In this, the most directly anti-Apple ad of Microsoft's 'I'm a PC' campaign, Microsoft sets up an experiment: a focus group of prospective computer shoppers is given a set amount of money—in this case $999—to buy a computer. Any remaining cash the members have they can keep.
Predictably, our perky protagonist, desiring a 17-inch screen, went with a $700 PC from Best Buy. And why not? The 'equivalent' (read: 17-inch) Apple product could have cost her twice as much, and $999 would have left her stuck with a last-gen product anyway. Likewise, if she had listed in her requirements 4GB of RAM, a Blu-ray drive, a built-in card reader, or anything at all that doesn't come stock in a 13-inch white MacBook, she would have had to buy a PC.
Microsoft told the WSJ that not a single focus group member chose a Mac, but even the most devout Apple fanboy could have predicted this outcome; the arbitrary terms of the ad had Apple competing in a market they don't even have a product for. The 'experiment', as it were, doesn't actually prove anything, nor does it need to; this, like any good ad campaign, is about crafting an image for you or your competitors—something it manages deftly in a time when money is on everyone's mind. [BoingBoing Gadgets]
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