Microsoft took another swing at Apple recently with its line of commercials for the Surface Book hybrid laptop. Specifically, the video spots compare the Surface Book to the Macbook Pro.
I first saw this campaign in a commercial with two women known as “The Bug Chicks.”
After one Bug Chick watches another draw a proboscis directly on her Surface Pro screen, she says, “I don’t have a touchscreen on my Mac.”
Microsoft’s second version of this message appeared recently in a spot with photographer Tim Flach. Tim spends a few moments talking about the nature of his photography before quickly moving into a discussion of the Surface Pro’s high resolution display and his ability to physically manipulate photographs using the detachable touchscreen and the Surface stylus. Much like the Bug Chicks he ends the spot by saying, “I can’t do that on my Mac.”
Let’s focus for a moment on the word, “my.” Both video spots use it. In a subtle twist of marketing logic, Microsoft appears to give up the notion that they can turn people completely away from purchasing a Mac. If that were the case, I would expect to hear, “I can’t do that on a Mac,” implying there’s no reason to buy a Mac at all.
Instead, we learn that one Bug Chick works on a Surface Pro while the other owns a Mac. Mr. Flach appears to own both a Mac and a Surface Pro. We see that he uses the Surface for detailed photo editing, but I imagine he might still use his Mac on flights where the Mac’s longer battery life might serve him better. While revolutionary in user interface, the Surface Book has fought problems around battery life and system freezes since its debut.
For those reasons, Microsoft appears to have given up the idea – at least for now – that it can steal marketshare directly from Apple. Instead, its strategic use of grammar in these spots suggests it’s positioning the Surface Book as a “Me, too” device for creative professionals. I’m sure they would never come right out and say that, but their word choice tells a different story.
What story are you telling your customers?
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