Microsoft admeisters Crispin Porter+Bogusky love their Apple Macs (UPDATE: Apple pulls profile)

“Watching the gypsy cab — a shiny black Volkswagen Rabbit with checkerboard side stripes — pull onto Fifth Avenue, you probably wouldn’t know that its driver, Steve from Colorado, had never driven in New York City. Or, in fact, ever been to New York,” Barbara Gibson reports for Apple Canada.

“But in a reality-video experiment called the Gypsy Cab Project, Steve cruised the streets of Manhattan for 14 days, offering perfect strangers free taxi rides in an effort to demonstrate the Rabbit’s ability to negotiate extreme city traffic,” Gibson reports.

“The brainchild of Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, the Gypsy Cab project documented, via spy cameras, Steve’s efforts explaining the project and getting 100 people to trust him to take them where they wanted to go — in spite of traffic jams, fire trucks, garbage trucks, delivery trucks, bicycle messengers, oblivious pedestrians, and 12,187 other cabbies,” Gibson reports. “CP+B captured the digital video using four Mac minis stored in the Rabbit’s wheel well, then broadcast the footage — first raw and later edited — on the Gypsy Cab website.”

“‘One of our logistical challenges with Gypsy Cab was to find a way to mount four cameras in the vehicle and record everything so we could edit it later,’ says interactive producer Marcelino Alvarez,” Gibson reports. “Working with technical director Scott Prindle and system architect Adam Heathcott, Alvarez suggested the Mac minis. ‘Most of the company works on Macs and I knew we’d be editing on Final Cut Pro systems,’ Alvarez says. ‘The easiest way for me to approach this was, get the footage already digitized, give it to our editors in a format they can use, and just feed everything up.'”

MacDailyNews Note: Crispin Porter + Bogusky — where most of the company works on Macs — is the ad agency behind Microsoft’s $300 million consumer-branding campaign which so far has featured The Mojave Experiment and two ads featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Senifeld. Don’t blame the Macs; they just do whatever they’re told. GIGO.

Gibson continues, “Alvarez also set up a wireless network in the back of the Rabbit and added an amplifier to the wireless signal. ‘We had a MacBook Pro in the chase vehicle so we could monitor the video and control the recording on each camera using Apple Remote Desktop,’ Alvarez says.”

Gibson reports, “For compression and editing, Alvarez and Prindle set up seven Power Mac G5s in a New York apartment. ‘We decided to go with the G5s with quad processors because we wanted to compress the footage and post it to the website within 24 hours,’ says Alvarez.”

“Two editors matched the video to real-time GPS data the Gypsy Cab collected, then compressed and uploaded the raw footage. Two others worked in Final Cut Pro to create edited versions of Steve’s Favorite Fares,” Gibson reports. “‘We were turning video around left and right,’ Prindle says. ‘Here we had these Mac Minis buried down in a wheel well, underneath people’s luggage, and we could count on them being dependable and reliable throughout the process.'”

Full article, with photos, here.

MacDailyNews Note: UPDATE: 8:02pm EDT: In an interesting development, Apple Canada seems to have just pulled their profile on Crispin Porter+Bogusky. RouhglyDrafted has reprinted it here.

Danielle Sacks reported for Fast Company this past June, “Bogusky works on a raised platform in Crispin’s 70,000-square-foot space, which once housed an indoor soccer field. His desk seems almost to levitate above the vast openness. A shiny new silver MacBook Air sits in front of him, next to his aviator sunglasses.”

“In April 2007, long before the Microsoft account came Crispin’s way, Bogusky had told me that ‘Crispin sort of exists because of the revolution in desktop publishing that the Mac brought about. You could be a small shop and compete against Madison Avenue for the first time because all the tools were in your computer.’ That may explain why Keller and Reilly are today using their team as an early focus group for learning how to persuade Mac lovers to embrace Windows… Their joint desk also holds two ultrathin MacBook Airs. When I ask if they’re making their team get rid of their iPods and PowerBooks, Reilly responds, ‘It’s not a matter of forcing people. It’s getting them to want to use it. If you can’t, you’re not going to do great advertising.'”

MacDailyNews Take: If getting Mac users to want to use Windows is your goal, forget about advertising. Waterboarding, maybe. Advertising, no.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David” for the heads up.]



  1. Beyond the irony of the Microsoft ad group Crispin Porter + Bogusky being featured on an Apple marketing page for using Macs, Microsoft is oddly absent from the included CPB client list that includes Volkswagen, Burger King and Google.

    This just keeps getting better!

  2. Uhh, that was 2006. Maybe they haven’t changed, maybe they still use Macs and do MS’s bidding (poor macs, feel sorry for them), but can’t we get something newer like a picture of the MS ad’s being shot with Apple products all over the set ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. ‘Here we had these Mac Minis buried down in a wheel well, underneath people’s luggage, and we could count on them being dependable and reliable throughout the process.’

    I wonder if we’ll hear anything from all the Mac mini haters we seem to have out there? Sounds like they’re pretty sturdy little buggers.

  4. As the wise man said: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

    For Crispin Porter + Bogusky, selling Microsoft Windows is definitely like putting lipstick on a pig!

  5. CP+B’s job is to do the best for their customer. They don’t have to like/love the product their customer sells, which is pretty evident in their emphasis on using Macs to do the job, they just have to do their best in providing the wishes of their customer with regard to advertising.

    The advertising company sometimes takes the brunt of bad ads, but they may just be doing exactly what their customer wishes.

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