I'm a PC

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Sean Siler, an actual Microsoft employee featured in the ad campaign
Meaghan identifying herself as a PC user while underwater in a shark cage

"I'm a PC" is the title for a television advertising campaign created for Microsoft by ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CPB). The series first began to appear in September, 2008.[1][2] The new series of commercials replace those that featured the pairing of Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates.

The $300 million advertising campaign was designed to challenge Apple's Get a Mac campaign by showing everyday people to be PC users.[3]

Campaign[edit]

The ad series features prominent and popular individuals saying "I'm a PC" and has appearances by common international users as well as personalities such as writer Deepak Chopra, mixed martial artist Rashad Evans, actress Eva Longoria, photographer Geoff Green and singer Pharrell Williams.

The campaign was created by the CPB advertising agency and exhibited normal PC users to be found everywhere. It was the second phase of Microsoft's 2008 efforts to displace the ubiquity of Apple's "Get a Mac" ads, which portrayed the Mac as "cool and intuitive" and the PC as "boring and clunky".[3] The Microsoft spots typically opened with an image of Sean Siler,[4] an actual Microsoft employee stating lines such as "I'm a PC, and I've been made into a stereotype" and "I'm a PC, and I am not alone."

The composition was initially made to resemble that of the Apple campaign, as Siler resembles John Hodgman, the "PC" counterpart to Justin Long as a Mac in the Apple commercials.[2][5]

The advertisements are also interspersed with various non-famous users who proclaim "I'm a PC" from a variety of places and in a number of methods. The intent is to demonstrate how PC users are ordinary people.[6]

Windows 7[edit]

Since the release of Windows 7, Microsoft has aired several advertisements under this campaign demonstrating the features of their new operating system. The ads typically focus on one person and end with the tagline "I'm a PC and Windows 7 was my idea."

Criticism[edit]

Criticism of Microsoft's press site for the campaign, mostly found on Internet technology portals and blogs, focused around the allegation that the four still images of the campaign posted at the site contained digital fingerprints from Adobe Photoshop being run on Apple computers.[2]

The link between the advertisements and Apple computers was initially noted by a Flickr user[7] who found traces of Apple's operating system and Adobe's CS3 graphics program embedded within the officially released images. Computerworld published similar findings, noting when the file properties of the images found at the Microsoft press site are examined the embedded string 'Adobe Photoshop CS3 Macintosh' can be seen.[2] According to an InformationWeek blog Microsoft responded overnight by digitally scrubbing the metadata from the images.[3][8]

In an official press release Microsoft responded to the criticism, stating "as is common in almost all campaign workflow, agencies and production houses use a wide variety of software and hardware to create, edit, and distribute content, including both Macs and PCs".[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carlson, Nicholas (19 September 2008). "Microsoft's new "I'm a PC" commercials want you to "Think Different"". Vallywag. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  2. ^ a b c d Microsoft's 'I'm a PC' ad images made on Macs, By Gregg Keizer, Computerworld (Republished on PC World, September 20, 2008)
  3. ^ a b c d 'I'm a PC' made on a Mac, by Asher Moses, The Sydney Morning Herald, September 24, 2008 (duplicate on thevine.com.au)
  4. ^ So What's Up With That New 'I'm a PC' Guy, Anyway?, By Mark Wilson, Gizmodo, September 19, 2008
  5. ^ Magazine: Microsoft ad uses Mac software, United Press International
  6. ^ 'I'm a PC' ad pictures made on a Mac, (MacNN.com)
  7. ^ I'm a PC, Made on a Mac, by Tim Beyers, Motley Fool, September 22, 2008
  8. ^ 'I'm A PC' Made On A Mac by Dave Methvin InformationWeek blog 21 September 2008