Friday, September 12, 2008

Advertising | Postmodern wriggle | Economist.com

The final paragraph of The Economist's take on the new Microsoft advertising series:

Mr Gates, Crispin’s creative types must have realised, is the authentic embodiment of the PC character: geeky, awkward, dressed for a cubicle rather than a bar, unglamorous but unpretentious, able to get the job done, if not excitingly. And like the PC in Apple’s ads, the Bill Gates in Microsoft’s spot has an impish side that occasionally peeks out. One of the world’s richest men comes across as unassuming and approachable, the antithesis of Apple’s aspirational cool, which some find annoying and snooty. In a country that loves to poke fun at “elitists” (especially during elections), it would be wrong to write off Microsoft’s new campaign just yet.

One dimension of this story that I'm surprised to have not seen covered yet in the mainstream press, since it's the same press that published a couple exabytes of stories about Bill Gates' "retirement" since mid-2006: Microsoft is reportedly spending $300M on advertising designed to revitalize its image and more successfully build relationships with mainstream consumers, and thus far the co-star of the campaign, and sole connection to Microsoft, is Microsoft co-founder, Chairman, and in actuality maybe not-so-retired Bill Gates...

A shift to native 64-bit Windows (Vista and Windows 7) + seamless virtualization for 32-bit apps and devices + a creative marketing campaign designed to entertain and engage people while also encouraging them to check their assumptions about the PC/device/etc. software + service market landscape: it's going to be an interesting 2009...

Advertising Postmodern wriggle Economist.com

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