This Latest Windows Ad? It was Shot Using Macs

Posted by: Burth Helm on October 22, 2008

Last week at the Assoc. National Advertisers conference I had dinner with a couple of Microsoft people who are involved in the new ad campaign. The campaign, one said, should convince people that Windows does a great job at what many consider Apple’s forte – creative multimedia tasks. To illustrate what he was talking about, he mentioned the print and billboard ads, like the one below.

blog msft phil big.jpg
(This photo is of a billboard on route 101 North in the Silicon Valley, right next to Google headquarters in Mountain View. Subtle).

Well, funny that! I told him, I’d actually seen this particular ad being shot at my gym in Brooklyn (Gleason’s). The guy in the photograph, Phil Jackson-Benson, is no model but a very accomplished boxer. The next thing, which I didn’t mention to my dinner companion (though I called him about it as I was writing this post), was that as I was doing my sit-ups that day, I’d noticed everyone was using a Mac for the job. Microsoft certainly has its work cut out for it — their own ad agency, Crispin Porter Bogusky, and their contract photographers seem to prefer Macs. Crispin declined to comment, and nobody from Microsoft has called me back yet.

Meanwhile the Microsoft vs. Apple advertising battle continues. Steve Hall over at AdRants and our own Peter Burrows are linking to the latest Apple ad, which calls out the Microsoft Campaign. I can’t wait to see where Microsoft moves from here.

Reader Comments

Kevin Clancy

October 22, 2008 4:37 PM

Good one, Burt.

Microsoft does have its work cut out for it. In spite of its best (legal) efforts, the firm’s domination in core areas of its business is coming to an end and it didn't exactly spend the better part of the past 10 years solidifying its image as the preeminent supplier of QUALITY software or offer any other reason why consumers should buy from it other than "by default."

You can find some of our other thoughts on Microsoft's new campaign here: http://marketingfray.blogspot.com/2008/09/microsofts-new-ad-makes-its-future-look.html

Zach

October 23, 2008 12:45 AM

Believing that an ad agency that uses Macs to produce Microsoft ads is newsworthy is like believing that a transport company that uses Ford tractor-trailers to haul GM cars is newsworthy.

Or for a more direct example, we could look at Pixar, the animation studio owned in part by Steve Jobs. Any idea what OS their render farms run? Try Linux.

Andrew

October 23, 2008 2:11 AM

Lots of people drive to Ford shoots in Hondas. This, like Windows ads produced on Macs, is irrelevant to a campaign's merits or success.

JohnJ

October 23, 2008 10:26 AM

According to both IDC and Gartner, Apple/Mac's worldwide market share is still in the Others category, behind at least five other companies. IDC puts fifth ranked Toshiba at 4.6%, so Apple/Mac's worldwide market share is somewhere below that.

Uberhack

October 23, 2008 11:37 AM

"It was shot using Macs."
Since when did Apple start making cameras?

Irrelevant argument anyways for reasons stated above.

RichB

October 23, 2008 2:47 PM

Apple Store POS handhelds are WinCE. Even?

Burt Helm

October 23, 2008 3:09 PM

Hey there it's Burt, who wrote the post. Uberhack - you're right, Apple doesn't make cameras. But the photo assistants and the Crispin Porter creatives on the shoot used Macs with big Cinema Display monitors to review the images and zoom in on details as the photographer snapped the shots.

And yeah, yeah, people drive Hondas to Ford shoots (in fact, I hear there are Fords in the background of some Toyota Tundra ads, though I haven't been able to find them), but what I'm saying here is that the creative folk at this shoot are Microsoft's target market, and even the ones collecting a Microsoft paycheck ain't using Windows yet. That's the challenge.

Tim J.

October 24, 2008 12:46 AM

I'm with you Burt. Perhaps only Mac people can see the irony here. If you're going to convince people your operating system is best with a huge multi-million dollar ad campaign, you should start with the ad people running your campaign. It's like the car salesman who sells you a car to make his paycheck but puts his family in another brand of car that's safer and more reliable. Do as I say, not as I do. That's what Microsoft is saying with its new campaign.

Gy123

October 24, 2008 12:20 PM

so what ?

Burt Helm

October 27, 2008 11:42 AM

Hey again, One other thing to add. In a September story, Computerworld reported that it looks like both Windows and Mac versions of Adobe Photoshop were used for the latest Microsoft ads, according to the digital files' metadata. The link is here:
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9115120

Tim, J. I'm glad to hear you agree with me, but I'm not sure I'd count myself as a "Mac person." I'm happy with my Windows XP Dell. I do have an iPod..I like it a lot, but I'm not exactly starry-eyed about the brand (and it didn't help when my iPod's play button went dead within a month). I'm one of those pesky "undecideds," I guess.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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