"Mother and Son" Microsoft Commercial

Hidden Message

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Marketing 2 Comments

"Mother and Son" Microsoft Commercial

The advertising battle between Microsoft and Apple moved up a gear recently, with Redmond’s latest campaign to encourage consumers to buy Windows.

In the ads, that you can see here, various ‘real people’ are filmed documentary-style going through the process of buying a PC. The subjects are shown weighing up the pros and cons of Windows-driven hardware against Macs. In the end the subject walks away with a Windows machine, and explains their purchasing decision to the camera based upon the price of the machine when compared to a Mac.

Doesn’t this seem a little weird?

Microsoft is a software company. OK, they make hardware in the form of computer peripherals and the XBOX, but they don’t make computers. Third-party hardware manufacturers buy and install their software and resell the result.

Apple is a software company that, in order to sell their software, have chosen to also manufacture the supporting hardware in order to better control the user experience.

So, from a business value communication standpoint, we have a software company basing their campaign on how cheap the third-party host hardware is. There is no messaging about Windows versus the Mac OS X operating system. It’s just a straight features vs. price comparison. The rationale is that it’s all about the hardware, and that the choice of OS doesn’t matter.

In which case, why not go the whole hog and buy a PC running Linux? Linux is free, reliable (90% of the web’s servers run Linux) and, with distributions such as Ubuntu, very user-friendly.

Microsoft’s message seems to be to buy a Sony Vaio, or buy an HP HDX16. Yes, these PCs have Windows on them, but they could just as well have something else. And if they did, the validity of the ad’s argument would still hold true. Even more in fact, since the machine would be even cheaper.

So where’s the value message?

About the Author
Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

Gee Ranasinha

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After founding a successful media production firm, Gee became worldwide director of marketing for a European software company. As well as CEO of KEXINO he's an author, lecturer, husband, and father; and one hell of a nice bloke. He lives in a world of his own in Strasbourg, France, tolerated by his wife and young son. Find out more about Gee at kexino.com/gee-ranasinha.



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Comments 2

  1. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

    This is bullshit!
    Microsoft produces not only XBOX and for all that matters Microsoft has an enormous influence in hardware manufacturing. Mac OS X is just plain old Linux. So the point of looking for a hidden message is not valid.
    The confusion itself started because Apple mislead people of thinking that a PC is a complimentary product. But let be honest, the time of workstations is gone!

    1. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

      Really? Since when Microsoft influences hardware manufacturing, besides forcing customers to upgrade their PC everytime they update their OS?
      The XBOX is in fact just a PC, made exclusively for gaming and using proprietary DirectX Routines to strenghten the MS Marketshare “Gaming for Windows(dorks).
      Ah, I forgot, the Zune, nice piece of non-sexy hardware, like the XBOX.
      “MacOS X plain old Linux”? Yeah, whatever.
      Put the kettle on….

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