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Microsoft’s new advertising might very well be the most interesting case to follow ever

Microsoft has released their second episode of Jerry Seinfield & Bill Gates. It’s a 4.32 minute long episode where Jerry & Bill spend time with a ‘real’ family.

The whole thing is very interesting as it’s the most profitable company in the world that is releasing a whole new tone of voice. They will spend a shit loads of money. Their advertising features two of the most famous people in the world. Their product is more spread globally than any other product.

With the help of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Microsoft has obviously not only decided to run a new set of TVC’s. Instead, I’m quite sure now after seeing episode 2 that we’re witnessing a brand revamping of Microsoft. They wanna move from being a technology company to instead become your friend in communication. I even think we might be witnessing the communication activity that paves the road for a Microsoft without a PC based OS (Windows, Vista, NT etc). A bummer that we haven’t seen more online activities in the campaign. But, I hope this might come.

I wrote last week about episode one and how I didn’t like it. That’s still my opinion, but already after seeing episode 2 I think that I might change my mind soon. Jerry & Bill will definitely succeed in building a new tone of voice for the brand.

Another thing that strikes me is the fact that I tried to think of a TVC that I enjoyed the last 6 month. Empty, nada, tomt, nothing… But the Jerry & Bill flick breaks through the ice. Yes, of course, I know. It’s because of Jerry & Bill. But once they’ve gotten my attention I’m open to listen more. And, since I’m an internet and especially a blog addict, there’s no escape. I follow +200 blogs and last week, Google Chrome and Microsoft’s new advertising has been the top 2 subjects globally. Of course I haven’t seen it on TV…who watches advertising on TV, but it’s all over YouTube.

Microsoft will succeed changing their brand and probably come out of this with a new personality. Great work CP+B. However, it’s not enough and this highlights how communication consultants must work today.

If you’re in the business of helping companies to communicate their services and products you also have to be an engineer, usability expert, industrial designer, director, salesman, advertising man, etc etc etc. Of course not all by yourself, but you must strive to have an impact on all these things in order to make a brand the hero they wanna be.

What CP+B should have said when Microsoft invited them to the Pitch was: -Sorry. If you want a communication concept we cant do it. If you wanna know how to succeed we can. Then they should have made Microsoft understand that it’s all about the product. Since information flows freely all over the world it doesn’t really matter what you do unless you have the product to back it up. And Vista, is definitely not that product. (on the other hand, if Microsoft would have called me…I would probably had said WOW)

Microsoft has to start from scratch. And that is their OS, their product portfolio and their online services. Once that is in place, Jerry & Bill might rule.

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  • http://www.minegoestoeleven.com/ Per Robert Öhlin

    I was just about to write about this myself.

    I didn’t get the first tvc either. This one is pretty funny. A bit too long for a tvc, I guess. It seems like they’ve squeesed 7-8 tvc’s together. It might work very well on YouTube though. It will be interesting to see where this concept is going.

    About the product; You’re right, you need a fairly good product to compete with. Vista is far from that. Microsoft’s marketing problem isn’t primarily the advertising, well not any longer as it seems. Microsoft has a product problem. But hey, what do we know? Maybe this is coming…

    On the other hand, you’re wrong, a high quality product isn’t everything. You also need a sparkle to boost the conversation. A concept based on some kind of drama. An idea that ignite the design, set the ton of voice, mold the experience. You need it in order to differentiate, to sell at a premium price – the fundamental reason for branding.

    Of course you can’t control anything, certainly not the buzz, but as people gravitate to the unexpected, the not yet heard of, the cool, the funny, the wit, we can still be the originator to these conversations. We still have the power to push it in a certain direction.

    Not only do you need a clever brain. You need passion beyond the normal. You need a throbbing heart.

  • http://www.minegoestoeleven.com Per Robert Öhlin

    I was just about to write about this myself.

    I didn’t get the first tvc either. This one is pretty funny. A bit too long for a tvc, I guess. It seems like they’ve squeesed 7-8 tvc’s together. It might work very well on YouTube though. It will be interesting to see where this concept is going.

    About the product; You’re right, you need a fairly good product to compete with. Vista is far from that. Microsoft’s marketing problem isn’t primarily the advertising, well not any longer as it seems. Microsoft has a product problem. But hey, what do we know? Maybe this is coming…

    On the other hand, you’re wrong, a high quality product isn’t everything. You also need a sparkle to boost the conversation. A concept based on some kind of drama. An idea that ignite the design, set the ton of voice, mold the experience. You need it in order to differentiate, to sell at a premium price – the fundamental reason for branding.

    Of course you can’t control anything, certainly not the buzz, but as people gravitate to the unexpected, the not yet heard of, the cool, the funny, the wit, we can still be the originator to these conversations. We still have the power to push it in a certain direction.

    Not only do you need a clever brain. You need passion beyond the normal. You need a throbbing heart.

  • http://www.ronnestam.com/ Johan Ronnestam

    I obviously wasn’t clear enough cause of course you need the spark. In this case though I think it’s extra important to have the product in place. Then when it’s time to communicate it – fire up the drama engine.

    Conclusion. They’ve already surpassed the spark thing…but I don’t think it’s enough in this case.

  • http://www.ronnestam.com Johan Ronnestam

    I obviously wasn’t clear enough cause of course you need the spark. In this case though I think it’s extra important to have the product in place. Then when it’s time to communicate it – fire up the drama engine.

    Conclusion. They’ve already surpassed the spark thing…but I don’t think it’s enough in this case.