Stop the Noiz

Apple Strikes Back at 'I'm a PC' Campaign

Frank Fox - 2008.11.04 - Tip Jar

When Microsoft came out with its I'm a PC ad campaign, I thought it was a good attempt at trying to wrestle the PC debate away from Apple. I wondered if Apple would switch to a new approach or throw a few more punches.

I think we all got the answer to that one from Apple: The latest three (Bake Sale, Bean Counter, and V Word) are purely punches back at Microsoft and Vista with no messing around.

As I read through responses to Apple's newest ads, it got me thinking. Why did Apple hit back so hard? Why the lack of mention of any Mac product? What would or should Microsoft say in return? Etc.

One criticism about the ads is that Apple is the pot calling the kettle black. Apple spends millions on marketing, so is it fair for Apple to pick on Microsoft for doing the same?

The truth is close at hand but not directly obvious.

In 2007, Apple spent $844 million on research and development while Microsoft spent $7.42 billion on R&D. Obviously Microsoft spends plenty of cash on R&D. $300 million on a marketing campaign is chump change to Microsoft, but it is not a small figure compared to what Apple spends on its R&D.

Have you ever listen to someone who's spend an enormous amount on something, and your first reaction is, " I could have done that for half the price." Well, that's part of the message Apple is trying to send Microsoft. "for what your jokers are spending on advertising, we could have fixed your problems."

This could be a little bragging on Apple's part, but Apple has a good working operating system, one that is well received and was probably developed for less over the last 9 years than Microsoft spends in one year on R&D. So Apple isn't full of it when it pokes fun at Microsoft.

The second big message from Apple is, "Vista has contributed to our success." That's right, Apple is reminding Microsoft that it is Vista that gave Apple a big boost in sales. Microsoft can pour $300 million to perk up its image. It can drop the Vista name. It can fire up the troops with talk about Windows 7. But Apple is going to be saying Vista again and again to remind Microsoft who screwed up - and why it's good for Apple.

It was Napoleon who said, "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." Steve Jobs added a corollary: "Don't try to co-op my ad campaign about your mistakes until you fix them." LEM

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