In a lengthy new report, New York Times scribe Devin Leonard goes into the trenches to cover the escalating “ad war” between Apple and Microsoft, getting in-depth perspective from both TBWA\Chiat\Day and Crispin as well as a quote from former McCann CD Jeff Musser, who says Microsoft “never really seemed to get marketing” and that Vista was “a bad product.”
But with his piece, Leonard is looking to show the recent marketing emergence of/rebuttal from the Redmond, WA monolith, who after spending 71% less on ads than Apple in ’08, has dropped around $163 million on spots in just the first six months of this year.
Still, while Leonard touches on other points including the cultural differences in advertising between the two sparring brands, one of the more interesting implications from the article is that Crispin and MS are on some of sort of revenge marketing kick when it comes to Apple. Crispin ECD Rob Reilly even tells the NYT, “As the tone of their campaign became more and more negative, we were like, ‘We gotta do something.'” But was TBWA and Apple even targeting Microsoft directly with their continuing “Get a Mac” campaign to begin with? Even if they are or aren’t, why would MS waste ad dollars attacking a brand whose Macs are accessible to Microsoft products?
Now, with both brands gearing up for a fall ad blitz, it looks like it’s too little too late to raise these questions.