The Perfect Answer

October 8, 2008 | blog | By Mike Sullivan

When Crispin, Porter + Bogusky took over the Microsoft account, everyone waited curiously to see what they could possibly do to return the software giant to the vaunted place from which they’d recently fallen. The “Start Me Up” campaign with the Stones seems forever ago and the Vista campaign that quickly came and went took a deep back seat to Apple’s incredible “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” campaign that’s been kicking Microsoft’s butt for the last number of years.

Last month, Crispin countered Apple’s campaign with new work of their own that opens with a guy on a a white psych who looks exactly like PC from the Apple spots. And just like the Apple spots, he opens, “Hello. I’m a PC” only this time he adds, “And I’ve been made into a stereotype.” The commercial then cuts to a series of celebrities and regular everyday folks saying “I’m a PC and I do this.” “I’m a PC and I do that.” “I’m a PC and I can do anything I want.” The spots are straight forward, right to the point, and in a word, perfect.

The critics are hemming and hawing, but that’s what critics do. No the spots aren’t flashy. No they’re not funny. But I bet you my lunch money they work like gangbusters. Maybe not immediately. But give them a little time. The new spots from Crispin are the perfect answer to Apple’s campaign. By diffusing the stereotypes with real people, the new spots turn Apple’s sarcasm on its ear and immediately give credibility back to the reality that Microsoft isn’t just a brand for nerds, geeks, dweebs and geese. It’s a brand used by hundreds of millions of people who are highly productive and in many cases, quite cool.

As much as I love Apple’s campaign, I’m thrilled that Microsoft has finally decided to fight back. The only question I have is – what took them so long?


Mike Sullivan

President at LOOMIS, the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency


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