Microsoft commercial concedes Macs are sexy

Microsoft has launched another commercial attacking Apple products – and this time it’s gone straight for the jugular.

Last week’s initial ad featured a shopper who said they couldn’t find a Mac to meet their budget and mocked the cool image the firm has among shoppers.

The follow-up is even more to the point. This time the shopper, Giampolo, looks at a Mac and exclaims “This is so sexy!” But having already established he is “tech-savvy” and wants to customize his machine, he concludes “Macs to me are all about aesthetics more than they are the computing power. I don’t want to pay for the brand, I want to pay for the computer.” Here is the ad:

As with the first ad, the shopper winds up buying an HP laptop which he says fits the brief; the concept of the ads is that if a shopper finds any brand of computer which does so within budget, Microsoft picks up the tab.

Several Apple supporters have already taken issue with the claims, arguing that the machine Giampolo chose has a pretty ropey battery life and is very bulky given he was looking for portability.

It’s also intriguing that a shopper who touts themselves as tech-savvy appears not to have investigated the possibility of getting a Linux-based laptop, which would free up some cash to upgrade the hardware. Then again, that may not be the easiest task for someone looking in mainstream stores.

While Microsoft execs have attacked Apple as favoring style over substance before, it’s rare that their marketing would flat out acknowledge a strength of a rival – the eyecatching design of a MacBook – even if it then attacks the product’s other characteristics.

But the big problem with the ads are that, no matter how genuine the exercise may have been, many viewers will assume there is some manipulation involved. Indeed, even if one of the independent shoppers had wound up choosing a Mac, is there really any prospect of their experience making the airwaves?