Friday, December 19, 2008

Famous Rob's Review of 2008 Part Two

Sometimes brands get stuck in their way of doing things, and often advertisers get pulled into that trap. This award is for those who have taken big steps towards freeing their brand from bad ads...


Winner - Microsoft

Traditionally Microsoft have been the butt of every Mac owners jokes, and also of PC owners jokes. Their branding and packaging has been at best boring, and at worst diabolical.

Over the past few years though they have made big strides, and this year saw two campaigns that really demonstrate a change in the M$ behemoth.

The ads with Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld didn't change the world, but it really boldly pushed Microsoft into a new territory. Self parody is dangerous, but they struck the fine line well.

(US version, can't see the UK cut)

Then they followed with a more upfront ad, but one that actually makes Apple look a little like the bad guy. It almost reminds me of 'being number 2' (as someone, possibly Northern said this year), Microsoft speaking from second place; a remarkable change to what has come before.

I'd love to think that this will continue, and that Microsoft will keep developing in the right direction.

Runner Up - Toshiba

One brilliant ad, compared to... erm I can't remember anything else they have done since ello Tosh. A dull safe brand brought bang up to date in a few weeks. That's an improvement I like. Also shows good progress at Grey, which is more good news.

Runner Up - Tango

BBH, as good as they are; have always struggled to make Tango ads live up to the quality of what HHCL did. It's always lived in the shadow of slaps and blackcurrant patriotism.

Not anymore. BBH have embraced their inner orange man and woken up a dying brand with the wonderful Save Tango campaign.

Welcome back Tango. Can Fist!


Age said...

Really liking these wrap ups. God that ad with Jason Donovan in it is AWFUL!!!

Great stuff Rob.

George said...

"one that actually makes Apple look a little like the bad guy"

Eh..for what? Pointing out the obvious flaws with their competitors product in a clever, well executed series of long running adds? And MS counter with what? First they spunk a shed on some unintelligent gibberish which they immediately pull because they don't even have the courage of their convictions then replace that by apping apple's line while whining "I'm a PC and I wear glasses" way to sell a USP. Not!

Rob Mortimer said...

Haha, well defended George.

Yes they did that, and yes they were well executed. But they did an un-apple thing and started to actively put ALL pc users into certain boxes, which is the kind of stereotyping you'd expect from MS.
And for once MS were clever enough to look at Apple and reply with something that actually showed up Apple's thinking as being (a little) patronising and insulting.

But Microsoft don't need to sell their USP all the time. You know what they do and how you use it; they needed to do something to stop Apple looking like the better choice for computers (which it is, but thats besides the point).

As for the Seinfeld ads, well they didn't work out particularly; but they did at least show people that this uber-godzilla like organisation was starting to listen to the bad things people said about it, willing to stop taking itself quite so seriously.

I know you are biased George, and I don't think its a clear victory by any means; but they have managed to put a couple of scratched onto the clean veneer of Apple. And as any ipod owner knows... they never come out.

Dodfaefife said...

Ha. True enough mate. True enough.