The other day a friend of mine brought H&M’s global website to my attention again. Back in 2006 I was one of their consultants until I more or less lost the assignment due to the fact that I told them what the didn’t wanna hear – Your website sucks! Of course I was wrong and they were right. After all, they’ve been awarded time after time at major advertising shows (Thanks to among others to me and the team I worked with back then) so why wouldn’t they know what they are doing.
This is exactly where the problem start for most major brands – at ad awards like Cannes Lions, Eurobest, Clio and others where people with no understanding for how to build an online presence beyond Adobe Flash and cool animations take these monsters to new heights. Back in 2007 I was also a part of building these kind of platforms for major brands but behind closed doors I constantly tried to convince my clients that sticking to these worn out technologies was nothing but stupid.
Let’s take a look at couple of major players and have a quick look at their online presence.
The Online Nike Store
The online store belonging to the worlds leading sports brand. All built in Flash…in 2010
Nike has always been among the first brands to adapt to change. Back in 1999 when I took part in pitching them into Framfab they were even heading the pack.
At first glance it all looks great. The site design is inspired by blogging with that clear and present left hand menu hanging there. But once you start looking deeper it’s a mess. The entire store is built in flash which is just plain stupid. To Nike’s defense [click to continue…]
I am a Swede. We’re not supposed to say we’re good at something. In fact even when others say we’re good we’re not supposed to say that either. We even have a name for it – ‘Jantelagen‘.
But I’m not like other Swedes and on top of that I’m pretty darn proud about the fact that the readers of Microsoft Advertising and Indikats monthly newsletter have named me Swedens most influential authority within the field of digital communication and innovation. Thank you!
Last week rumors started to surface regarding a new tablet about to be launched by Microsoft. The name was Courier and the rumor was a video containing a demonstration of the user interface. At first I thought it was more of an interface bonanza than an actual usable product.
But today I ran into yet another video, this time putting the Courier more into perspective of how it could be used for real. And let me tell you – I WANT THIS THING NOW!.
Isn’t it amazing. Microsoft has been all about Windows, Office and a whole lot of back end functions. Then suddenly they start putting the dollars behind innovation and new shit that makes you go wow. Slowly they’re turning their brand around. Apple better speed up their development of their rumored tablet or else we’ll turn to Microsoft! The war is on!
One last thing I want you all to note – we’re moving beyond OS and interfaces that are integrated over many platforms to instead having OS and interfaces that are optimized for every gadget. This will be the end of Windows Mobile as we know it.
A great site for finding inspiration is Fubiz. Their tagline ‘Daily Doze of Inspiration’ says it all. This morning when I was preparing for a speech on the ‘DNA of Creativity’ next week at an event arranged by Cap & Design, one of Swedens leading design magazine I stumbled on this wonderful video below from Microsoft.
I think the actual behavior in the video is many years ahead due to the fact that the grown up generation simply won’t learn how to use these interfaces. But it’s a real eye opener what lies ahead and I’m sure my kids won’t have a problem once they’re old enough.
About 2 month ago this video below showing the next generation controls for XBOX360 – The Natal – was uploaded to YouTube. It was first showed at the E3 Expo in L.A.
The question is – can the XBOX 360 Natal really be this good. I mean, look at how it senses small arm movements, hands and feets. If it works like this it might very well be the answer to how young people should stop getting fatter. With WII you can fake the movements but with this one I’ll fall down and die after 60 minutes of skateboard gaming.
Whatever. It really gives us a glimpse of whats around the corner. And since it’s on an XBOX360 I can only imagine the campaign possibilities with XBOX Live in the near future.
(Another interesting thing is the fact that XBOX360 kicks ass but it hasn’t really spilled over on the Microsoft brand yet.)
Nr 3 was “Advertising will move into the TV sofa again”. The trend forecast was based on the idea that both Microsoft and Apple will in one way or another integrate their operative systems into the TV before 2012.
The Consumer Electronics Show kicked off yesterday. Opening speaker was Steve Ballmer who took the opportunity to announce that Microsoft will make the beta test version of its new Windows 7 operating system available to the public for download on Friday. Apart from that, Steve kept on coming back to where the future lies for Windows – three focus areas: TV, Computer and Mobile. Mr Ballmer then talked about how Windows would be shaped in the future to fit usage in the TV room.
So the fight continues. I’ve written about Microsoft getting back on Apple a couple of times before. In my first post on the subject I especially commented on the fact that before Microsoft starts to spread the dollars they should take care of their product. Vista just doesn’t do it. According to Gartner only 6% of companies that should have switched to Vista has done so. Apparently Apple thinks the same as they in their latest TVC’s strike down on the fact that Microsoft is throwing money on expensive advertising instead of mending to their product.
Apart from this one they’ve also aired a respons called V Word.
I had a great discussion the other day on this subject with Per Öhlin (MineGoesToEleven). We talked about what was wrong with the Microsoft strategy and what was right with Apples. We came to the conclusion that Apple has everything to win in a war against the market leader and Microsoft has everything to loose. After all, Apple is still the David and Microsoft the Goliath when it comes to implementations.
Today when that new spot came from Apple I thought to myself – what should Microsoft do to get themselves out of this trouble? That could very well be one of the toughest question to answer so I won’t give it a try, but I’ll start and maybe you can continue?
Here’s 12 steps to get out of the Apple vs Microsoft fight.
1. Act as a market leader – go your own way!
Rise above this little quarrel and face it – Microsoft and Apple don’t compare. There’s no use in picking on them, you’ll only come out of the fight as the big brother who beat up his little sister when it actually was her who hit you in the head with a hammer. If they keep on pinching you in the side, do what a smart old brother would have done – ignore them.
2. Stop using celebrities in your advertising.
People should think you’re spreading money in order to advertise your products – not spreading money on celebrities in order to convince people about your products. (Bill Gates not included – he founded the place)
3. Focus on your own advantages
Apple can not be run on any other computers than their own. Yours can be used on the rest (as well as theirs). Microsoft is the most compatible system in the world.
4. Talk about history, today and tomorrow but make sure you make up for it.
Talk about the greatest step of mankind and how they came about because of Microsoft. Tell people stories. (The other day I wrote about Nasa in space, damn if that wasn’t a PC in the background).
5. Go big.
Yes. Apple is slapping you in the face because of your marketing. Well, don’t listen. You need to go big. Yes BIG! Sponsor spaceships, place servers in the deepest oceans, when you shoot photos, don’t shoot them from the top of Mt Everest, make sure you shoot Mt Everest from a satellite and don’t cover Piccadilly Circus – cover London. BIG!
6. Go smart
But also go smart. Use the Internet in a way no other brand ever seen. 50% of your marketing budget should go straight into digital channels. Make sure you kick peoples ass and definitely make sure it makes sense.
7. Listen to Microsoft Advertising
One of the best movies out there that talks about the shift in communication is your own. Look and learn.
8. Go free
The next version of Vista. Give it away. While you’re at it. Buy Spotify and implement free music into every new Vista installation. Heck – thrown in the office suite too. People can use Google Apps anyway.
Get rid of everything that resembles Apple’s glossy slick design. Hire Yves Brehar or someone else with that way of thinking. Establish a new universal tone of voice instead of that ‘all american’ imagery and gradients.
What does Microsoft stand for? Hell if I knew. This has to be very clear. Right now you’re being hit from every corner and your own staff hasn’t got the ammunition to defend themselves. Is quality a part of your position? Then get rid of all those to-much compressed images on all your sites. Get rid of bad copy. Isn’t it? Then make it part of your position. The other fields you have to find out yourselves.
11. Hire Barack Obamas campaign general
These guys know how to turn a country. Put them on your team and turn a world.
12. Rent a movie about Muhammad Ali
You’re the one. You’re the best. You’re the biggest. Get that self confidence back and start kicking ass.
The champion Muhammad Ali doing things his own way.
There’s some suggestions. What’s your thoughts? (I gotta get to bed)
Last year in November at Daytona Sessions I was asked to predict 10 things that would change how we use the Internet in 2012. Number 9 was: Microsoft will compete with Google on it’s home turf – search. As an example I brought forward the idea that the buying of Facebook would lead to a future implementation of Live Search in facebook. Smart, an automatic 150 million reach.
Well, today Mashable reports that “Facebook has just rolled out its implementation of Microsoft Live Search, which allows members of the site to search the Web without leaving the social network”
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According to several blogs, blogs, blogs Microsoft is shutting the Bill Gates & Jerry Seinfeild down before we even got to like the guys. I’ve been writing about this campaign before. This latest campaign from the gigantic PC dragon was heading in one direction now they’re turning in another. New York Times reports Microsoft has [...]
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 [...]
It appears that Microsoft has finally gotten tired of Apple’s Mac & PC TVC cause this little piece must have cost a fortune. Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld seems like the perfect match to actually give Apple a good fight. However, I’m sorry to say this new TVC doesn’t deliver. It even makes Microsoft appear more [...]
This blog is written by Johan Ronnestam. He's widely regarded as one of Sweden’s leading speakers and authorities in the field of modern creative and conceptual thinking and skill of innovating brands and their communication. The readers of Microsoft Indikat has named Johan Swedens most influential authority within digital communication
This blog is written by Johan Ronnestam. He's widely regarded as one of Sweden’s leading speakers and authorities in the field of modern creative and conceptual thinking and skill of innovating brands and their communication. In 2010 the readers of Microsoft Indikat named Johan Swedens most influential authority within digital communication