With CP+B’s Help, Microsoft Plays To Its Masses

Dave Knox, a brand manager at P&G, says, “I think the ‘I’m a PC’ campaign is a brilliant move by Microsoft to shore up Middle America…The new Microsoft ads work because they focus on what brings us together instead of what sets us apart.”
That’s an interesting take, especially at a time when politicians are scrambling to do the same. Again, I’ll ask (rhetorically) why more political campaigns don’t employ general market agencies.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Why is MS focusing on trying to be hip or cool? MS isn’t about that at all…it’s about glueyness. Huh? Forgive me: http://www.postadvertisingage.com/post/2008/09/24/Microsoft-Is-the-Glue2c-Not-the-Cool.aspx

  2. It’s far away from groundbreaking work. But it’s human. In fact, everything Crispin has done thus far for Microsoft has been humanizing. So, they’re executing against that strategy, which seems sound to me. My guess is the Boulder-Miami contingent can go far with this concept, once the Seattle suits let them. But that takes time, and trust.

  3. Dear Bill,
    let’s start a conversation while you carry the groceries.
    i wear glasses but i switched to a mac. i am 49 and don’t have bifocals yet. I keep on thinking the ergonomics built into my mac, including caring about my eyesight (cause i noticed an ease on my eyes when working long hours with graphics after i switched years ago), well maybe it doesn’t matter what i am (mac or pc) but who cares about me or better if i feel like they care about me.
    anyway, good luck with the campaign going on and on, bill. like David said: trust!
    alex, i don’t envy you. But from what i heard your eyes may be in good shape still. what kind of ergonomics keeps you young? Between the two of us… tell me does bill ever use a macbookpro or macbook air?

  4. Re: political campaigns. Maybe general market shops think the work is beneath them.

  5. Nothing’s beneath anyone in this biz, as long as it pays well.

  6. I think there’s a need to believe in experts.
    Especially where there’s no right answer.
    So a place that bills itself as a political ad firm will seem to know the territory better than a general ad firm.
    They’ll likely do a better job of talking the talk too and have connections and whatnot.
    Politicians don’t know from ad agencies so they’ll go with a recommendation which is usually a political ad firm.
    Which is too bad, because as you note, those firms rarely do anything stellar.

  7. I always bristle at the agency silo structure and category experience question. If you can persuade people to like Product X, it stands that you might also be good at marketing Service Y.
    The expertise brands really need is in the area of persuasion, not in their specific industry. An agency can learn an industry, but the arts of persuasion don’t come as easily.