Microsoft took another shot Thursday at Apple in the vendors' ongoing PC versus Mac advertising war.
Kicking off a new campaign, a, 60-second ad trumpets both the affordability of a Windows-based PC at a time for economic worries, and its coolness as Microsoft counteracts Apple's effective, "I'm a Mac and you're a PC" ads.
In the latest ad, a young, red-headed woman named Lauren goes shopping for a fast, 17-inch screen notebook and a "comfortable" keyboard, for under $1,000. She first visits an Apple store and quickly exits. Back in her car, she says, "They had only had one, $1,000 computer available. I would have to double my budget. That's not feasible. I guess I'm not cool enough to be a Mac person."
At a Best Buy, she excitedly examines several laptops, before deciding on a Windows notebook made by Hewlett-Packard for $699.99. "I'm a PC and I got just what I wanted," she says.
So much for the nerdy PC man Apple put up last year against the cool Mac user in its, "I'm a Mac and you're a PC" ads.
Microsoft began a $300 million campaign last fall to burnish the Windows brand, which Apple has portrayed as stuffy and lackluster.
The first set of ads, with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, were panned as too weird and off the point. The next round of ads used as mixture of celebrities and everyday people to tell the world, "I'm a PC."
To produce the most ads, according to The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft's advertising agency, Crispin Porter + Boguksy, used Craigslist and other sites to recruit prospective computer shoppers in the Los Angeles area, offering to give them between $700 and $2,000 to purchase a new PC.
The recruits were told the project was being conducted by a market research firm and Microsoft was not mentioned, The Wall Street Journal reported. The participants were informed they could keep whatever money was left over from buying a PC so they had reason to search for good values.