“I’ve worked it out! I have now deciphered Microsoft’s true genius. And it was staring me in the face,” Mark Webster writes for The New Zealand Herald. “It’s all about differentiating itself from what the Seattle firm has identified recently as a creditable competitor.”
“Last year, Apple’s ad spend vaulted to US$133 million, surpassing Hewlett-Packard and IBM (according to the tracking firm TNS Media Intelligence),” Webster writes. “But Number One, of course, was Microsoft. Microsoft spent US$191 million.”
“Apple’s ads have fared well in ‘the war for consumers’ hearts,'” Webster writes. “They reiterate a common message, clear to every viewer.”
“Microsoft’s ‘Shoe Circus’ ad, in which the exceedingly well-paid Jerry Seinfeld helped the exceedingly well-heeled Bill Gates (the former CEO of Microsoft) buy shoes, really was a circus. It failed miserably with consumers. After seeing the ad, both Apple and Microsoft users polled in New York had more negative perceptions of Microsoft in the areas of innovation, technology, trouble-free design, warranty and pricing,” Webster writes. “I figured this must have been a bad thing for Microsoft at the time … until I figured out Microsoft’s exceedingly cunning plan: that’s what Microsoft wants you to think! How else do you differentiate from a company (Apple) that’s perceived as smart, click, clever, well designed and functional?”
“Microsoft, apparently not wanting to do things by half measures, has taken its approach right to the top of the firm,” Webster writes. “How do you come up with someone who is the complete opposite of Steve Jobs? Jobs is slick, a great presenter who has defined ‘smart-casual’ as top executive dress (hear hear – suits and ties are so last century). Jobs is almost worshipped by the Apple fans and has a clear cut, autocratic style that has stamped its mark on high-quality Apple-badged products for decades.”
Webster writes, “Enter stage right – Steve Ballmer! It’s pure genius! What lengths will Microsoft go to next?”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: May Steve Ballmer remain Microsoft CEO for as long as it takes!
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “iSteve” for the heads up.]