Aishwarya Rao

I wasn't surprised that Microsoft came down a spot (to #3) in the Interbrand Best Global Brands ranking this year. If the value of a "brand" to its business is evaluated just like any other asset, surely the retirement of a CEO whose name was synonymous with the brand itself has to make a difference...

Now for a moment let us forget the ridiculous Microsoft-Jerry Seinfield commercials. And look at this one - Microsoft seems to have done an excellent job with the latest "I am a PC" ad. The idea is simple. (Given it is an outraged reply to Apple's PC user, the idea is not annoying at all). And it tells a story. A normal story that an avaerage person can relate to. A story even a Mac user would enjoy (without admitting it ofcourse!) with a smirk on his face. Yes, it is warm and real. (even with Bill Gates in it!)

I believe a communication like this is a guaranteed winner in this consumer driven world. Simply because it does not insult my intelligence. And it does not complicate things. Or overwhelm me. And also because it sincerely follows the most cliched and romantic theory taught in every brand management class -

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

9 Responses
  1. I think Mac has been significantly reaching out to people in the market. Mac is great for professional work involving art and design. And slowly, people are also considering it for home use. Kids prefer mac too. Though Microsoft is out with all its gimmicks, do you really think it has that giant leap into a different product?

  2. NiV Says:

    i agree with the post...being different doesn't necessarily mean the quality of the product is superior..even with the bugs vista had, Mac still cudn't gain market share..why is that? As for ease of use, my school is using Macs..u have no idea what a headache it is. Very frustrating to work on a Mac. it could be because we have all worked so long on a PC..but hey! interchanging the icons and buttons is not creativity, its stupidity. And the number of pop ups we get in a Mac, just to open an audio file! sigh...

  3. @Praveen,

    I agree with most of what you say. Except for the Microsoft gimmick part.

    Look at it this way. Apple has done the same thing, differently. Keeping it simple and "wow"ing its customers with the beauty of that simplicity. The design is spectacular.But whatever said and done, the brand and the Mac is for a niche. A richer, almost slightly more sophisticated audience.

    Microsoft on the other hand is mass. And it has done a tremendous job.Keep in mind that it is not Coca-Cola that common man can intuitively and by experience understand. It is a software brand that has a mass appeal and I think we must be careful to avoid calling it a gimmick!

  4. @ Niv,

    It is ironic that I would agree to what both Praveen and you say! But that is the truth.

    I bought Sid a mac this summer and only I know how I suffered while I created these mind blowing presentations on Key Note. Because unlike Google Chrome (it is my latest fixation), the Mac is not perfectly intuitive. It challenges the average person and "awes" them into becoming its fan with the amount of sophistication and spectacular design!

    If you loved the "I am a PC" ad, you might want to check out Microsofts Mojaveexperiment on Vista users. Its amazing and realistic again!

  5. RamnathK Says:

    check this out!

  6. @Aishwarya and @Niv: I agree with you folks since this post is more about the brand and way of reaching out rather than the product itself.

    I wish to quote Norton Internet Security 2009 as an example here. Though the product is an advancement of the 2008 version, the ultimate aim of 2009 was performance. The 2009 is the lightest and fastest security software today, unlike 2008 which was bloated. Thinking on those lines, I'm not asking for a complete new out of the box product from Microsoft. Also, that is quite impossible considering the fact that they are building over older stuff and not inventing something new. I would like to see something like the Microsoft Surface come to the market instead of the Vista to the power x.

  7. @ramnath

    Aww! I feel for the PC now. Lol! Isn't it hilarious.

    I found the "A PC is not a stereotype" where the jpeg says this:

    A PC is not a stereotype.
    And neither are you. Id you are a PC you belong to a community of more than a billion individuals, working, playing and connecting. Doing their own thing. So stand up and show your face and we'll show the world what a PC really looks like.

    ***Unless of course you are talking about this ad campaign. If that's the case, a PC looks like a Mac because that's how we made this!

    You can read more here:

  8. Adel Anwar Says:

    I think the 'I am a PC' ad has a direct take on Mac's 'Im and Mac' campaign. For a company that size, its ridiculous to play the catch up game. In all seriousness, I think this ad just goes out to prove the point that Apple is the #1 company. Instead, had they reinforced the core value of their products and worked on delivering a different and realistic message, then it would certainly make the average Joe sit up and take notice.

  9. Anil P Says:

    Wanting to be creative is different from having to be creative.

    And most communications are lst in their own creativity.