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Microsoft ads take aim at Mac prices

updated 09:15 pm EDT, Thu March 26, 2009

Microsoft ads target Macs

Microsoft has released a new series of ads that takes aim at Macs, specifically regarding features versus pricing compared to Windows machines. The company hired Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the ad agency behind the commercials featuring Gates and Seinfeld, to pose as a research firm that recruited unsuspecting people into a mock study, according to the Associated Press. If the volunteers could find a computer meeting certain criteria and within budgets ranging from $700 to $2000, they could keep the system.

The first commercial in the series features a college grad named Lauren who goes hunting for a 17-inch notebook with a comfortable keyboard, but with a budget of $1000. The first location she appears to stop is an Apple Store, but the scene quickly switches to her walking right back out and explaining that the only sub-$1000 notebook provided a 13-inch screen. "I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person," she says.

Lauren then stops by Best Buy where she finds several systems with 17-inch screens and below the $1000 mark, including an HP system that she decides to purchase for $700.

Microsoft argues that some of the volunteers did have an opportunity to get a Mac within their respective budgets. Lauren, however, did not have the option to find any Mac that fit Microsoft's criteria, as Apple simply does not make a 17-inch notebook for under $1000.

The ad did not go into any details about the hardware specs of the HP notebook, aside from the screen size. It is also unknown if the volunteers were specifically selected for the program only after offering criteria and budgets unlikely to fit Mac systems, or if they were lead in a certain direction by the ad agency staff.

Brad Brooks, a Windows marketing executive, claims the participants weren't told they would appear in a Microsoft ad until after the shopping was completed. He said that Lauren, a member of the Screen Actors Guild, responded with "screaming, yelling, jumping up and down, high fives, thumbs up" after learning she could be featured in a commercial spot.

<a href="" target="_new" title="Laptop Hunters $1000 - Lauren Gets an HP Pavilion">Video: Laptop Hunters $1000 - Lauren Gets an HP Pavilion</a>

By Electronista Staff
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  1. greenG4

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Aug 2002



    For those that buy only based off numbers, this commercial may actually have a small effect. Also, why would anyone hire an ad company after they made a bomb of a commercial that simply flushed millions down the toilet?

  1. gkroeger

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2008



    Dodge ads take aim at BMW prices

  1. Constable Odo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007


    Well, they got Apple

    on that one, though I wonder how well-equipped the model she got was. I suppose if you only have a certain amount of money and you're looking for a particular product, you're locked out of buying an Apple computer. I hope she's satisfied in the long run with what she got since she wasn't focused on long-term usage just initial price.

  1. dogzilla

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Sep 1999



    She's a "real person", right? I say Apple's ad agency (or this site) follows up with her in 6 months and sees how happy she is with her purchase. I mean, it'd be pretty hard to be unhappy with a free computer, but it would be an interesting exercise.

  1. joeobinary

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009


    Take Two, Action!

    "Brad Brooks, a Windows marketing executive, claims the participants weren't told they would appear in a Microsoft ad until after the shopping was completed."

    Oh I don't know Brad - the script, NDA, wardrobe, make-up and cameras would've been a dead giveaway to me.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    Apples to apples...?

    ...when I tweeked a Dell order to match my 17" MBP it came within $150 in basic plastic without iLife or the beauty of a mac interface...

  1. conavarro

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009



    in the commercial they say Mac Store...if you're going to go after Apple, at least do it right. Besides, the guys at the Ad Agency all have Macbook Airs.

  1. handydan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2001


    Spyware is free

    like another post earlier, I too would love to see how happy she is when she finds out she needs to restore her "pc" after all the bugs catch up to her. And also hey bonus, the c*** ware is free! Good luck Lauren

  1. ottopia

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009


    Watch the body language…

    I found it very amusing for a Microsoft Ad, she tries to buy a Mac first, and is disappointed that she can't get one.

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    17" 2.4 MHZ 6 Cell Batt..

    do the math. She gets what she deserves.

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