Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

New Microsoft Ads Win Most Improved Award (It Wasn't Hard Though)

Here are videos of three of the new “I’m a PC” ads from Microsoft’s next phase of its Vista-doesn’t-bite advertising campaign.

You can decide if you like them or not. But BoomTown is declaring them a vast improvement on the quirky initial commercials that featured Microsoft Founder Bill Gates and comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

Microsoft has insisted that those three ads, which attracted a chorus of critics, were just a “teaser” to this second phase of a $300 million ad campaign, in which the software giant seems to be returning from its short visit in hipville to a more normal marketing message.

And these new Microsoft (MSFT) ads are definitely normal and more clear, having an it’s-a-small-world-after-all panoply of people declare that they are all PCs.

The message is aimed at attacking the more elitist message of Apple (AAPL) ads, which have effectively mocked PC guy relentlessly over the years as an oaf.

In Microsoft’s ads, its own PC guy complains at the start of each that “I’ve been made into a stereotype.”

The ads proceed to show regular folk with some celebrities mixed in (including Gates, TV hottie Eva Longoria and feel-good author Deepak Chopra), all proudly declaring their PC affiliation.

While the ads feel like they are tapping a little too much into that uneasy red-state-blue-state vibe–as if we need more of that–they’re also nicely done, thankfully, although not particularly new or innovative.

Which, after the Gates/Seinfeld oddity, is a good thing.

Here are three of the new ads (click them all at once for an even better experience!):


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google