today's AMAZING TV AD : honda's "cog" 2 minute tv spot

for more on this, go to this post :; april 14 post.
the inspiration is mount pinatubo when some years ago, all of a sudden, after decades of being dormant, it decided to erupt, spewing debris and ash several kilometers high, blowing ashes to float everywhere, far and wide, turning the skies gloomy gray as far away as metro manila, hundreds of kilometers away, covering metro manila streets and rooftops with thick ash. the pinatubo eruption was so powerful that its ashes changed the color of sunsets not only in the philippines but also worldwide.

that's what happens when clients and advertising agencies decide to run ads not worthy to be called advertising. its dark, its huge and very irritating and unfortunately, everywhere!

all they are doing is wawam! what a waste of advertising money!

here is a first row view of Philippine Advertising and Philippine Marketing.

mount pinatubo erupts shooting ashes several kilometers high, then floating to blanket many other towns hundreds of kilometers away

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Friday, March 27, 2009

new microsoft tv ads - microsoft concedes it ain't cool but its cheap

can't find the actual ad on youtube yet, but here is the write up on microsoft's new tv ads. based on the article, the new microsoft ad continue to copy the apple/mac ad line and ad campaign of "i'm a pc" which microsoft already used in their 2nd round ad cammpaign after the failed gates/seinfeld ad campaign.

the ad positions the microsoft/windows/pc as a cheap in price brand, a value brand. it's a good message to put across given the recession that's eroding the US economy and as more US consumers get hit by it. it's also a good strategy given the fact that macs continue to be at a premium pricing. the cheap brand positioning separates microsoft/windows/pc from macs.

good value positioning can be relevant in times of economic hardships. we just don't know if good value positioning works well on computers. good value positioning may work well for food products, but it might not work for high priced lifestyle products like computers.

the part that is unusual is that the ad concedes microsoft/windows/pc is not a cool brand/product. the ad is about real people (not talents) who were asked to buy computers (read details on article) and that was the conclusion of the woman in the ad who went into an apple store but was unable to find a mac that fit her budget and her needs. in one of the ads, a woman leaves an apple store unable to buy a mac and says: "I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person."

a brand not being cool may be the truth for some brands (like microsoft/windows/pc?) but its not necessary to admit that in the advertising. to admit outright a computer brand (or any product) is not cool may mean the death of that brand. people who buy computers will hardly admit they are not cool. in fact people who own computers think they are cool given the fact that they own a computer. being cool is part and parcel of buying a computer, it's a key mindset.

the basic idea behind advertising is you put your best foot forward for consumers to admire and appreciate the brand and from there you get them to buy the brand. positive motivation from the product quality and performance is what works best in advertising. you intentionally leave out the negatives or weaknesses of your brand. weaknesses are exposed by competitors, is what apple did to windows vista in their "i'm a mac" ad campaign. this one does not hide it at all, it declared the brand's weakness.

it's a weird thing to do for an ad.

the other school of thought, which microsoft's ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, seem to like to do (this ad agency has done this before for other clients) is to admit the fault or weakness of the brand outright and get the consumers to decide if they can get over the negative and buy the product just the same.

so now we have microsoft/windows/pcs saying they are cheap and they are not cool. it's a brand character that is neither here nor there. in fact, it can be seen as negative or unlikeable brand character.

at minimum, that kind of positioning can be polarizing - some people will love it but some people will hate it. it's always risky to release an ad that has the potential to polarize your target audience. the thinking is you release the best ad you can make and that usually entails you are 100% the ad is perfect and will be loved by your target audieence. the risk you take in releasing polarizing ads is that the negative might eventually overpower the negative and you end up more people disliking the ad and brand being advertised than liking it.

the other weakness of this ad is the continuing use of the "I'm a PC" line microsoft copied from the apple/mac ads. we have not seen the tv ad but it appears that is the case based on this article.

microsoft should have just developed their own, unique advertising line. it does not serve the microsoft brand well if they keep reminding people it is copying something from apple in their own tv ads. those apple ads where microsoft copied were the ads that hurt the windows brand badly and has caused it's deterioration in stature. why remind the people of it further?

what is the point of reminding people tiny apple was able to beat giant microsoft in the advertising war? what? further increase windows users inferiority complex?


I'm a PC, and this time Microsoft's buying

By Jessica Mintz, Associated Press

SEATTLE — Apple's Macintosh computers may be cool, but Windows PCs are easier on the wallet.

That's the recession-sensitive message Microsoft is pushing in a new series of commercials that debuted Thursday. The ads also continue Microsoft's work to reclaim the "I'm a PC" catchphrase from Apple Inc. and undo the stodgy image its competitor has bestowed on the Windows operating system.

To shoot the ads, Microsoft's agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, recruited unwitting subjects by posing as a market research firm studying laptop purchasing decisions.

It picked 10 people who answered a call for volunteers on Craigslist and other websites and sent them out with a camera crew and budgets ranging from $700 to $2,000. If they found a computer that fit their criteria, they could keep it.

In the first 60-second spot, a red-haired recent college grad named Lauren is on the hunt for a speedy laptop with a 17-inch screen and a "comfortable" keyboard, all for less than $1,000. She strides into an Apple store; then, the scene jumps to her walking out empty-handed, telling the camera that the only laptop in her price range has a 13-inch screen.

Back in the car, she sighs and says, "I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person."

read in full here:

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