PC to Mac: I’m Cheaper

For months, Microsoft (MSFT) has jabbed at Apple (AAPL) with an, at times, baffling advertising campaign for Windows PCs. Now Microsoft may finally land a solid blow against its rival.

In a new chapter to its ad campaign that will begin airing during the NCAA basketball playoffs on CBS (CBS) Thursday evening, Microsoft will begin hammering on a theme that could resonate in these times of economic hardship: how much less expensive Windows PCs are than Macs. For the commercials, Microsoft’s advertising agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, recruited prospective computer shoppers in the Los Angeles area through Craigslist and other sites, with a tantalizing offer to give them between $700 and $2,000 to purchase a new PC.

According to Brad Brooks, corporate vice president for Windows consumer product marketing at Microsoft, the agency told recruits it was a market research firm and didn’t mention it was working with Microsoft. The recruits were told they could keep whatever money they didn’t spend on a PC so they had incentives to look for good values.

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