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'I'm a PC.' Microsoft tackles stereotype in new ad campaign

September 18, 2008 | 11:31 am
I'm a PC ad

After ending its Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld TV commercials, Microsoft today begins rolling out the second phase of its advertising campaign for Windows. The new spots, which will begin airing on TV tonight, play off Apple's "I'm a Mac." "I'm a PC" ad campaign, in which young Mac guy makes older, stuffier PC guy look out of touch and clumsy.

Microsoft is embracing the "I'm a PC" identity with cameos from writer Deepak Chopra, actress Eva Longoria, singer Pharrell Williams and a handful of Microsoft employees, including Sean, pictured above, a software engineer. He is dressed like John Hodgman, the actor who plays the PC in the Apple ads, and gets right to the point when he says, "Hi, I'm a PC.  And I've been turned into a stereotype."

I'm a PC The ad campaign, which Microsoft calls "Life without walls," is part of a broader effort by the Redmond, Wash.-based software company to engage directly with its customers. That's something the company hasn't done as much in recent years, allowing its hardware partners to take the lead.

"Life without walls" is reminiscent of other ad campaigns in which a competitor takes on the message of its rival's marketing, such as Hertz taking on Avis, says the New York Times.

The small bits I've seen ironically echo identity politics ("I'm queer and proud").

Eric Hollreiser, a Microsoft spokesman, said the ad campaign was "about showing a community of 1 billion users and looking at the diversity of people using a PC to connect in a way that doesn't create barriers."

"It tells the Windows story in our own voice and takes back what being a PC is all about," he said.

Power to the PC.

-- Michelle Quinn

I'm a PC ad campaign images by Microsoft

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