Ads: Microsoft vs. Apple
Recently both Apple and Microsoft have released ads that are pretty powerful for different reasons.
I think this ad is very well done. It's one of my favorites from the super bowl by far.
The ad features many emotional cues, like the little Korean girl seeing her father on her TV or a woman hearing for the first time. It also creates a great sense of inspiration. It's saying "We as a species have accomplished all these awesome things because of technology". The branding here is pretty good. They try to show Microsoft products in the ad whenever possible, and kind of slap their image onto this whole technology-is-awesome vibe.
Apple's new iPad Air commercial features Robin Williams reading a famous line from Dead Poets Society.
This ad is beautifully done. I think the imagery is beautifully art directed and shot. They do a good job of creating a sense of artistic and cultural harmony. It's beautifully done, and the quote is aptly applied. Personally I'm more of a fan of Android than iOS but still, this ad does a brilliant job of branding. They use a blatant lifestyle appeal in this ad, but it's edgy, it's gorgeous. it's well crafted, and it's exactly what you'd expect coming out of Apple.
The name of the game is branding. I think both spots do a great job of branding. They're both successful for different reasons.
I think the Apple spot is more successful in a vague sense of branding. It has an interesting effect. This branding shows Apple as kind of edgy, well-designed, and (almost) bohemian. It showcases a lifestyle. The Apple lifestyle. This lifestyle branding is more powerful than we may think. This type of ad with strong and well-crafted branding has been proven to add a sort of cool-factor to brands. This is definitely 100% true in Apple's case, and that's why this branding is spot on.
The Microsoft ad does a great job of branding in a more humble, but less profound way. In this ad they've basically branded themselves as the operating system on which you just get things accomplished. Giving deaf humans the ability to hear? Check. Helping ALS victims like Steve Gleason and Stephen Hawking speak and be productive members of society? Check.
Overall these ads do a great job of branding, and the differences in branding may be nuanced (or not) but they do make a difference. Personally I prefer the Microsoft ad, yet there is something to be said for the beauty and execution of the Apple spot.
Although I love Mac OSX I do predict that Apple may lose the edge they've had over Microsoft. Yet that is an entirely different conversation and may not be due to branding...
Thanks for reading!