Many people have now seen the first “I’m a PC” television ad from Microsoft. (If not, see it here.) And whether or not you believe that the rather sudden transition from the Gates and Seinfeld ads to this new theme is mere coherence to a plan, the overwhelming reaction to the new spot seems to be positive.
What I really liked about the ad was its focus on diversity. Showing people from all walks of life, and from different countries (without being smug about it) is a good message. This really serves as a metaphor for the Windows platform: a diversity of OEMs, of software, of partners and, yes, of users.
In the Mac campaign, most of the spots feature just two people, both white, and both of some celebrity (being Bruce Willis’ side kick doesn’t make you a mega-star, but still…). The ads present a simplistic, dichotomized view of how computers are used in the world: for business and for “cool” stuff. The sub-text is that Windows = corporate = evil.
Now look at the “I’m a PC” spot: numerous people, some white, some of color. An Obama blogger and a McCain broadcaster. Regular people and an intellectual celebrity (Deepak Chopra). People with glasses, who aren’t nerds.
This shows the Windows platform to be democratic, and the Mac platform to be, essentially, elitist (turning the Mac dichotomy on its head…elitism isn’t cool) and dictatorial (in that the platform is so tightly controlled).
And the sub-text there is very important too: dictatorships run smoothly but offer less freedom; democracies offer more opportunity, but sometimes they can be messy. And that’s a good thing.
A world without walls indeed.