Tuesday, February 13, 2007 10:56:06 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Well, the second one certainly makes me laugh...
Tuesday, February 13, 2007 11:22:05 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
They are both great ads. The first one is inspiring; the second one is funny. I prefer the first one - it gives me a deep emotional response, the second one is just a chuckle - but I imagine it will vary by individual taste.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007 11:51:08 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I agree, the first one is inspiring -- but then it ends with Vista. It feels annoying at best, arrogant at worst that Vista could be compared to some of the depicted events. Then again, it's a tv ad -- I don't know why I should've expected anything else.

The 2nd ad is funny, a great jab -- but I'm not sure if it really hits home with the viewers unless they've seen/dealt with UAC. Which most of the public has not...yet. I think this ad will be more effective in the future.

If I had to choose, I'll take #2 FTW.

Ricky Dhatt
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 12:07:12 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The second ad is funny.

The first ad could have been great, but falls flat at the end: is seeing 3d window switching really a wow moment on par with the moon launch and the fall of the Berlin Wall? My reaction to the ending was: is that really the one thing Microsoft wanted customers to see about Vista? Kinda sad.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 12:17:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
But wait a minute...Mac OS X has the same "cancel or allow" feature, in the form of a Admin authenticate prompt for certain features. It may not appear as often as the Vista UAC does, but you still get prompted (and for a password you have to type as well).

How can they make fun of Vista when their system operates under a similar principle?

I've always been a windows user (programmer), and finally broke down a bought a basic iMac a few months ago for testing my ASP.NET apps with Mac browsers. I really like Mac OS X, but once I installed Vista - I know I'll stay on Windows :-)

So the Windows video wins.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 12:55:54 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The first is very positive, the second merely slings mud. These advertisements are very much like advertisements in political campaigns. One says positive things about itself, the other says negative things about its opponent. I tend to cross out any candidate who needs to resort to mudslinging to make themselves look good.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 3:15:12 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Well, the first ad is well-done. If it were advertising some amazing new product, it would be spot on. But you've got all those great things, and the best Windows can come up with is "You can flip windows in 3D!" Uh, wow?

The second one is typical of Apple's smug, arrogant ads. Note how they mention Vista several times, but never the Mac. Apple's ads are like Pepsi's ads - they spend all their time trying to tear down the competition instead of building up themselves, which leaves them with a real "second place" feeling. That said, unlike most Mac ads, this one doesn't lie - UAC is really annoying.

So yeah, the first ad is the only one that doesn't make me feel angry. It just makes me feel... sad.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 3:15:24 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I like the first one better because it feels more professional. The second one, as Tim said, feels like mudslinging.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 4:32:03 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The first one is better made, but I will certainly laugh and remember the second one.

That said, Apple can afford to be snobbish while MS cannot. MSFt's PR is precarious while the AAPL has a legion of zealot that will cheer it whatever it does. So MS doesn't really have a choice.

I'd imagine though... what if you have an ad with BGate and Jobs! That will be incredibly entertaining (not that it will ever happen).
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 5:40:47 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I'm with Bruce. I like them for different reasons. The Wow one is nostalgic and touching for me. (I remember that lift-off, for one thing). The ending is OK, not great.

The second is funny but I have already read Dana Epp's rant on it, where I first saw it. I realize that it is great satire but an ugly commercial. I'm not sure how it enrolls anyone in Macintosh, though it certainly cheers the Macaddicts. I hope it cost them lots of money to pander to their own echo chamber that way.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 5:44:54 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The other thing is I just rewatched the Vista commercial again for three times. I don't care if I ever see that Macintosh one again. And I don't think I am in their target audience.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 5:46:48 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
By the way, that's a great photograph that shows up in the blog feed (on RssBandit, of course). How do you do that? LiveWriter? If so, I'm switching.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 5:47:51 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Well, I definitely prefer the Mac ad but it's because the Mac ad is a part of a series. Had the Apple ad been expected to stand alone I would go for the Vista ad. However, I agree with the sentiments above that the Vista ad would be a lot better had they offered something more worthwhile than an OS upgrade.

A better ad comparison would be comparing the Vista ad to Apple's 1984 ad as both profess each company's product as a revolution in thought. Microsoft crosses the line comparing Vista to the Berlin wall falling. That was more than merely a "wow" moment (though for most of us Americans it may have been merely a "wow" or even a "huh, that's neat" moment). Vista cannot possibly deliver something that is comparable to the falling of Communism (and unless that was an attempt to jab at the Open Source people it shouldn't have been included).

In essence the Apple ad communicates that Vista takes itself too seriously and the Microsoft ad for Vista serves well to confirm this suspicion.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 7:27:02 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Maybe because I'm not inclined to rush out and upgrade/change to either:

Vista: Come on, it's an operating system not a life changing event...

Mac: Smug prat (to be polite) has an OS even virus writers can't be bothered with...

Given you'll get Vista on a new Windows box almost wonder why it needs advertising at all? It won't impact new machines or make corporate IT change so what %'age of Windows sales are retail upgrades?
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 7:57:11 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The Vista ad is a little strange to me. It seems as though someone put together a very solid advertisement to pitch any product whose main selling point is that it is revolutionary. There's so little of Vista itself there, and certainly nothing to make you say wow. So, I think the commercial in and of itself is very well made, but if you want to compare a new OS release to the historical events featured in the commercial, you need to back up that point. A new OS release just isn't exciting when considered in the abstract. This commercial ends up leaving me kind of disappointed that all they could show after that buildup was 3D window switching.

As for the Apple ad, I usually find this series of commercials off-putting, but I thought this one was pretty funny. The strange thing about it is that I don't think most people are familiar with this aspect of Vista. Perhaps it causes people to ask others about it, potentially leading to a spread of bad word of mouth, but I don't think most viewers will appreciate the situation without trying Vista. At the end of the day though, I think it's a shame that Apple is following in the footsteps of all the #2 companies that have come before it in focusing all their ads on tearing down the #1 company in their sector. It always has looked petty, and it always will.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 8:35:24 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Advertisement is never about funny, it's about imprinting a thouhgt in your brain. "funny" is only one of the possible ways to achieve this, but not by far the most efficient.

All the Apple ads are playing on the "mac is superior" scheme. And people are starting to get tired of that, since it seems to become common wisdom...what? Oh, it worked!:-)

The Vista ad does not imprint any thought in my mind, nor reading the other comments. People above a certain age can connect to some of the events shown, but in the end the ad fizzles. So, at best, it leaves people a bit disoriented.

The other thing I notice is that Microsoft as a brand has no clear identity (at least to me). And therefore the ad has a certain sterile, anonymous touch to it. The first 90% could also be an ad by GE, Procter&Gamble, Singapur Airlines or Mercedes Benz.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 8:37:50 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
First one was a generic US bank/insurance/healthcare/paint advert, what was it for again?

Second made me laugh. out loud.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 9:06:04 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
First ad says "The video cannot be played, please try again later". Tried in Opera first, then IE6, can't be bothered searching through the plugins to work out if it's them or a server problem.

Second ad: normally I don't like those ads much as they're pretty much about vague snobbery. Liked that one though as it specifically highlighted a difference between the two products. It was pretty funny. And it Just Worked.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 9:08:43 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
In the Vista ad, the people saying "wow" don't look like they really mean it. So the message that comes across is "yeah, it ain't that bad, but surely there's better".
Giovanni Corriga
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 11:50:30 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
re: Vista > I have to agree with Giovanni > "yeah, it ain't that bad, but surely there's better" is about the same sensation I walked away with. Hopefully this is only the first of a series of which the follow-ups will be a bit more inspiring?

Hope so, because it's a good overall theme to the campaign.

re: Mac > Regardless of the fact that they're somewhat annoying, they are funny, I have to admit. That said, I certainly don't gain any sort of "Maybe I should spend more time using my Mac than I do" or anything of the sort. And if I didn't already own one, I certainly wouldn't feel inspired to go and buy one, though a black Core Duo MacBook does look tempting, which I guess pretty much sums up where it seems Apple has placed their focus > Take pot shots at MSFT, make people laugh, let the hardware/software sell itself?

Setting aside Vista vs. Mac, however, there is one difference between the two commercials that I haven't noticed until the they were on the same page such that they could be compared,

The MSN SoapBox player makes the YouTube player look like it was designed in 1960!

Wow! ;)
Thursday, February 15, 2007 4:06:56 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
As technilogical enthusiasts some of us may feel like Vista is a really wow experience, but given that to the majority of people an operating system is a tool, and a mass marketed impersonal one at that, I don't see people connecting with Vista as something totally new. It feels like Microsoft is trying to market Vista the wrong way. It feels like Microsoft is trying to get people to connect to it as this life changing experience and it simply isn't. It should be focusing on what it will let them do and how it will fit into their lives. This feels like a result of a focus group which probably liked the general feel of the ad even if 3 months from now they could even tell you what it was for.

The Mac ad while gloating and snobbish is effective mostly because if you're not invested in the war, it's funny and memorable, but honestly the Mac ad is more effective for promoting PCs as the general public seems to relate far more to the "PC" than the "Mac". John Hodgeman is far more personable and likeable than his Mac counterpart who honestly comes off pretty bland. The later commercials are better as the "Mac" spends less time saying what he can do and it's more of the PC realizing his own flaws and problems. Ultimately though this advertising will cement the Mac brand in the eyes of the public (which the iPod was already doing), but it won't particularly change the demographic as people buy the same OS they have at work and Mac hasn't been able to penetrate that market at all except in media production. For now the PC is good enough at home and excellent at work so it will reign supreme until something changes that dynamic.
Orion Adrian
Thursday, February 15, 2007 5:31:23 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I like the YouTube video b/c it seems to resonate with the idea the Apple products are part of your lifestyle. For the record, I don't use either OS in my household.
Sunday, February 18, 2007 1:58:33 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Here is the problem with the Microsoft ad--it is very reminiscent of Apple's Think Different campaign. They both have an emotional appeal but give very little information about the product they are promoting. It is widely held that the Think Different campaign, while well liked, didn't work well as advertising.

In 6 months people will still remember the I'm a Mac/I'm a PC commercials but I find it highly unlikely that you will be able to say the same for the Microsoft Wow commercials.
James Bailey
Sunday, February 18, 2007 8:23:46 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I personally think both ads are very characteristic of the two companies. Mich Mathews (our Marketing SVP) has pushed the concept of positive marketing to combat the negative ads thrown out by IBM last year. The People Ready ads show the power of technology to make things better, but IBM ads were all about scaring people. In that situation, I preferred Microsofts approach.

In this situation, I think Apple has taken the right approach and Microsoft has over hyped. I don't know a single consumer that wants to think about the operating system they use. They just want it to work and be convenient. They want cool applications to work on top of it. In pushing Vista as the "cool", we have not done enough to show the cool applications that can be built on top of Vista, which is what people really want. We have not done enough to deliver the two basic and most important messages about the operating system, it works and it's easy. Apple has heard consumers there and is messaging appropriately.

It will be interesting to see how the campaigns play out. It seems to be a classic case of "inside out marketing" where we are pushing something we want people to believe rather than focusing on what consumers want to hear.

Sunday, March 18, 2007 6:01:54 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
1st one: Nice build up of the "wow" concept. The examples are great. Too bad at the end there wasn't a better demo of Vista that would even make it seem comparable to the "wow" examples that preceded it. And it is strange that they guy is opening the laptop at his office for what we are supposed to assume is the first time. It just doesn't feel like the right setting for someone who just installed Vista, or just got a new laptop. It feels like he has already had laptop for a while, which would mean that he wouldn't get all wowsy about it.

2nd one: Unless the accusations are baseless, what is wrong with Apple pointing out a usability flaw in Vista? Is it an exaggeration? As a consumer I'm glad to be warned that the security feature in Vista may be a pain. In these comments I see the people who think that pointing out flaws in your competitor is somehow unethical. If they are lies I agree. If not I think you must just feel threatened. Welcome to business.
Sunday, March 18, 2007 6:06:29 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
orcmid -- Don't you know that advertising is most effective for keeping people loyal who are already users of a product? Apple does.
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