Microsoft strikes back at Apple in new ad campaign

Redmond (WA) – Microsoft is digging their heels into Apple’s back in a new advertising campaign. The software giant takes the stance that Apple just can’t continue to price gouge consumers in the much injured economy.

The new ad follows Steve Ballmer’s comments last week which support the idea: “Apple gained about one point, but now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction.” Ballmer added, “The economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment — same piece of hardware — paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that’s a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be.”

The ad war has been ongoing between Apple and Microsoft. The newest commercial is part of a series entitled “Laptop Hunter”, in which the advertising agency Crispin Porter + Boguksy utilized Craigslist and other websites as a recruiting method to find prospective Los Angeles computer shoppers. The individuals were offered anywhere from $700 to $2,000 and told that they could purchase a PC and keep any leftover funds. Microsoft was not mentioned; rather they were under the impression that their work was being completed for a research firm. The incentive of the leftover money gave users reason to search for a computer which packed all of their needs at the lowest price possible.

In the first ad of the series viewers follow “Lauren” on her search for a laptop which offers “speed, a comfortable keyboard and a 17-inch screen,” for $1,000 or less.

Lauren first heads to an Apple store, which she refers to as “the Mac store”. She returns defeated, explaining that she was only given one option under $1,000 and it had a mere 13-inch monitor. She then claims “I’m just not cool enough to be a Mac person.”

The cameras then go with Lauren to Best Buy where she examines a few different laptops and makes the decision to purchase a Hewlett-Packard Windows-based notebook which costs her $699.99. After she makes her purchase Lauren says, “I’m a PC and I got just what I wanted.”

The advertisement, shown below is set to air this week:

This particular ad follows Microsoft’s $300 million ad campaign which was designed to boost the Windows brand following the downward spiral of Internet Explorer and user outrage over Vista. Apple has been portraying Microsoft as lacking and lame in their campaign, fueling Microsoft’s desire to get their customer base back.

The ad campaign definitely boasts and promotes the affordability of Windows-based PCs while simultaneously answering the most recent “I’m a Mac and you’re a PC,” ads which are aired by Apple.

The new campaign follows the first series which included Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, and Jerry Seinfeld, comedian. The two exchanged banner which was considered weird and tough to understand. The company then moved into ads in which individuals and celebrities discussed their life, and stated “I’m a PC.” Microsoft then moved into a campaign entitled “the Rookies” in which children as young as 4 years old upload photos and send them via e-mail to friends and family members displaying the ease of utilizing a Windows PC. [Reason enough for me to buy a Windows-based PC. -Editor]