Posts tagged ‘microsoft’

Microsoft Future Vision

In this Video, Microsoft shows their future vision. Basically, it seems the future is all about Microsoft Surface and really intuitive productivity: technology embedded into everything, Minority report-style, but with more soothing music. In comparison with other future visions, I think the timeline is somewhat realistic. Although, come to think of it, this being Microsoft, I would add a couple of years for the Service Packs until all this stuff actually works. 😉

Thanks Valentin for the link.

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March 2, 2009 at 2:04 pm 2 comments

Rant on ill-fated Rebranding spots

Ok, it looks like I dissent with the blogosphere about ads these days.

Number 1:

I liked the Jerry Seinfeld / Bill Gates spots, and everyone else seemed to hate it. I liked it regardless of the weird rapport between Gates and Seinfeld (Seinfeld never has a rapport with people/charcters, that his shtick!) because finally it was a spot that wasn’t dictated on Apple’s terms, and Microsoft came across was self-confident, yet self-ironic, quirky. Ok, it didn’t change brand perception all that much. Hello? you cant change brand perception in  2 weeks, and you certainly cant do it with ads, anyhow.

Number 2:

Now everyone says the Microsoft sequel spot is much better and I hate it. Again, it starts with an Apple lookalike actor, then everyone says “I am a PC”… Booooooring AND dumb. Boring because you hear the same line from different faces a gazillion times and dumb because: people aren’t friggin PCs. But the real doozie for the brand that has 97% of market share against Apple is: the whole thing is an ANSWER to Apple’s idea, so again, Microsoft looks like a defensive, insecure dufus without self-confidence having to reference a brand that, well, is just cooler. Microsoft owns the market and still feels like it has to come out with a justification and reason for being against Apple? Hello?

Number 3:

Okay, and now everyone is all over the Tina Fey / Scorcese spot for AMEX. Ok, I love that spot too. Really do. You know why? Because, surpriiiiise, like everyone else, I love Martin Scorcese, plus it’s a great continuation of the first spot.

I just wonder: what the hell does it do for the brand?

Thanks AMEX for entertaining me for a couple of seconds. How does it feel paying millions for making Martin even more popular? Geez, you watch that spot, and think: Scorcese is a bigger brand than AMEX. It’s so ill-matched. Also, it’s a non-sequitur par excellence. He sells a timeshare and then it’s about travel advice?

September 25, 2008 at 11:13 am 1 comment

Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates

As part of a US$300 Million+ ad campaign, Microsoft engaged Jerry Seinfeld to do a commercial with Bill Gates. The commerical takes place in a shoe shop. It’s quirky, geeky, and well, actually, somehow honest about Microsoft.

Just a few weeks ago I had a discussion with Tom Acland, on why the hell tech brands (such as Dell, for example) try to be as cool and suave as Apple, when, in reality, they can’t pull it off. They come out with advertising and products that reek of copycat advertising and product strategy, which is not credible, and, even worse, kills the good stuff those brands do have. I guess their inability to develop their own strong brand purpose that is rooted in what people need and like about their brand creates a sense of reactive copying of another brand’s recipe. Problem is, you can’t copy Apple’s product and marketing innovation, you gotta come up with your own!

So how do you respond to Apple’s PC vs. MAC commericals when you are Microsoft?

I think they did a good job with Jerry (who somehow is a geek, too) and Bill does a good job of personifying Microsoft’s geeky brand character. After all, Microsoft is modeled after him, no point in pretending it’s something else. It has personality and of course, it has Jerry’s odd humor to transport it. Plus, it features little clues to Bill Gates trivia, such as a real (grinning) Mugshot of him in 1977 when he was arrested in New Mexico for a traffic violation, on the customer loyality card. Or, naming the shoe “The Conquistador” (repeated in Spanish by a Latin American family), as an obvious innuendo to Mircosoft’s corporate take-over plans. Nice.

I do think this might help Microsoft’s brand reputation in that it actually is truly a Microsoft thing to do. It’s honest, yet funny, and for once, doesn’t bombard you with boring product USPs. Microsoft personified, will still be the geek at the party, but at least true to himself and competent in his own right.

September 5, 2008 at 11:56 am 3 comments

Get ready for the application store wars

First we had the browser wars. Remember? Those days when digital shops had to make websites work for a dozen versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer with no common standards. Then came the mobile device wars which are still ongoing, which means as a user you can’t even download a blackberry app if it isn’t compiled for THAT specific blackberry.

No one really cared about that much about this before, because, frankly, before the iphone, people just sort used phones, well, to phone people. Now all of that has changed. Apple’s iTunes Store made 30 Million bucks in the first month after apps were launched. What a great case of how product innovation and marketing innovation changed people’s behavior with one product launch.

Of course there’s Google, not wanting to be caught with their pants down, and started with Android, who some tech guys think will kick Apple’s butt because it’s much easier to program for than the iPhone Objective C programming language (an anacronism, really). Plus, of course Android has the chance to be a standard to many more millions of mobile devices already out there before iPhones can rule the world.

Well, guess what, now it looks like Microsoft (known for sluggish market entries) is entering, and you can get ready for the application store war. CNET reports:

It appears the software giant expects to launch an applications store called “Skymarket” this fall for its Windows Mobile platform, if a recent job posting spotted by Long Zheng at Istartedsomething.com is accurate. According to the ad posted Sunday on Computerjob.com, the Skymarket senior product manager will head a team that will “drive the launch of a v1 marketplace service for Windows Mobile.”

So now you basically got 3 forces: the closed-sourced innovator apple, the open-sourced Internet Giant Google, and Microsoft who’s just gonna fuel the fire through distribution power until the anti-trust cows come home. Wait… isn’t it always the same warring parties here??

Anyway, it seems that with every new delivery channel, and the random tech territory behind it, a necessary war has to ensue which at first is a hassle to end users.

However, after each one of these wars, we were better off than before. This war will ultimately really get the mobile phone out of the crib of technology used by early adopters and spawn a whole new set of mainstream innovations, better interfaces and usability (especially the iTunes interface could need an overhaul if you ask me). Not only will this make the mobile Internet omnipresent, but of course change the importance mobile marketing as well, as mobile platforms are bound to finally become the new integrator of all channels.

Just like the Web evangelists, the mobile evangelists were right, they were just too early. And however thankful you might be about Apple, they are not gonna win this war with their current closed-source approach. Oh, and agencies, if you don’t have a mobile marketing services business plan yet, get busy!

September 2, 2008 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment


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