This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Microsoft's Ad Blitz Targets Wrong Enemy

REDMOND, Wash. (TheStreet) -- Within the last year, Microsoft (MSFT) has been Jerry Seinfeld's pal, a PC, a party planner and a 4-year-old girl. It has been a costly identity crisis.

It has also been a long 18 months of ad wars that's only intensifying with Windows 7's launch on Oct. 22. In July 2008, after Microsoft and its embattled Windows Vista operating system suffered no small degree of public humiliation from Apple's (AAPL) "Get a Mac" ads, Microsoft's vice president of Windows consumer marketing Brad Brooks took the stage at the company's worldwide partner conference and said the company wanted to "take back its name and take back its brand again." According to TNS Media Intelligence, the company spent $470 million on advertising the following fiscal year attempting to do that.

The effort included more than $305 million on television commercials produced by ad firm Crispin, Porter and Bogusky, including the "I'm a PC" spots featuring hip-hop star Pharell Williams; "Laptop Hunter" ads that focused on the price disparity between Apple hardware and Windows-laden competitors (resulting in an Apple objection); and "Kylie" ads featuring a 4-year-old girl making photo editing look simple.

Despite holding more than 90% of the operating system market and limiting Apple's share of the PC market to 8.7%, according to Gartner, Microsoft outspent Apple's $214 million ad budget for the same period and doubled its rival's TV spending in the last two quarters. Months later, the question of "why" remains.

"People look at this and say it's positioning versus Apple," Brooks says. "The reality is, nope, it's going out and building brand loyalty and pride around the brand."

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,960.57 -123.23 -0.72%
S&P 500 1,978.34 -9.64 -0.48%
NASDAQ 4,449.5640 -22.5440 -0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs