10 October 2010
Wednesday/October/13 2010 Filed in: Marketing / Business
Microsoft is an amazing company
For decades Microsoft has produced some of the worst products that money can buy.
Despite that claim to fame, the company markets the most ubiquitous computer operating system there is. And their founder is the richest man on the planet to boot.
But the last ten years haven't been good for Microsoft.
Since Bill Gates turned over the reins to Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's market cap has been eclipsed by that of Apple.
Microsoft was never considered a cool company but now they seem farther from the illusive cool-factor than ever before.
They have a lot riding on the November 8 launch of their new Windows 7 operating system for cellphones.
They've chosen to announce their self-proclaimed game-changer phone with one of the dumbest ads ever, even by Microsoft's low-achiever standards.
Insulting the very people that you're trying to attract is never a good ad strategy.
Apple made this rookie mistake some years ago.
Still basking in the glow of their successful launching of the Macintosh with their 1984 ad, Apple offered this misstep while the 49ers trounced the Dolphins in the 1985 Super Bowl.
But Microsoft has a long track record of insulting prospective customers.
The company's current My Idea campaign plays out like some strange portal into the tortured psyche of Bill Gates. It suggests a somewhere-world in which nerdy people are sexy and attractive to others only in their private delusional fantasies.
But we can't predict the future.
Even though the Windows Phone ad seems woefully misguided from a marketing standpoint, who knows?
If the product meets customer needs it might be the iPhone killer that the company so desperately needs.
But maybe the real advertising ace-in-the-hole for Microsoft is their own top honcho.
Maybe Steve Ballmer's enthusiasm alone is enough to get people to buy the new Windows phone.
What do you think?