The new Microsoft ad campaign has been unfolding over the last few weeks, and it's seen its share of criticism. The campaign has come in two waves. The first set, a few odd early commercials showing Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates hanging out together, lasted only a week or so.
The second wave swapped Jerry Seinfeld out for a series of short snippets of a broad collection of people stating "I'm a PC" - everyone from a random teacher in a 3rd world country, to Eva Longoria.
The Gates / Seinfeld commercials were a bad start - for the most part, they weren't funny (although the last line when Seinfeld asks for a sign from Gates that there's something new coming to Windows could maybe have been funny packaged differently). Worse, though, they almost made it seem like Windows was for rich people that don't get the real world. They even said that they need to spend time with regular families to understand them. It's not that they are elitist, they're just out of touch.
The new commercials, however, to be me accomplish exactly what I think they need to - they take back ownership of the now common phrases that Apple coined "I'm a PC", and they position Apple as the company that has thinks too highly of itself. And that in a subtle sort of way hits home because I desperately want a Mac, every time I see someone at Starbucks that seems to have a cooler computer and looks like they're enjoying it more.
If it really is because they are better computers, that's one thing. But if it's because I am jealous of the image, the cool factor, the elite, the step up from the regular people who use PC's, then I've bought into the "I'm a Mac" image, the Apple culture, and I'm getting ready to pay a 50% mark up on a laptop just to have it.
If the new Windows commercials can make me feel like it's not wrong to be the every day person, if they start to make me turn a more critical eye towards the elitist Mac cult, then I'll start to second guess paying a premium for Mac products (which I am as of late). Breaking down this yearning for a Mac, reminding us that it's ok to be a PC user, is exactly waht the new Microsoft ads need to achieve.