Paul Thurrott: Microsoft Ads Are Goodness and Light, Apple Ads Are Evil


Paul Thurrott will never get over Apple’s great Get a Mac ad campaign. His latest article takes a shot at them while pretending Microsoft somehow got their own ads right.

About a year ago, Microsoft finally began fighting back against the snarky Apple “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads…

That would be the highly praised, very successful, brilliantly executed, well-written and multiple award-winning ads. Carry on.

with a series of its own advertisements which highlighted the diversity of the PC market.

Simply dubbed “I’m a PC,” the advertising campaign is still a huge hit, and virtually everyone who sees these ads is taken by how nice they are.

They were never a “hit”. They were mostly ridiculed for missing the fact that the characters in Apple’s ads are a personified “Mac” and “PC”, not actual people labeling themselves one or the other. Poor Microsoft. It’s hard to fight back against that which you don’t understand.

Unlike Apple’s sarcastic, borderline libelous advertising

“Borderline libelous” being exactly the same as “not libelous”. It’s the use of weasel words by Thurrott to appear to call Apple out for doing something they’re not doing.

Now with Windows 7 rising like a phoenix over the horizon…

A rare moment of honestly by Thurrott. He admits Vista burned Microsoft to ashes.

Microsoft is back with a new set of ads, this time based around its next OS. As with its previous ads, the Windows 7 ads are a welcome shot of positive vibes.

He points to the two new ads with 4-year-old Kylie (she’s probably 5 by now). If you haven’t seen them, look here and here.

They’re cute, funny, and relevant.

Cute? Definitely. Kylie is adorable. Funny? Only in that Microsoft thinks we should take OS advice from a kindergartner. Relevant? To what? Certainly not an OS comparison.

The Kylie ads ultimately use pull quotes from various reviews to sell Windows 7. You know, just like movie ads use selective pull quotes from movie reviewers. Problem is, when you actually see the flick you find out it stinks.

And they once again make Apple, and its own ads, look silly by comparison.

Hardly. Microsoft did two things wrong. First, using a child to sell technology is stupid. I’ve written before about Microsoft resorting to using children — who can’t possibly know any better — to hawk their wares. Now they’re at it again, apparently because without Kylie they’ve got nothing. But they’re not selling Kylie, they’re selling Windows 7, which Kylie doesn’t know from the Fisher Price OS.

And for all Thurrott’s claims of “snarky” and “borderline libelous”, where’s his rant about how no kindergartner in existence is searching the Internet for Windows 7 reviews and making slideshows out of pull quotes from those reviews?

Apple uses intelligent writing, wit, and sarcasm, delivered by adults, while focusing on the differences between the two platforms. Microsoft uses bunnies, flowers, unicorns, and a child to spew quotes containing words she can’t pronounce, much less understand. Maybe Microsoft thinks the use of a child’s ignorance is just what they need, but I know how I prefer my technology sold.

7 thoughts on “Paul Thurrott: Microsoft Ads Are Goodness and Light, Apple Ads Are Evil

  1. Tom, nice post, but you’re giving attention to someone who deserves no such attention. He’s commonly understood to be an ignorant shill. I know a few Windows enthusiasts who cringe when you site Thurrott as a source for a quote. He’s not even respected amongst his own community.

    With that said, regarding “borderline libelous” campaigns, was it Apple or Microsoft who was recently forced to change their add due to incorrect claims made? If memory serves, that was Microsoft’s laptop hunter ads.

  2. I liked the commentator (can’t remember where I saw it) who said that you know that Microsoft is in trouble when its main product is reduced to bunnies, rainbows and unicorns painted by a 5 year old.

  3. And yet another ironically tragic choice of Launch Music: “The Final Countdown”.
    Ummmm…. does MS’s ad agency know it’s about the coming end of civilization through nuclear war?

    You make a grown man cry…..

    Dave in Phila

  4. “It is simply amazing how Thurrott can so blatantly be a shill for MSFT.”

    They ALL are. Everybody at PCWorld and Information Week all know who’s stuffing the cash in their greasy hands for some positive reviews. Same with Win7. Win7 basically gets you back– almost– to Win XP levels of performance and adds some eye candy. It still isn’t UNIX. It still isn’t secure. It still doesn’t multitask like a real, adult OS. Yet, to Thurott and his ilk it’s the “Promised Land”.

  5. Great post.

    I’ll take my rare exposure to Thurrott through yours and other’s counter arguments, thanks.

    I can’t stand Thurrott’s disingenuousness and only take interest in order to remain informed of the FUD and deliberate ignorance that Windows users induce on themselves.

  6. It is simply amazing how Thurrott can so blatantly be a shill for MSFT. It’s embarrassing. If Windows 7 is so great and wonderful I am sure MSFT could advertise it on its merits, not some kid who, as you say, doesn’t know better. The future of MSFT being led by a 5-year-old? Really? This is great and wonderful? Only when you’re a shill. And let’s not even talk about how horribly gut-wrenching the “Windows 7 party” ad was to watch. Ugh. Bad, desperate actors pitching a lame OS. MSFT must really be completely incompetent when it comes to advertising. Utterly incompetent.

    Great article.

  7. As for Paul Thurrott, ‘Unlike his ‘sarcastic’ and ‘snarky’ and ‘borderline libelous posts’, I find that you, ‘once again make him, and his own writing, look silly by comparison!’

    Keep up the great writing Tom, because your the one man that makes Paul look like a boy in comparison.

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