Microsoft ramps huge advertising campaign to counter Apple’s ‘Get a Mac’ ads

Speaking at a keynote address at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference this week, Brad Brooks, Microsoft’s VP of Windows Vista consumer marketing said, “‘We’ve got a pretty noisy competitor out there,’ Brooks said of Apple whose ‘I’m a Mac… and I’m a PC,’ commercials criticize Windows Vista. ‘You know it. I know it. It’s caused some impact. We’re going to start countering it. They tell us it’s the iWay or the highway. We think that’s a sad message. Software out there is made to be compatible with your whole life,'” J. Nicholas Hoover reports for InformationWeek.

“In the coming weeks and months, Microsoft will launch a huge advertising campaign that’s been reported to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The first of those ads appeared Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, pushing Windows Vista for small businesses,” Hoover reports.

“Overall, the message Microsoft hopes to impart is that Windows Vista is ready, and that Microsoft will no longer take a back seat while word of mouth and Apple drive negative messaging about the company and Windows,” Hoover reports.

Full article here.

They’re falling right into the trap that Steve Jobs has been prodding them towards with sharp sticks for some time now. Marketing 101: #1 never mentions #2. Microsoft is about to spend hundreds of millions of dollars conferring legitimacy upon Apple Macintosh in the eyes of the great unwashed. Bring it on!

Direct link via YouTube here.


  1. Great news for Microsoft…. except they have to have something is actuallybetter than Apple.

    Did you also catch the part about not taking a back seat to word of mouth? In other words, it doesn’t matter what actual users say. It’s all about what it’s supposed to do.

  2. I usually disagree with MDN’s take but this time I agree 100%.

    A lot of people hate Microsoft like I did when I was using it. I thought Linux was going to be the OS that I eventually switched to. I always thought of Macs as too expensive. Then I tried it and now my whole family and their families use Macs for almost everything.

    Wish I had extra cash to invest in Apple.

    On a sad note, it’s beginning to look like I’m going to have to drop the iphone unless I can find a solution to my reception problems 🙁

  3. I’m not sure about MS falling into Steve’s trap. There’s no evidence that MS’s new ad campaign will mention Apple or the Mac platform by name. Sounds more like they’ll be trying to talk-up Vista, rather than talking the Mac down.

  4. “Overall, the message Microsoft hopes to impart is that Windows Vista is ready, and that Microsoft will no longer take a back seat while word of mouth and Apple drive negative messaging about the company and Windows,”

    karrde97 – You’re right, it sure sounds like MS is admitting that Vista’s word-of-mouth (aka actual customer opinions) is terrible, and they have to do something to counter the reality of how bad Vista is… by running ads that claim “No really, it’s ready now, honest!”

    And to think, if they actually took the time to *fix* Vista itself, word-of-mouth on their product might actually improve a bit. Then they could go with the “See? Now we don’t suck nearly so much!” advertising approach. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> There are certainly enough customers & fanboys of theirs who will be easily fooled into thinking that making minor improvements on a horrible product would be good enough.

  5. “…Windows Vista is ready…”

    OK, so the implication is that Vista wasn’t ready when it was released in January ’07? So I guess the initial ad campaign should have been “The Wow Starts Over a Year from Now”? The Mac ads are fun, but its the quality that really drives sales. A mega ad campaign isn’t going to make Vista a tolerable OS.

  6. @GregM
    If you are having trouble with reception at home, then there is are products out there that amplify the signal.

    If you are having more general reception problems that are due to inadequate AT&T, then the only cure is time for cell network upgrades and expansion. Another possibility is that your iPhone is not up to snuff – loose antenna connection, bad component, etc. If might be worth your while to get it checked out at the Apple Store, or have a friend with an iPhone drop by to see if his/her iPhone works better at your location. Also, it’s possible that the new iPhone 3G might have better reception.

    Just some thoughts – hopefully you will find a way to keep your iPhone.

  7. If it was not bad etiquette, I would put the following capitals for emphasis (I write as if talking to Microsoft):

    Microsoft, no-one cares. You are beaten, you are nearly dead, because finally people are realising en masse that your stuff is frankly disgusting scamware that doesn’t do anything.

    Apple is leading this and it’s darn stupid to criticise them anyway. Also, everyone knows that whatever you produce will be inferior to their cool stuff which is adopted even before it comes out (unlike Vista, which has still to be adopted, or fostered as a sort of runt that no-one wants).

    I could go on for hours…

  8. @#2
    I agree, just because a marketing guy states that Apple is a “Noisy competitor” (not a bad line actually) it does not mean that their marketing plan will violate the MacDailyNews Marketing 101 principle of not naming your competitor if you are #1. If M$ does so it could really blow up in their face though.

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