October 12, 2010
Add me to the viewers a bit perplexed by Microsoft’s ad campaign for its new Windows Phone 7, which comes out next month.
A pair of video ads tell the audience to buy the Windows Phone so they won’t have to use their phone as much. “It’s time for a phone to save us from our phones,” the ads intone.
That message makes sense if you’re selling something that makes mundane or annoying chores easier. A razor that shaves so close you can skip a day. Or a lawn mower that cuts grass by itself.
But this tact misses the mark when it comes to cell phones. Most people like to use their phones. They want their new phone to do more than their old one. From what I see every day, a lot of people want to spend more time with their electronic toys, not less.
Microsoft is betting big on the Windows Phone. Many industry observers say it’s the company’s last shot to stake out a sizable share of the cell phone market.
I see the challenge for Microsoft to thread the needle between Apple’s iPhone and Google-based Android phones. There’s not a lot of room left. So Microsoft is playing to the crowd that wants an easy-to-use phone.
It’s not necessarily a bad a strategy. God knows phones some smart phones can be a pain to master. But the $100 million Windows Phone 7 ad campaign pushes the message too far. The ads, which ridicule the countless ways we demonstate our phone addictions, end up making fun of the target consumer.
The ads are beautifully shot. But the message obliterates the target.