Microsoft will begin firing its marketing artillery against Apple starting September 4 in an effort to derail Apple’s campaign to create of Mac computers as being cool and Vista PCs being failures. The ads will feature a "Windows, Not Walls" tagline and are expected to highlight Vista’s openness and criticize Apple’s integrated business model approach that leaves very little room for user requests. Jerry Seinfeld will add a touch of Hollywood, for which Microsoft reportedly paid $10 million.
The new ads are part of Microsoft’s $300 million advertising campaign created to repair a damaged public image of the Windows Vista operating system. It is considered to be one of the largest marketing campaigns in Microsoft’s history, which is believed to have been brought up by CEO Steve Ballmer. In a leaked memo, Ballmer informed his troops that the release of Vista SP1 enabled Microsoft to launch a new campaign. "Now it’s time to tell our story," he wrote to Microsoft employees. "In the weeks ahead, we’ll launch a campaign to address any lingering doubts our customers may have about Windows Vista."
According to the Wall Street Journal, the campaign will stress "breaking down barriers that prevent people and ideas from connecting." It is also expected to address the Zune music player and the perception that it is a failure. Apparently, Microsoft was considering many celebrity comedians, among them Chris Rock and Will Ferrell, but choose Jerry Seinfeld who is best-known for his sitcom.
We can’t wait see what a $10 million pay and many more millions in marketing funds can deliver and hope that we don’t see simply payback in the fashion of Apple’s Mac vs. PC commercials (a compilation can be found here) that, admittedly, can be considered to be insulting. We still remember the fantastic Windows 95 commercial and while we believe that Microsoft taking aim at Apple will not hurt, it surely would be nice to see Microsoft choosing that path again as well.