Things that made me smile at “Real PC” (a.k.a. “I’m a PC”)… versions 1, 2, & 3


“It’s as if millions of voices suddenly cried out…” 

Yep, that’s a fitting quote to describe the blog posts, comments, and email I’ve seen about the “I’m a PC” series.  Millions of voices… all different.

  • “Finally!"  Microsoft is responding back to Apple!”
  • “Microsoft is admitting that their other Seinfeld ads were bad…”
  • “Darn.  I was really looking forward to the next in the Gates/Seinfeld series.”
  • “PC != Windows.  Typical close-minded Microsoft…”

So here we go.  Stuff that made me smile while I watched the ads for the first time:

  1. That “PC” guy?  That’s Sean Siler.  And he’s a real employee at Microsoft.  Yes, he works on  Windows.  IPv6 Networking specifically.
  2. clip_image001To quote one person in the advertising industry, “It takes months to shoot and ad campaign like this…it’s quite laughable to suggest [Microsoft] cooked this up after the Bill & Jerry spots aired.”

    So why did this make me smile?  Well, our campaign has a very long project timeline which is part of what makes the assertion that we ‘dumped Seinfeld’ ridiculous.  This sort of reporting is bell weather indicator of crummy research, or none at all.  A news source inferring that we changed its advertising campaign direction midstream is simply attempting create controversy instead of reporting facts & news.  As one extremely smart person I know put it succinctly:  “They are noise… not signal.”
  3. image“I’m a PC” is a metaphor for real people.  Diverse, widely-varied in thought & opinion, independently-thinking, with a common bond:  We’re all human beings.   And like real societal challenges, some people have issues of incompatibility – but we all evolve & exist for the better because of their differences in thinking, doing, and being.

    It isn’t about pushing ‘elitism’.  It’s about celebrating differences & the incredible strength of loosely coupled diversity.

    What really made me smile about this was the fact that they end capped the ad with Deepak Chopra.  Say what you want about him:  His philosophy on personal well-being and self-assured individuality is quite fitting.

    And by the way, on the topic of things that might make you smile, does anyone else that knows their computer history think we’ve somehow seen this all before?

  4. image The mantra of the “I’m a PC” ad in the “Life without walls” campaign is something that has a real chance to resonate.   Interestingly enough, all of the companies that managed to break into the top 10 spots in “all time best ads” have a very crisp value proposition for the user and that the ad campaigns that got them there delivered a simple message that was easy for everyone to understand and identify with at an emotional level.

    FYI:  The top 10 list includes:

    1. Volkswagen, "Think Small", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1959
    2. Coca-Cola, "The pause that refreshes", D’Arcy Co., 1929
    3. Marlboro, The Marlboro Man, Leo Burnett Co., 1955
    4. Nike, "Just do it", Wieden & Kennedy, 1988
    5. McDonald’s, "You deserve a break today", Needham, Harper & Steers, 1971
    6. DeBeers, "A diamond is forever", N.W. Ayer & Son, 1948
    7. Absolut Vodka, The Absolut Bottle, TBWA, 1981
    8. Miller Lite beer, "Tastes great, less filling", McCann-Erickson Worldwide, 1974
    9. Clairol, Does she…or doesn’t she?", Foote, Cone & Belding, 1957
    10. Avis, "We try harder", Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1963
  5. clip_image002“Life without walls” is going to have some very cool marketing angles.

    One of the themes of Windows is the availability of choice for consumers & businesses alike.   Many hardware manufacturers, software libraries, development tools, online stores… all while sharing a common bond, a common ‘lingua franca’, a small but important set of consistencies that allow people to associate with each other when talking about computers:  A consistent set of drivers, a consistent paradigm for interacting with applications, a consistent means of management, a consistent manner of communicating.

  6. As a life long American geek, it made me proud to have U.S. Astronaut Bernard Harris featured in the ads.  And as a N.E.R.D. fan (going back to when they performed their anthem“Rock Star” as the title theme for Microsoft’s original XBox title “NFL Fever”, having singer/songwriter Pharrell Williams featured was doubly cool.

    And if you’re a green proponent, seeing Edouard Francois, famed green architect should be an exciting sight as it was for me.

  7. I think it would be safe to say that if they’d been watching TV over the past year or so that people might characterize Windows PCs & their users as boring and unhip.  ”I’m a PC” shines sunlight on this perception:  Any sort of attack on PCs would be attacking stereotypically boring and unhip Windows usersStereotyping an entire world of people is not cool and ultimately alienating.
  8. I’m very pleased that the concept of “PC = Windows; Windows = PC” has been repeatedly burned into the minds of millions of people worldwide.  We’re quite grateful for this. 

    Yep.  And as you can see, we’re taking full advantage of this alignment and we look forward to proudly reinforcing this sentiment.  Microsoft Windows is the Personal Computer.

  9. imageDelighted to see the bit with San Antonio Spurs star & 3 time NBA Champion Tony Parker and his wife, Hollywood actress Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives fame.  No offense to Tony, but I was a little more excited by Eva’s participation than his.  I’m sure he understands.

    In fact, from what I understand, Eva practices what she preaches.  She was at the Windows Vista launch party a couple years ago and had some nice photos taken at the Vista press room.  (see the photo to the right, which was one of many taken)

    Just another reason to worship at the altar of the beautiful Eva Longoria.  Tony, you lucky bastard.

  10. imageimage The athlete at the end of “I’m a PC #2” was UFC light heavyweight championship contender Rashad Evans.  (Do NOT call him a “boxer”)  Just 2 weeks ago, Rashad, KTFO’ed famed mixed-martial arts fighter Chuck Liddell with a wicked punch that landed Liddell on the floor in a stunning upset that left the MMA community reeling.

    This lines Rashad up for a bout to regain his light heavyweight crown… and it also explains what Rashad was doing wearing a t-shirt with Bill Gates’ famous police mug shot photo on it as he entered the ring for a fight.

  11. Interesting that some folks in the media are starting to look at our advertisements more carefully.

    Huh. Those Mac Ads Aren’t As Funny Any More.
    by Michael Arrington on September 19, 2008

  12. Some folks are profiting from the “I’m a PC” concept already.

And finally, there’s been a lot of talk about our ads being edited using a Macintosh.  I can’t help but smile at the folks that levy this argument on the “I’m a PC” ads.  Whatever happened to “can’t we all just get along”?  After all, we make software for more than just Windows

…and besides, it would seem as if some folks have forgotten their recent history about a certain store apparently being run on Windows-based products:

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