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Microsoft Entertainment

Microsoft Uses "I'm a PC" Character In New Ads 837

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the straight-for-the-jobsular dept.
arcticstoat writes to tell us that in the wake of their largely unsuccessful Jerry Seinfeld ad campaign Microsoft is setting their sights directly on recent Apple ads by featuring the "I'm a PC" character in their new advertising campaign. "He then follows this with another phrase, such as 'and I've been made into a stereotype' before the advert shifts to a range of people performing a diverse assortment of jobs, all of which also say they're a PC. Among those featured are astronaut Bernard Harris, as well as religious author Deepak Chopra and 'Desperate Housewives' actress Eva Longoria. The ad also features a wide range of anonymous people, including a shark diver, a teacher and a guy with a beard."
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Microsoft Uses "I'm a PC" Character In New Ads

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  • New ads (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:45PM (#25072973) Homepage Journal
    I saw the new ad for the first time last night.

    Man, it's HORRIBLE. The ads try to play on the fact that Windows has the biggest desktop market share by showing a diverse group of people in diverse situations admitting to "being PCs". While the characters try to come off as being "cheeky and cute", they just end up looking like ditzy, ignorant, darwin-award candidates In short ad is somewhat condescending. It's typical Microsoft Strategy -- copy others(Mac ads) and turn out a second-rate imitation.

    Yes, ol' Bill is in the ad, albeit briefly, but they should have echewed Bill and kept Seinfeld in(just to say "I'm a PC", at least) as a cameo! I'm still mad at Bill for the last commercial, in which he said nothing except, "I have a lot of money and now I'm going to wiggle my ass in your face, nyah nyah". If Bill wants to be a celebrity then he can just "leak" a homemade sex tape like the others do.
    • Re:New ads (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:48PM (#25073029)

      I think the ad was pretty good... much better than the Seinfeld ones, anyway.

    • Re:New ads (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman @ g m a i l . c om> on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:49PM (#25073065) Homepage Journal

      Microsoft just failed on an epic scale. They didn't take the time to understand the Apple ads, so now they're lashing back at thin air.

      The purpose of John Hodgman was not to "stereotype" PC users. The purpose was to provide a boring image of PCs themselves through the comedy of John Hodgman. The idea was that the more artistic nature of Macs should appeal to users of all walks of life. Microsoft obviously didn't get that.

      Mark my words: These ads will preach to the choir (the people who already hate the Mac commercials) but will do nothing to asuage those commericals. If anything, Microsoft has just drawn MORE attention to Apple.

      Way to go, Microsoft.

      • Re:New ads (Score:4, Insightful)

        by liquidpele (663430) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:57PM (#25073207) Journal

        The purpose of John Hodgman was not to "stereotype" PC users.

        Are you kidding me? They have the slightly overweight balding guy in an old suit being a PC, and you don't think that's stereotyping? Sure, the Mac commercials went over other things too, but saying there wasn't any stereotyping going on is just silly. Maybe you should read my sig.

        • You miss the point (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Tau Neutrino (76206) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:19PM (#25073579)
          In the Apple ads, the actors portrayed the computers, not their users. It wasn't saying that PC users are overweight, balding old farts in suits, but that PC's themselves are that boring.

          I use a Mac (as well as a Windows box), but I would no sooner say, "I'm a Mac" than I would, "I'm a Pepper."
          • by notaprguy (906128) * on Friday September 19, 2008 @02:35PM (#25075059) Journal
            Give me a break. It's clearly a personification of the PC and the people that use them. There's nothing inherently evil about what Apple is doing - it plays into their brand which has a certain amount of exclusivity. What's different about Microsoft's ads is that they don't make any direct slam on Mac users. They're just showing that there are millions of PC users from all walks of life and certainly different than the Hodgeman character. It's a pretty good campaign in my mind. Very empowering and positive and true to what PC's are about.
          • by BlueStraggler (765543) on Friday September 19, 2008 @03:26PM (#25076025)

            The Apple ads are not saying PCs are boring. That's insecure geek talk. PC is actually quite likeable. But he is hapless. He's going to fail. He's Wile E. Coyote, to Mac's Road Runner. Everybody likes Wile E. Coyote (who is anything but boring), even though you know he's gonna end up crushed or burned or worse.

            That's why the ads are pure genius. People like, identify with, and root for PC guy. But they know that he's gonna lose to Mac, and the comedy is in how bad it's gonna be, and how annoyed PC guy is going to be with smug Mac guy. He's a classic anti-hero, you empathize with him, but you know it's not going to end well for him. Everyone who thinks the ads got it wrong because they don't like Mac guy has missed the point. Or rather they got the point, but didn't understand Apple's real objective, which is appealing to PC users, not preaching to the choir.

        • Re:New ads (Score:5, Insightful)

          by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:22PM (#25073623) Homepage

          I think you're missing the point of what AKAImBatman. He's not a stereotype of PC *users*. He is a personification of the PC itself. His character is supposed to be the computer, not the person using the computer.

          So the commercial isn't saying PC users are boring and inept, but rather that most computers are boring and inept, and people using boring and inept users should switch to using computers that are cool, sleek, and competent.

          So yeah, I guess that's a stereotype, but a stereotype about Dell computers and HP computers, and not about the people who use them. That's why the end of Microsoft's commercial, "I'm a PC, and a human being" is retarded. No, you're not a PC at all, you just happen to use one.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by h4rm0ny (722443)

            Personally I don't think you can draw a hard line between whether the adverts stereotyped the computers or their users. For me, the latter seemed quite obvious and I have no doubt that many others took things the same way. After all - the Apple ads played extensively from the very start on what the computers were used for. If that's not an extension of their users then you'll be hard pushed to find something that is.

            And for anyone who ever used to watch the British TV show in which these characters appe
        • Re:New ads (Score:5, Insightful)

          by CODiNE (27417) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:37PM (#25073933) Homepage

          The purpose of John Hodgman was not to "stereotype" PC users

          Answered with ...

          They have the slightly overweight balding guy in an old suit being a PC, and you don't think that's stereotyping?

          You realize you missed his point entirely? The Apple commercials were NEVER talking about identifying with the users. It's personifying the OS itself, as if it has a personality. You're making the same mistake Bill Gates made about this whole thing.

          Instead consider this... Bill Gates is supposed to have Aspergers, Steve Jobs is diagnosed with ADHD. Now imagine what sort of differences that could have on their OS philosophies. Notice the OS characters in the Apple commercials sort of correspond to those? Microsoft is intentionally distorting the message to make it look like Apple was stereotyping PC users, trying to make people take personal offense at a characterization of an Operating System.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by halcyon1234 (834388)

          Are you kidding me? They have the slightly overweight balding guy in an old suit being a PC, and you don't think that's stereotyping? Sure, the Mac commercials went over other things too, but saying there wasn't any stereotyping going on is just silly. Maybe you should read my sig.

          As much as I hate to admit it, Microsoft does have a point. I've always hated the Mac/PC commercials, because they never make any real point-- they only throw about strawmen and half-truth non-sequesters. And the entire run of com

        • Re:New ads (Score:4, Funny)

          by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@ya ... m minus math_god> on Friday September 19, 2008 @04:51PM (#25077629) Homepage Journal

          Windows is bloated, dim witted, and isn't nimble.

          There is a difference between stereotyping and accuracy.

        • Re:New ads (Score:4, Interesting)

          by RobertM1968 (951074) on Friday September 19, 2008 @06:55PM (#25079651) Homepage Journal

          I never saw it as stereotyping Windows users. I saw it as something more akin to describing Windows itself... rehashing old technology, pretending it is new, trying to dress it up in "everyone else did that years ago" clothing.

      • by Brigadier (12956)

        I actually watch the ad objectively and thought it made a point. Apple's ads were always about being free form. MS is saying there is nothing wrong with having form and structure. Fact is consumers are a Mob they only remember what they heard last.If this add manages to diffuse the stereo type then so be it. There is a vast majority of people in this world (over 30 crowd) who don't think striving to be cool is what life is about. It's about responsibility and dependability, I think MS may strike a cord wi

      • Re:New ads (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:10PM (#25073447) Homepage

        The purpose of John Hodgman was not to "stereotype" PC users. The purpose was to provide a boring image of PCs themselves through the comedy of John Hodgman.

        Right. John Hodgman does not represent a stereotypical PC user and Justin Long is not intended to represent a stereotypical Mac user. If you pay any attention to the ad, you'll realize that they represent personifications of a Mac and a PC. So that's why they say "I'm a Mac," and "I'm a PC."

        So no, Apple isn't stereotyping PC users by saying that they're boring generic business geeks. They're making fun of other PC manufacturers for making boring generic business computers. Microsoft's ad people are either retarded or they're banking on the commercial-watching public to have paid little attention to the Mac/PC ads.

        So I think you're right. Those people who paid any attention to those ads will probably see Microsoft's new ads and think, "Wow they're dumb. They missed the point." But for people who haven't paid a lot of attention to those Mac/PC ads, these ads will call more attention to the Mac/PC ads. If anything, by acknowledging those Mac/PC ads, Microsoft is raising Apple up (in terms of consumer psychology) to their equal and competitor, whereas part of what keeps people afraid of switching is the idea that Macs are a fad that shouldn't be taken seriously.

        All in all, I don't think this is a great idea for an ad campaign.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LWATCDR (28044)

        The problem is that Windows is now what you use if you have no choice. It is the default.
        Very few people really want to use Windows. They use it because it runs the programs they need and is cheap. Why is Vista doing so bad? Because it doesn't add anything to that the average Windows user cares about. It doesn't run more software than XP and it isn't cheaper.

        That is the problem Microsoft has now. Apple is a choice so people look forward to change. Windows is the default. If Windows users wanted change they

      • by DrYak (748999) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:25PM (#25073683) Homepage

        Disclaimer: I'm a heavy Linux user. I tend to just viscerally hate MS' OSes.

        The purpose of John Hodgman was not to "stereotype" PC users. The purpose was to provide a boring image of PCs themselves through the comedy of John Hodgman. The idea was that the more artistic nature of Macs should appeal to users of all walks of life.

        Well, that was their intent. But in the end, I find John's carrecter more likeable. All mis-adventure that happens to him are funny, but in the end he tends to generate empathy. He looks like a caracter who is generally unlucky. He's not peculiarly snug. He ends up being likeable, partly because he comes as the underdog.
        On the other side there's the "mac" character which too much radiate a "I'm so cool, I'm so hip !" style which makes him unnerving. After the few first couple of ads, I mostly only want to punch him in the face.

        I think by having a comedy actor impersonate the PC in a humorous way backfired at least with some viewers like me. They should have gone with a pompous condescending bastard kind of character.

        Microsoft obviously didn't get that. Mark my words: These ads will preach to the choir (the people who already hate the Mac commercials) but will do nothing to asuage those commericals.

        Well on the other hand :
        They aren't as awful as the previous ads. The Bill Gates series mentioned yesterday were the dumbest thing I've ever seen (what the hell are they trying to say ? seems just random snips taken out of some brainless trash-tv reality show)
        The "Wow series" wasn't any brilliant either. In fact, it almost backfired : trying to present Vista as latest "world wonder" just sounds arrogant, and with all these stupid people staying O-faced in front of their machine it just begs that someone edits the video and puts a system explosion (a _litteral_ explosion) as a metaphor for this crappy software. Oh so exploitable.

        Or maybe I'm just allergic to any ad that make outrageous claims that their product is the coolest.

        This latest ads, are kind of cute. They don't try to pretend microsoft's product are the panacea. Just metaphorically show that its simply something everybody ends up using.
        (For the ad. For the reality of computing platforms I find this is bullshit. Anyway the currently most pervasive platform are ARM chips running embed OS - among which Linux happens to gain market share - "I'm a ARM running Symbian or Linux and I'm even in your phone, your TV and your washing machine" even if unpractically too long would have been way much more realistic and the only really relevant platform for the following couple years. But's my technical opinion. The ads look nice per se).

    • Re:New ads (Score:5, Interesting)

      by anaesthetica (596507) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:49PM (#25073071) Homepage Journal

      Admit it, you would hate the Microsoft commercial no matter what its content was.

      I'm a Mac and I found it to be pretty decent, for a commercial about an operating system.

      • Re:New ads (Score:5, Insightful)

        by shawn(at)fsu (447153) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:02PM (#25073295) Homepage

        I'm a linux fan myself and I liked the ads. Much better than the Seinfield ads.

        The bit at the end with the guy in the shark cage "I'm a PC, and I'm scared" was pretty good.

        (Disclaimer: I recently built a Vista gaming rigs and have been extremely pleased)

      • Re:New ads (Score:5, Funny)

        by fastest fascist (1086001) on Friday September 19, 2008 @02:03PM (#25074407)

        I'm a Mac and I found it to be pretty decent, for a commercial about an operating system.

        You know, I was about to say how the worst thing about that ad was the way it failed to create the idea that the people shown are really computers, and instead shows a bunch of people rabidly obsessed with their particular kind of computer. "Who the hell calls themselves a computer?", I thought. I found it creepy.

    • Re:New ads (Score:5, Insightful)

      by liquidpele (663430) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:49PM (#25073073) Journal
      horrible? I thought it was really *really* good. Not only does it help kill the stereotype, but makes the Mac commercials much less effective as well. And yes, the characters were not linux geeks, did you really expect MS to go after that market?

      Lay off the anti-MS brownies a bit will you?
      • Re:New ads (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jugalator (259273) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:56PM (#25073197) Journal

        horrible? I thought it was really *really* good. Not only does it help kill the stereotype, but makes the Mac commercials much less effective as well.

        Exactly! I'm getting "only on Slashdot" feelings about some comments here. :-S

        I'm planning for my first MacBook in a near future, but despite this, I have to commend Microsoft for getting a commercial out that makes Apple's predecessor look plain silly/stupid/childish in comparison.

        OK, to be perectly clear here -- what message Microsoft is trying to get across, is that Microsoft doesn't cater to a "kind" of user, like Apple implies in their commercial, but try to cater for all kinds. And in the process of doing so, doesn't try to smear other software platforms, but just speaks for themselves.

        I think the commercial is great, especially compared to the offensive-defensive Apple commercial.

        • Re:New ads (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:10PM (#25073441)

          Mod parent up.

          I can't stand Windows. The operating system is a piece of crap.

          However, this commercial is not. It's the old "positive/negative" campaigning option. Like it or not, Mac's ads are more or less 'negative' campaigning in that they specifically single out the opponent and paint it in a negative light. Note that the "Mac guy" never seems to do a whole lot, just stand there and be way 'cooler' than the "PC guy" while the latter bitches about how awful he is.

          This Microsoft ad accepts that complaint, and without responding in kind, instead shows that being forced into a box - the activity Mac users in theory would rail against - is exactly the sort of thing those commercials are trying to do to PC users, who aren't so easily described.

          I'm not going to go out and buy Vista. But I do think this commercial is a major success for their ad department.

        • Re:New ads (Score:5, Interesting)

          by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:15PM (#25073507)

          I liked the Mac adverts they were funny (the British version was better still)

          This is simply stating we have a large market share, which everyone already knows, or doesn't care

          I'm not a PC or a Mac or a Linux I'm a person who sometimes uses a computer, and runs programs on the computer, It runs an operating system - If I am aware of the operating system at all it is because it has got in my way

          Car Analogy : I got in my car and drove to work - which make of car was it : I don't know, and don't care, it got me here anyway....

          • Re:New ads (Score:4, Insightful)

            by idontgno (624372) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:54PM (#25074261) Journal

            You're overlooking a critical point: The "I'm a Mac" marketing campaign is implicitly playing on identification. In a consumer society, we are what we buy. "Clothes make the man", "What does your car say about you", etc.

            (See also SUVs in the context of psychological compensating behaviors.)

            Yeah, you bet, the actors in the Apple commercials are saying that they're walking-talking personifications of the respective systems. But, undeniably, they also typify the stereotypes of the respective user communities, and therefore they are an extension of the time-honored "all the cool people use Macs, all PC users are incompetent dullards" marketing spin.

            This is the angle Microsoft's campaign is playing against. Their ad is asking the viewer "Aren't you offended that Apple is calling you a colorless incompetent tool? You should be, because look at the variety of cool interesting people who use PCs! You're a member of the cool set, not that mock-turtleneck phoney!"

            This is simply stating we have a large market share, which everyone already knows, or doesn't care

            The Microsoft ad is saying that they have a diverse market share. Again, attempting to counter Apple's elitist spin. (Yeah, a large market share, too; that's an appeal to belonging. That is very powerful in herd animals like Consumers.)

            I'm not a PC or a Mac or a Linux I'm a person who sometimes uses a computer, and runs programs on the computer, It runs an operating system - If I am aware of the operating system at all it is because it has got in my way

            Car Analogy : I got in my car and drove to work - which make of car was it : I don't know, and don't care, it got me here anyway....

            Congratulations on your immunity to marketing psychology. You are in such a trivially-small minority compared to the Consumer Herd that you don't even register. Advertisers aren't talking to you. They will score big if their wiles work on a small percentage of the remaining 99.999% of money-spending mass of humanity.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by UnknowingFool (672806)
          In the Apple ads, both characters personify the machines and not the users. Most people unfortunately are extrapolating that Hodgeman represents the average PC user. It is clear that he represents the average PC machine and Justin Long represents Mac. What Apple is doing is just classic advertising. "Our product is better than that other product. It has these strengths. . ." It's no different than the old commercials where Brand A floor cleaner was compared to be more effective than Brand X. But just
          • Re:New ads (Score:4, Insightful)

            by mingot (665080) on Friday September 19, 2008 @02:04PM (#25074429)
            Do you REALLY think this extrapolation is accidental?

            That the advert company that makes the adds has said "Wow, here is a shocker, people are thinking wwe're actually doing this to have them think you'll be a cooler person if you run a Mac. Crazy. We didn't expect this!

            Most likely, because advertisers would NEVER use sex appeal / cool facor to sell a product or use an unappealing actor to represent the consumer of another product. Never.

            Gimme a fucking break.
    • Re:New ads (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:49PM (#25073079) Homepage

      If Bill wants to be a celebrity then he can just "leak" a homemade sex tape like the others do.

      Oh, the world is better served by not even having to contemplate the celebrity sex tape involving Bill Gates.

      And, really, if the richest man in the world isn't a celebrity by now, something has gone wrong. Most people know exactly who he is, he doesn't need any help in being made famous. Certainly not 'in flagrante', as it were.

      Cheers

    • Re:New ads (Score:5, Funny)

      by gbjbaanb (229885) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:53PM (#25073147)

      do they have a guy running round a street with a shotgun shooting people shouting "It crashed and lost my f***** work, I'm a b****** PC you c**** !"

      No? Perhaps its modelled after Vista... a huge fat guy stuffing his face full of burgers, "I'm a PC, now give me more resources".

      No? Pity, they'd be more in-tune with reality :-)

    • Re:New ads (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:57PM (#25073209) Homepage

      That was kind of my take. They started doing the "I'm a PC" thing, but it got old. I think the commercial would work better in a 30s version than the 60s version I saw.

      But the more I thought about the ad as I watched it, the more it occured to me they were all sheep. I figure the vast majority of them (especially those who looked like they were in other, poorer countries) probably hadn't tried a Windows alternative for more than 5 minutes. They just don't know there are better options, or for many that there even are other options.

      It actually made the commercial less "blah" and more "a tiny bit sad".

      I enjoyed the Seinfeld ads much more. I wanted to see what the next one would be. This is a generic Microsoft marketing "let's make an ad" ad. The tag line ("I'm a PC too") is meaningless. It doesn't do anything to make me want a PC more. And it certainly is about "breaking boundaries with Windows" which is what this whole campaign is supposed to be about.

      I'm going to put this one up there with the DotBomb era commercials like "Everyone is looking for the new economy, but it's not through a door, it's through a Window".

      Congratulations. You've poked fun at a popular set of commercials, made yourself seem less relevant by just copying off that (since obviously you didn't think your last idea was working). You're more Microsoft that ever. Isn't that exactly what you were trying to avoid?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by LWATCDR (28044)

      My wife saw the ad and made the best comment ever.
      "I need to go out and buy a Mac now! I can not dorky enough to use Windows anymore."

    • Re:New ads (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101@@@gmail...com> on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:17PM (#25073543) Homepage Journal

      What are you talking about? I thought it was *devastating* to Apple. Primarily because it's true. The vast majority of people -- and yes, creative people -- use PCs. The Mac ads have always been arrogant and condescending, and this is a major "up yours" to Apple.

      And the tagline is absolutely perfect: "Life Without Walls". That's a direct hit on the most obnoxious characteristic of the Apple world -- the lock-in.

      These ads are as good as the other ones were bad, and they were REALLY bad.

      • by unassimilatible (225662) on Friday September 19, 2008 @03:55PM (#25076611) Journal
        The vast majority of people -- and yes, creative people -- use PCs.

        Apparently they couldn't find any of those creative PC people to do the ad:

        Microsoft's 'I'm a PC' ad images made on Macs [computerworld.com].
  • by Temtongkek (975742) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:46PM (#25072995)
    Sold.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eln (21727)

      Don't be. It's obviously false advertising. Guys with beards are old-school UNIX hackers, not Windows users. They could also be circa-1983 stock brokers.

  • by Datamonstar (845886) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:46PM (#25072997)
    Ads can at times be entertaining, but they are definitely not intended as entertainment.
  • Guh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aphoxema (1088507) * on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:46PM (#25073003) Homepage Journal

    Macs are PCs.

    They're even the same damn processors now, you can run Windows on Macs and you can run OSX on, uh, not-Macs.

    The most disgusting thing is the chauvinism from BOTH sides, the other operating systems don't exist, and if you're running a PC it must be running Microsoft Something. If you're running a Mac it must be running OS X.

    False advertising is illegal, why isn't massively disseminating misinformation?

    • Re:Guh. (Score:4, Informative)

      by SydShamino (547793) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:30PM (#25073789)

      Because "false advertising" depends on the definition of "false". In this case, true or false depends on the definition of "PC".

      The common definition may be (lifted from Wikipedia): "A personal computer (PC) is any computer whose original sales price, size, and capabilities make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end user, with no intervening computer operator."

      But here's another definition, from Business Dictionary: "A computer designed for use by a single user. Although other Microcomputers preceded it, the IBM PC was the first to use the name specifically. As a result, the term PC now applies to an IBM-compatible computer as contrasted to the Apple Macintosh, these being the two standards that emerged from an abundance of competitors in the early 1980s."

      This definition has certainly ignored the transition of Apple to Intel processors, but it's not a long stretch to consider the definition of "PC" in some circles to strictly mean a computer in the IBM legacy chain, meaning something running DOS or a DOS derivative or successor, including Windows.

      I do find it disingenuous, though, that neither Apple nor Microsoft distinguish between "PCs" running Windows and those running Linux, and I've never seen a definition of PC that contrasted or excluded Linux systems (since of course the have always run on IBM-legacy hardware).

  • by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:47PM (#25073011)

    If that quack uses Windows then I'm going to hug my Linux box when I get home.

  • I liked it. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bigtallmofo (695287) * on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:47PM (#25073013)
    I saw the ad yesterday - they played the ad in my area during My Name is Earl on NBC.

    Seems to say that while Apple is hyping their coolness, we're still getting a lot of things done for a lot of real people.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:48PM (#25073021)

    ...but I run Linux.

  • by Henry V .009 (518000) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:48PM (#25073033) Journal
    The new ad is saying that PC users are a diverse cross-section of humanity, while Mac-users are stuck-up racist white people. Of course, they are [stuffwhitepeoplelike.com].
  • Lie! (Score:5, Funny)

    by rlauzon (770025) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:48PM (#25073035)
    It's a lie! The guy with the beard has to be running Linux.
  • by philspear (1142299) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:48PM (#25073047)

    Prediction: Apple, in what is becoming a war of "Who can make the most annoying ad" hires carrottop to do their next series.

    Microsoft responds with bill gates simply walking on camera, then making "the most annoying sound in the world" for 2 minutes straight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cVlTeIATBs)

  • by ciaohound (118419) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:48PM (#25073051)

    and a guy with a beard.

    Okay, you had me up until that point, but this campaign is as doomed as the previous. We all know which operating system guys with beards use.

  • by TropicalCoder (898500) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:49PM (#25073077) Homepage Journal
    "David Webster, Microsoft general manager of brand and marketing strategy, says Microsoft had "to take back the PC brand and tell the truth about it." [usatoday.com] referring to Microsoft's latest ad that hits back at the Apple commercials. Like -- they own the PC brand now? OK -- We can admire someone who stands up for himself succinctly when picked on. Apple will never be able to use the "I'm a PC" line again now. However, in this ad Microsoft tries to appropriate the commons with a sinister attempt to hijack the PC. They want to confuse general public into thinking -- if it doesn't have Windows, it's not a PC. Is there an appropriate way to inform the public that the PC is an open platform that can run many other operating systems?
  • by mveloso (325617) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:50PM (#25073083)

    People are not Personal Computers. People use personal computers.

    Have these people subsumed into the MS-Borg, and they really are now PCs?

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:51PM (#25073109) Homepage
    just buy vista. it doesnt matter if you use it or not. i cant stand anymore of this "im a..." bullshit. Someone at least tag this with a "pleasestop"??
  • by dlsmith (993896) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:53PM (#25073153)

    Given that Microsoft is parodying the Mac vs. PC ads, this is on topic, right?

    Best Mac vs. PC parody [youtube.com] ever.

    Computers suck.

  • Ad Video (Score:5, Informative)

    by The Moof (859402) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:54PM (#25073163)
    I'm a PC [youtube.com]
  • by greenguy (162630) <estebandido.gmail@com> on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:55PM (#25073177) Homepage Journal

    Back in the day, before the rise of Linux, I remember reading analysts who said that the entire history of the retail computer industry consisted of everyone imitating Apple. Windows 95 was the biggest example, but there have been others. This is one.

    Oh, I should be clear -- the reason they don't catch more flak for this imitation is that they don't do all that good a job at it. I haven't seen the ad yet, but I suspect this is also consistent.

  • by Lord Byron II (671689) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:55PM (#25073181)

    Considering the years it took them to implement a rudimentary firewall into Windows, I'm surprised that they're going with the "Live without Walls" slogan.

    But, putting that aside, these ads are much, much better than the Seinfeld ones.

  • by pubjames (468013) on Friday September 19, 2008 @12:56PM (#25073199)

    I find it amazing the extent that Microsoft is screwing up at the moment.

    Hey Apple marketing guys, Microsoft is doing your work for you!

    This one is for free:

    Justin Long: I'm a Mac.

    John Hodgman and large crowd, together: And I'm a PC.

    Justin Long [sincerely]: Hey guys, nice to meet you! There's so many of you! And you look like cool guys!

    [John Hodgman looks smug]

    Justin Long: I'd really like to hang out with you guys. [face lights up with idea]. Hey, would you like so see some of the new products we're working on?

    [Lots of enthusiastic noise and nots - everyone follows Justin as he exits stage right. John Hodgman desperately tries to stop people. Final sequence - John Hodgman on his own, looking sorry for himself and a bit confused.]

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pubjames (468013)

      Another one:

      Justin Long: I'm a Mac.

      John Hodgman and large crowd, together: And I'm a PC.

      Justin Long [Friendly and sincerely]: Hey guys, how's it going?

      Crowd: [Friendly hellos.]

      Justin Long [sincerely]: How are you getting on with Vista?

      Crowd: [Lots of mururing and head shaking].

      Justin Long [wanting to help]: Oh. Well maybe I can help.

      John Hodgman [frantic]: No!

      [John Hodgman tries to usher everyone out as Justin Long looks on with a bemused and apologetic look]

  • Weakness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ungulate (146381) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:00PM (#25073267)
    My father was in advertising, and he always spoke, as if it were a rule, that you NEVER respond to criticism in an advertisement, only assert your strengths. The fact that Microsoft feels cornered like this speaks volumes. While they're still the 800lb gorilla, they perceive Apple as a real threat now.
    • Re:Weakness (Score:5, Insightful)

      by whisper_jeff (680366) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:52PM (#25074229)
      What's worse is that, not only do they perceive Apple as a threat (because, you're right - simply the fact that they are focusing advertising efforts to counter the Apple ads shows they are concerned), but they can't even manage to do it in an original way. They are basically ripping off Apple's marketing campaign in an effort to weaken said campaign. But, hey, if you can't be original, it's always a good idea to copy those who are.

      Seriously speaking, Microsoft's marketing firm needs to be fired. Actually, as a Mac guy, scratch that suggestion. Keep up the great work guys!
  • by slashdotlurker (1113853) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:02PM (#25073297)
    The announcement that Mac ads involving "I am a Mac, I am a PC" infringe Microsoft's patent US PTO 123456789, but Apple would be welcome to sign an indemnification deal that allows Microsoft to sell coupons to TV watchers to watch Mac ads.
  • by JMZero (449047) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:06PM (#25073355) Homepage

    They were exactly what MS needed - some humanization. They were sly. Some people here didn't seem to get or like them (well, they hated them for the most part) - but they made sense. They were the kind of ads you put out when you're winning, which, make no mistake, MS is.

    This new ad is just sad, they seem like a desperate response. The kind of commercial you do when you're losing. That's not the vibe they need.

  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:07PM (#25073391)

    In Windows, you don't have any practical walls, firewalls, that is.

    Just remember, with Microsoft, simply because there are no walls doesn't mean you aren't behind locked Gates.

  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:12PM (#25073483)
    After years working on Windows & OSX I have found they both fail, both have their quirks, both are imperfect.

    PCs are cheaper, Macs are prettier

    Take your pick

    People are people
  • by necro2607 (771790) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:17PM (#25073549)

    Wow. Deepak Chopra and Eva Longoria? Sounds about right for a Microsoft ad. Just the right amount of famous-ness to seem cool to your average "lowest-common-denominator" audience, but mediocre enough for probably anyone here on /. to be like "Uh, wow, so they just grabbed whatever recognizable figure they could get?" ...

    Maybe I'm biased, but I mean, when Apple used the likeness of significant figures in the past for their "Think Different" campaign, they had photos of like, Gandhi, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Picasso, etc.. Not that Apple could get those people as actors in their commercials (so it's not the most fair comparison), but my general feeling about these new ads is that they're just throwing together some ads with some famous people to get peoples' attention. Whereas, well, people today still remember the "Think Different" thing from Apple. Microsoft is wasting their time if they're going to try to play Apple's game, in my opinion..

  • by argent (18001) <peter.slashdot@2006@taronga@com> on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:23PM (#25073649) Homepage Journal

    These are as annoying as those stupid "I AM" ads that Lotus used to run. Remember them? They had guys holding up "I AM" signs like this [scarydevil.com] to try and convince you that Lotus R5 was the bridge everyone else was jumping off.

    Who the hell actually liked Lotus R5? Anyone? Anyone?

    Who in the hell actually likes Windows? I mean, enough to identify themselves with it?

    "Hi I'm a PC, and I'm really defensive about it..."

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Friday September 19, 2008 @01:27PM (#25073721)
    The point's been made before, but the Mac vs. PC ads, especially the UK ones (Mitchell and Webb was not good casting) make PC look like some lovable nerd who's just trying to get by (Crashy Time Calmomile) in spite of his problems, something mildy-but-not-terminally frustrated PC users can relate to. Mac spends literally all of his ad time either highlighting PC's flaws or saying how great he is. The PC is the everyman, while Mac is this rather aloof thing which sounds great but won't shut up about how great it is. That PC gets to set up all the humour and Mac is the straight man just reinforces it. I'm not sure that MS really want to fight that pair of stereotypes too strongly. If they emphasise that PCs are these boxes used by all these amazingly varied special people, they may wind up telling people that Mac is for the everyman, which is exactly what Apple seems to have failed at on their desktop line.

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