Microsoft takes back the narrative with Eva Longoria, Pharrell Williams, Deepak Chopra and you PC users.


Microsoft takes back the narrative with Eva Longoria, Pharrell Williams, Deepak Chopra and you PC users.


“Hello, I’m a PC, and I’ve been made into a stereotype, says a John Hodgman lookalike into the camera, dressed in brown suitjacket and tie, against an all white backdrop. Yep, this is the next phase of Microsoft’s $300 million advertising campaign and they are going straight for Apples "Mac vs PC". This won't be the entire campaign though, how would that look if your campaign was built around spoofing another - instead they are making lots of different ads to appeal to different people. Commercials featuring author Deepak Chopra, singer Pharrell Williams and actress Eva Longoria are set to hit the small screen soon. The tagline: “Windows. Life without walls” is the ribbon to tie all of this together - and it's actually making some sense now as we read in the New York Times that David Webster, general manager for brand marketing said:

“They’ve made a caricature out of the PC,” he added, which was unacceptable because “you always want to own your own story.

So, out come the "regular joes" who aren't so regular as ads stars "everyday PC users, from scientists and fashion designers to shark hunters and teachers, all of whom affirm, in fast-paced, upbeat vignettes, their pride in using the computers that run on Microsoft operating systems and software"... Oh wait, this is beginning to sound like all other testimonial campaigns, ever. Hmmm. If they only shoot the hands I'd think it was a campaign for HP laptops. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how this turns out, though I admit that I'm already liking the Hodgman spoof. Hodgman rules though, you don't mess with the Hodgman!

See website to go with campaign: Life without walls
Previously on Adland: Microsoft Kills Seinfeld - a.k.a $10M down the drain.
Update: Microsoft Windows - Windows. Life Without Walls. - I'm a PC. commercial available here.


Quite a lot of reads but (surprisingly) no comments. Do you think this is a good move from Microsoft? Despite their claiming that they planned to kill Seinfeld, I don't believe them. It looks like they released a buggy product and then recalled it when users complain. How apropos.

OK, here's a thought. When you have a certain public image (Microsoft as big, evil, and geeky) and want to change it, do you do it by completely distracting the public with ANOTHER public image (Microsoft as Seinfeld & Gates)? If a friend of mine started acting that unpredictably, I'd run.

Point two: the "we were planning this all along" actually reinforces the smug "we know what we're doing and you don't, this OS is good for you so you'll take it and like it" image that already plagues Microsoft.

Point three: I think the Hodgman takeoff is the best idea they've had in a long time. Hell, he's more popular than the Mac guy. Why not play off that in a way that's honest: "yeah, we're geeks, and our systems have stupid issues, but 90% Of The Free World uses them, so we must be doing something right." OK, maybe that last part needs tweaking.

OK, now back to work.

But I'd still rather have Seinfeld than Deepak Chopra! WTF!

Deepak Chopra smells "think different"

I agree with Backwrite, the sudden change of heart feels really wrong and the Hodgman idea is neat - provided their PC dude is as oddly charming as the real Hodgman-PC character is, which sadly he does not look to be.

Err... “Windows. Life without walls” ... Without a wall, a window would crash to the ground, shattering into a million pieces.

Sign me up!

I dunno, the idea of "taking back the narrative" makes good sense, as does the idea of reassuring PC users that they're doing the right thing by being PC users.

But doing that by directly referencing the Apple ads kind of undercuts it — playing that game, it's like Microsoft is acknowledging that Apple has the better idea. I mean, it could still work, based on where the rest of the campaign goes....

Plus, you're never going to out-Hodgman Hodgman.

The slogan “Windows. Life without walls” is especially bizarre since Vista is notoriously hard to get to connect to wifi networks unless you got a degree in computer engineering and a bunch of Microsoft certificates. It's more of “Windows Vista. Life within walls”

Yes and it was terrible.

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