Vista advertising: Not selling Microsoft's value
by Matt Asay
Nothing could be more confusing. Or annoying.
It's like the ad agency was desperate to be like a Wes Anderson film (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, etc.), and failed miserably to capture his genius. Or even his worst moments.
Bill Gates did a poor job of pitching Vista to Newsweek readers. Now the entire company seems intent on lobotomizing the world into buying Vista through sheer, relentless inanity. (You can watch one of the TV spots here).
I've seen Vista running. It's very pretty. I've talked with some Microsofties who describe how easily it discovers networks and devices on the network (printers, etc.). It's supposed to be dramatically more secure and stable than any Windows Microsoft has ever shipped. I believe it.
But this message doesn't convey these benefits. Nor do the TV spots that talk about clutter. Vista helps cut through clutter, sure, with improved search and other means. But this is not a message that will win over my parents, at whom the TV ads seem to be targeted. "We used to be a business thing, and now we love consumers" might be one way to describe the marketing message(s). As for the Clearification site, I can only guess that I'm the target audience and that they have overestimated my attention span and underestimated my IQ, if only be a few points.
Microsoft: you have developed a cool new product. This is not the way to market it. Maybe it doesn't matter, since the entire known universe has already bought into Windows, but I can't see how these commercials will make people want to upgrade.
You have undersold Vista's value.
No... *you* are over-selling it... I wasted an entire day trying to help a co-worker get her new HP Vista with touchscreen and other gadgets to see the office printer... NO luck at all with this POS... Another Vista machine could not see that printer either; but it could see the ghostscript/redmon front end I installed on the server.
NO ONE LIKES MARKETING PEOPLE
|You can't advertise what you don't have!|