Four reasons why Microsoft advertising sucks

Microsoft advertising is never great. The last “Windows 7 was my idea” campaign frequently saw me hurling abuse at the TV.

The latest campaign is even worse and represents not only poor creative, but also poor planning, at their lowest.

Let me start by showing you the advert. (If you can’t bear to watch any of them, skip down the page to read the rest of the post)

And now, let me show you the second advert, also on Youtube.

As if those weren’t bad enough, let me show you the third ad, also streamed from Youtube.

Here are the reasons why these ads suck.

1 – “Reality advertising”

Really? Does anyone ACTUALLY believe that ads like this were filmed with a real person who is really surprised that their house has been made over?

Did you notice the near identical gasps at circa 11 seconds in?

At 24 seconds, two of the commercials feature the line “I like this one”.

Granted, the timing is down to the editing but, really? (Can you hear the incredulity in my artful use of italics?)

Near identical scripts, same faked reaction.


(Serves Microsoft right for uploading all three to Youtube for geeks like me to compare and contrast. That’s just a mistake at the best of times, let alone when your creative is so weak)

2 – Gender stereotyping

I find it hard to believe that women are the only ones that don’t update their PCs.

(Ironically, as I sat down to write this post, this website popped up on Twitter – 25 of the most sexist ads in existence. Perfect timing)

So Microsoft are going after the female pound. There’s probably a lot of research that went into this, but it just feels wrong and somehow condescending.

3 – Global recession anyone?

You can’t bring up a news site at the moment without reading something about the dodgy state of the US, and hence the World, economy.

Associated Press released a piece only this morning about the massive jitters in the stock market and the shoddy state of economic growth.

I’m willing to wager that anyone who has even the mildest concern about the future of their job (me included), isn’t going to be thinking about updating their PC right now.

Yes, this might just be bad timing, but if I were Microsoft, I’d have aired something a little different.

4 – Obsolescence

Thank you, Microsoft, for reminding us how short your product life-cycle is.

Really appreciate that one.

In fact, here’s some free, technical advice.

If you think your PC is ‘good enough’ for what you need it for, it probably is.

If it’s a bit on the slow side, copy all of your photos and documents off onto an external drive, reformat the hard drive and reinstall your existing operating system. (Sounds scary, but it’s actually quite simple).

You’ll notice a massive difference immediately, without having the expense of buying something new. (After all, you’ll have to copy off all of your documents etc anyway for the new build and install all of your software again).

So that’s it. Ranting over. Have I been too hard on the software giant, or not hard enough? Let me know!


5 thoughts on “Four reasons why Microsoft advertising sucks

  1. Pingback: The Magic Bullet of advertising « interacter

  2. Pingback: Microsoft’s latest offering leaves me praying for the Blue Screen of Death. « interacter

  3. I think your being to kind to their ad firm.

    Example: At CES Ben the PC Guy had a contest that challenged others to perform common tasks. Long story short he smoked 88% of the competition. Awesome videos were captured but none of this made it beyond the web.

    Critical real life advertising opportunity lost when it would make an AWESOME anti Apple ad for Windows Phone.

    I own stock in Microsoft and I know their products very well. Their ads suck and they need a new approach!!!

    • Pity, Robert – that would have made for some interesting ad content…

      Perhaps it will appear one day – but I suspect not on TV. Is it circulating around on Youtube?

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