Saturday, September 6, 2008
Microsoft, Closer and Closer to the Anti-Apple Panacea
Apple had no problems whatsoever in leveraging the weight of its brand in order to kick Windows Vista while the operating system was down. But the time is drawing near when Microsoft will no longer be a silent and passive participant in the Apple monologue marketing show. The Redmond company has been building up its forces, signed an advertising deal with Crispin Porter Bogusky advertising agency, and is getting ready to unleash the anti-Apple panacea, as early as September 4, 2008.
And with a $300 million investment, the Redmond company seems readier than ever to jump at Apple's jugular.
As early as the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2008 at the start of July 2008, Brad Brooks, corporate vice president, Windows Consumer Product Marketing, revealed that the Redmond giant would start telling the real Windows Vista story. In this context, the focus will be on breaking down the Vista myths built via Apple's Get a Mac ads. Brooks indicated that Microsoft cannot fail in its endeavor, since the truth is effectively on the company's side.
According to the WSJ Online, Microsoft and Crispin Porter Bogusky have hired Jerry Seinfeld, and additional celebrities, to show the true face of Windows Vista. Seinfeld alone is reportedly being paid some $10 million in order to appear in advertisements alongside part-time Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, but the information has yet to be confirmed by the Redmond company.
Still, while the Empire striking back is nothing short of a critical move for Microsoft, and one long-overdue for that matter, the software giant needs to ensure that it will not catalyze a martyr aura to form around Apple. Essentially, the Redmond company has to deliver a subtle and sufficiently elegant reply to Apple, and try to dodge the resulting media shrapnel, because each move it makes is bound to backfire, to a greater or lesser degree.