Crispin Porter Master Plan: Microsoft As The Less Dorky Brand

Adding insult to injury, it has recently emerged that the atrocious “I’m a PC” ads were actually made… on Macs!

The blogosphere is bursting with laughter over this one. But maybe we’re all wrong, and this is just part of a big plan concocted by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the $300 million Masters of Communication that crafted this beautiful Microsoft campaign.

Contrary to popular perception, the agency is adamant in maintaining that the Bill&Jerry ads were designed from the start as a teaser – a kind of $10 million plus amuse bouche, just to get the conversation started before the main course.

It then seems that its short half-life (just two weeks) had nothing to do with You Tubers threatening to immolate themselves in a desperate effort to stop the horrific campaign. It’s just that Bill&Jerry had already served their purpose, so it was time to let them go.

In comments to the NYTimes, Rob Reilly, partner and co-executive creative director at Crispin Porter, said that the campaign “ did what it needed to do”, and the “people who got it, got it”.

So, now that the ads had flawlessly achieved its goal of having us all mock Microsoft – I think it’s safe to say that we all got that part – , it was time to move on to phase two.

So out came the “I’m a PC” ads, whose apparent goal was to further reinvigorate the mocking. And then, just when it seemed that things couldn’t get much worse for Microsoft, it emerged that the ads were designed on Macs.

Your ad is all about having people from all walks of life – from students to fishmongers to NASA staff – proudly stating that they are PC users. Yet you can’t even get your own ad agency to use PCs to make the lousy ad! How’s that for a brand statement?

Pretty much pathetic, no? But here’s where we’ve all been fooled, and the genius of Crispin Porter + Bogusky reveals itself.

You see, this was their plan all along – to build a negative appeal in the audience, and then, at the very last moment, transfer all that negative charge towards Apple.

On phase 3 of the campaign, we can then expect to see something like – “I’m a Mac, and I can’t come up with anything better than this ads”.

At this moment, all the previous mocking directed at Microsoft would then get, by some mysterious psychological process, glued to Apple, in such a powerful way that it would take it years to recover. With some luck, consumers would even start recalling Steve Jobs buying discount shoes and doing the “robot dance”.

Microsoft would then have no problem positioning itself as the less dorky brand, as Steve Jobs struggled to shake loose of the campaign’s deathly embrace.

Seems logical, no? I mean, how else could we explain all this?

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1 Response to “Crispin Porter Master Plan: Microsoft As The Less Dorky Brand”



  1. 1 Microsoft, Beaten Into A Pulp, Takes Some More Abuse « Argos Media Trackback on October 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm

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