Microsoft to spoof Hodgman in new "I'm a PC" television ads

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Microsoft on Thursday will segue into the next phase of a $300 million advertising campaign with an "audacious embrace" of the derisive "I’m a PC" label slapped upon its image by rival Apple, according to the New York Times.



The newspaper, which appears to have been briefed on the matter, says the new string of ads will mark a stark departure from the offbeat teaser skits (1, 2) featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld that dominated the initial phase of the campaign, and which were met with mixed reviews.



"One new Microsoft commercial even begins with a company engineer who resembles John Hodgman, the comedian portraying the loser PC character in the Apple campaign," according to the Times. "'Hello, I’m a PC,' the engineer says, echoing Mr. Hodgman’s recurring line, 'and I’ve been made into a stereotype.'"



The risky decision to use Apple's assault as a foundation for a counter-strike is reportedly a trademark of the firm behind the Microsoft campaign, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, and reminiscent of tactics eventually used in other high profile corporate bouts such as Hertz vs. Avis and Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola.



Microsofts hopes to regain control of its image, as well as that of the "PC," in the new ads, which will feature cameo appearances by Gates and other celebrities such as Eva Longoria, but not Seinfeld. The stars of the ads will be "everyday PC users" who pride themselves on the use of Microsoft PCs, the Times says, in addition to some 60 Microsoft employees who'll be identified *"by e-mail addresses." *That includes Bill Gates.



Television commercials will begin airing Thursday evening on shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” and will be complemented by newspaper ads and new media on Microsoft's Windows.com website.



Also beginning Thursday night, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant will invite visitors to the website to upload videos and photos that will demonstrate "how they, too, are PCs." Microsoft will reportedly select some of the photos to appear on electronic billboards in Times Square beginning the following day, while others will be used in advertisement banners.



A future series of magazine and outdoor ads are also said to emphasizes Windows' ability to scale from mobile devices and TV sets to notebooks and traditional PCs.



Meanwhile, Microsoft remains coy on whether it plans to reintroduce Seinfeld in a future phase of the campaign.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    >> Microsoft's hopes to regain control of its image, as well as that of the "PC," in the new ads, which will feature cameo appearances by Gates and other celebrities such as Eva Longoria, but not Seinfeld. <<



    No, no, no. In this sentence, it's not "Microsoft's," but "Microsoft." Otherwise it is a sentence looking for a verb.
  • Reply 2 of 79
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    It'd be an incredible waste if they don't bring Seinfeld back. $10 million for two short spots? He didn't make that kind of money even on his own show.
  • Reply 3 of 79
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    It'd be an incredible waste if they don't bring Seinfeld back. $10 million for two short spots? He didn't make that kind of money even on his own show.



    It's not like Bill couldn't afford to throw that money around. Even in today's economy. What's 10mill here or there?
  • Reply 4 of 79
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "One new Microsoft commercial even begins with a company engineer who resembles John Hodgman, the comedian portraying the loser PC character in the Apple campaign," according to the Times. "'Hello, I?m a PC,' the engineer says, echoing Mr. Hodgman?s recurring line, 'and I?ve been made into a stereotype.'"



    Hoo boy, it's about to get interesting. I'm eager not so much to see the MS ad(s) but to see if/how Apple will respond. I suspect they're in meetings right now, brainstorming possible responses and are calling Hodgman to see how soon he's available.
  • Reply 5 of 79
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ktappe View Post


    Hoo boy, it's about to get interesting. I'm eager not so much to see the MS ad(s) but to see if/how Apple will respond. I suspect they're in meetings right now, brainstorming possible responses and are calling Hodgman to see how soon he's available.



    I doubt Apple would respond or brainstorm. Advertising wise, they have M$ by the balls. No response necessary, just tighter grip.
  • Reply 6 of 79
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ktappe View Post


    Hoo boy, it's about to get interesting. I'm eager not so much to see the MS ad(s) but to see if/how Apple will respond. I suspect they're in meetings right now, brainstorming possible responses and are calling Hodgman to see how soon he's available.



    Apple should just incorporate it in their ads by having Hodgman run on the set and out of breath and the Mac guy asks where PC has been and PC can say "moonlighting for MS as a PC. (a brief pause) Literally!" (I think that succinctly says it all)
  • Reply 7 of 79
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    A life without walls... and no Windows!
  • Reply 8 of 79
    Quote:

    The stars of the ads will be "everyday PC users" who pride themselves on the use of Microsoft PCs, the Times says, in addition to some 60 Microsoft employees who'll be identified "by e-mail addresses." That includes Bill Gates.



    One word - sad.
  • Reply 9 of 79
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    Apple should just incorporate it in their ads by having Hodgman run on the set and out of breath and the Mac guy asks where PC has been and PC can say "moonlighting for MS as a PC. (a brief pause) Literally!" (I think that succinctly says it all)



    Now, that is brilliant!
  • Reply 10 of 79
    In the apple ads, isn't Pc supposed to represent the operating system and not the user?



    I really hate big companies that try to be "indie" or define their customers as individuals. how about they advertise the actal product.





    ***
  • Reply 11 of 79
    I thought the Seinfeld Gates thing was looking up in Part II. Just seeing them talking in the bedroom was funny. That's the end of all that? Damn, they left me wanting more.



    The thing with the celebs sounds so MS. It won't work, it'll come across as "This isn't your father's Oldsmobile." Microsoft can't buy cool no matter how hard they try.



    But Part II - that was going somewhere...
  • Reply 12 of 79
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "'Hello, I’m a PC,' the engineer says, echoing Mr. Hodgman’s recurring line, 'and I’ve been made into a stereotype.'"



    Stereotype: a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group



    Truth: the true or actual state of a matter; conformity with fact or reality; a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like



    Seems like they can't even tell the "truth" in their ads...PC isn't a stereotype...it's the truth!





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "A future series of magazine and outdoor ads are also said to emphasizes Windows' ability to scale from mobile devices and TV sets to notebooks and traditional PCs."



    iPhone...Front Row (or Apple TV)...MacBook...iMac...looks like OS X can run the gauntlet too!



    Micro$oft...For those who can't innovate, you just imitate...and lie, deceive, and cry foul.
  • Reply 13 of 79
    Apple should come up with some kind of ad pointing out that Macs can run Microsoft Windows too. Maybe something like this:



    http://mammals.org/movies/us/apple/g...nt_480x272.mov



    Then everything Microsoft says that makes Windows great is just one more reason to get a Mac, and enjoy all the Microsoft goodness alongside your OS X



    Phrase it as being able to "choose" between OS X and Windows on one machine, and any Microsoft ads about walls begin to look especially silly.
  • Reply 14 of 79
    microsoft marketing brainstorming session:



    nobody understands our ads!

    so dump the concept and just copy apple's marketing strategy, but call it "phase2".

    whatever we do, don't showcase our products or their features in our ads, that's foolish.

    let's give ballmer another line of blow and let him run around on stage, that seemed to work.

    let's slap more code on top of vista, call it windows 7, and get away from the word "vista" quick!



    windows. life without walls. now THAT makes perfect sense, but how do we show life without walls:

    how about being stuck in a cage surrounded by sharks. perfect!



    windows. life without walls, but you might feel like you're stuck in a cage.
  • Reply 15 of 79
    dmzdmz Posts: 5,775member
    No functioning company would allow it's brand to be sullied like this, and no functioning company would sit on it's hands while AAPL's market share doubles in the process. MSFT has got serious systemic problems that are only going to get worse.



    Granted, they'll live off their fat for years, but Elvis has left the building.
  • Reply 16 of 79
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by desarc View Post


    dump the concept and just copy apple's marketing strategy, but call it "phase2".

    let's slap more code on top of vista, call it windows 7, and get away from the word "vista" quick!



    I suspect you've hit the nail on the head with both of these.
  • Reply 17 of 79
    Bogusky
  • Reply 18 of 79
    You know how when you buy a new car that turns out to be a piece of junk, it is described as a "Lemon" ?



    Why not have Mac walk in on PC who is in the process of drawing his new "Lemon" logo. Only, as he walks up, the laptop he is using has a yellow lemon lit up on the back of his large bulky PC. He can say "Well, we copied everything else and it seemed to work. Now introducing PC Lemon!" -



    You get the idea...



    Thought this would be a funny ad.



    Xodusboy
  • Reply 19 of 79
    asciiascii Posts: 5,812member
    Jeez Microsoft - isn't it enough that you copy all Apple's user interface ideas? Now you have to copy their ad campaign too?
  • Reply 20 of 79
    i think its funny that apple, possibly the most conceited company on earth, fessed up that mobileme isn't up to par pretty quickly. Microsoft, instead of admitting vista sucks, tries to say it flat out doesn't. Sounds amazingly foolish.



    Also, I think we can prettymuch all agree that vista is the laughingstock of the tech world, and windows mobile is a pile of trash.



    Microsoft's new push should be for windows 7, which should be unix based, superfast, have completely modularized components (you can remove/add anything you like), and allow people to share components over social networks.



    but it won't. Can't wait till apple does that though
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