Windows 7 is out, and along with it a whole new batch of commercials to tell us how great it is. I’m not going to bash Windows 7, which by all accounts seems to be a huge improvement over Windows Vista. However, Microsoft’s advertising department thus far is living down to its reputation.
First, we have the “Good News” series (view it here), which features a young girl narrating her supposed artwork (created using Windows, no less) using “happy words” she has found regarding Windows 7. In short, Microsoft chooses the “cute” avenue to show off their press. But it doesn’t display any of the new features of Windows 7, and completely distracts you from the positive reviews on Windows 7. Moreover, it’s completely not believable. How many kids are creating artwork centered around editorial reviews?
Next, we have the “Windows 7 Was My Idea” (view). Microsoft is a little warmer. At least they’re focusing more on their intended audience, and hinting at the new features of the OS. Yet, overall, these commercials are vague, and you aren’t convinved that these people love or even use Windows 7. Further, who cares whose idea it was, does it do what we need? Yes, I understand they’re trying to say that it’s now meeting the user’s needs. Yet, they miss their mark. Emphasizing cool yet fringe features of the OS like Snap also doesn’t make me want to run out and upgrade.
Finally, we have the newest and best of the bunch, “7 Second Demo” (view). Microsoft is actually putting Windows 7 front and center, by showing several of the new features. This is where they need to go if they’re going to try to undo the damage Vista has caused. Yet these commercials are very quick. You need to see several of them for any lasting impression. So, I have a feeling we will be deluged with these over the next month.
It amazes me how Microsoft continues to get it wrong. Even “PC” people (of which I am one) have to admit that Apple has them beat hands down when it comes to advertising. In fact, there’s already a gang of anti-7 commercials from Mac that are way more convincing than any of the Microsoft commercials. Take “Broken Promises,” for example. Microsoft is going to have to do better than this if they want to make the Vista hangover disappear.
David Kennedy is a software developer and serves as IT administrator for a small business.
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