Wow. A soon as I saw this new commercial I started wondering if Steve Jobs is reading my blog. This ad is all about marketing and makes the point that Microsoft is spending too much money to advertise Vista and not enough to fix its bugs. Maybe that is true, but the pot is calling the kettle black.
Remember Think different? That was an advertising campaign with the sole purpose of getting people to forget Apple's poor products and cleanse their palette. Apple was dying yet it spent enormous money to set the foundation for the iMac launch. Steve Jobs knows the value of good marketing. He's even arguing (see the previous post) that good marketing - this Mac vs PC campaign as an example - is part of the reason for Apple's success. Yet why point fingers at Microsoft when they try the same?
Here is the reason. Marketing is more important then ever for selling technology products that consumers use. The product can have flaws (show me an Apple product that doesn't) but the marketing can often make people forgive them. And in our Web 2.0 world, good marketing is all about good buzz. Apple has it. Steve wants to keep Microsoft from getting it. Poking fun at Microsoft's poor advertising is one way to do that. Give folks who don't know what type of computer they may buy someday some reason NOT to buy Vista. That fear/uncertainty/doubt opens the door to Apple.
But Apple has to be the happy alternative. They can't get too negative with their advertising. They have to make people like them. The PC is a guy you like to hate. The Mac guy has to be the one you like to love.
Update: Apple now directly attacks Microsoft's marketing department for Vista's big, expensive campaign. I was smiling while watching it, but that was probably because you never hear the word marketing in a television commercial ;) Watch the video.