs shipped in 1984. There were two radical changes in processor (Motorola 68xxx to PowerPC to Intel) plus several more motherboard architecture changes. On the OS front, there has been one radical shift (Classic to OS X) so far, plus several less radical shifts, and another (Snow Leopard) coming soon.

Apple realizes that you have to make big changes from time to time if you want to keep a modern system from becoming a tangled mess of spaghetti code. Yes, these changes sometimes break apps, and yes customers do sometimes get angry, but if you handle it intelligently (e.g. provide emulation modes like Classic and Rosetta for several years after the switch) there is usually little long-term downside.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ByronVanArsdale View Post

My wife is now seriously considering the switch to MacBookPro from her PC - she will not run Vista under any circumstance. THIS is a significant change and there may, for once, be peace in the house around the Mac/PC subject!!!

Ditto. I'm forced to use Vista on my employer-provided computer, but there is no way I will run it on a system that I have to own and maintain.

The bugs don't bother me (they eventually do get fixed), and neither do the hardware requirements (since I frequently upgrade hardware anyway), but certain aspects of Vista's design - which won't be fixed because they are operating as intended - are completely unacceptable. One of these is the draconian product activation system. Another is the DRM-everywhere architecture that (they say) the movie studios forced them to implement.

Maybe this means I won't ever be able to play a Blu-Ray movie on my Mac. I don't care - that's why I'm going to soon be buying a PS3. It offers everything I might need a PC for (HD movies and games), costs a lot less, and doesn't force me to give up all my free time maintaining it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

MS should learn from them and come up with a stimulating ad about what Vista can do for your computer and thus for you! Of course, MS will have to come out with the right version of Vista, one that they can be proud of tooting it's horn.

True. Furthermore, MS should be focusing on Windows, not PCs. Microsoft shouldn't care if you're running Windows on a Mac vs a PC. And they should care a lot if you're running Linux (for example) on a brand new Dell or HP system.

It's worth noting that Apple's commercials don't (usually) attack Windows. Some even go so far as to point out that you can run Windows on Macs using BootCamp, Parallels or VMWare.

Microsoft should follow a similar pattern. Tell people that they don't care if you buy a Mac. They should openly support running Vista on Mac hardware, possibly even offering packages that bundle it with Parallels or VMWare.

If they make the product good enough that people want to buy it, then they won't lose anything with this approach. And if they don't fix their product, no amount of marketing will save them.
post #29 of 35
I wonder if Microsoft even realizes that the "I'm a PC" commercial really is a subliminal commercial for Apple.

How you ask?

Take the P out of PC and what do you get imac.

I bet they don't even realize this.

You heard it hear first.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri3 View Post

I wonder if Microsoft even realizes that the "I'm a PC" commercial really is a subliminal commercial for Apple.

How you ask?

Take the P out of PC and what do you get imac.

I bet they don't even realize this.

You heard it hear first.

Perhaps it's a combination of iMac and IMAP - a secret message to prisoners of Windows.

( Speaking as someone who is currently paying Microsoft to extricate himself from Hotmail ).

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post #31 of 35
Its just an Ad, some work and some don't. Maybe the first lot reached one audience and the second reached another.

The Ads will also mean different things to different people. Lots of people will have watched it and though Microsoft just looks scared of Apple. Some will think they just have a rubbish Ad department. For me though it did kinda highlight the fact all Apples ads seem to center around things like iPhoto as if there all that exist in the world, whereas Microsofts is saying you can do anything. Then it also made me think Microsoft is viewing people as being different with different needs and desires offering something to try and fit all, whereas Apple go with a more idea that they have the perfect way to do things and all should follow, but if you don't like it then your not one of the customers there targeting. And then lastly I though, this is kinda sad thinking about this, so I went out, got pissed and had a life.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

Its just an Ad, some work and some don't. Maybe the first lot reached one audience and the second reached another.

The Ads will also mean different things to different people. Lots of people will have watched it and though Microsoft just looks scared of Apple. Some will think they just have a rubbish Ad department. For me though it did kinda highlight the fact all Apples ads seem to center around things like iPhoto as if there all that exist in the world, whereas Microsofts is saying you can do anything. Then it also made me think Microsoft is viewing people as being different with different needs and desires offering something to try and fit all, whereas Apple go with a more idea that they have the perfect way to do things and all should follow, but if you don't like it then your not one of the customers there targeting. And then lastly I though, this is kinda sad thinking about this, so I went out, got pissed and had a life.

I'm waiting for the secret footage of Deepak Chopra screaming at his PC as a virus takes his only draft of his latest book on karmic peace.

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post #33 of 35
Quote:
[...]The three Apple segments' first week of collective views generated a modest 70 percent of the viral views managed by the "I'm a PC" ad, but were also placed on twice as many websites overall -- 140 versus 70 -- and promised greater exposure than Microsoft's promos.

Wow. You really need to wear your critical thinker's cap when reading AI lately. Could you report how "Seinfeld" and "I'm a PC" compare the the 3 Apple ads you've already combined? What about against just 2 of the Apple ads? Something tells me that those numbers wouldn't fit your narrative, so you chose to compare 1 of M$'s ads to 3 of Apple's and run with it.

Love Macs, always have, but the Kool-aid is really getting sweet over here.
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Yes, as I remember , 'harakiri' means belly-cutting, which is quite demeaning of the act, whereas 'seppuku' is the preferred name for the ritual act.

P.

And Soduku is shear torture.
post #35 of 35
I'm a PC upload site

yes it would be evil.
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