A Couple of days ago, Microsoft launched its new Ad campaign with two ads. Second ad is pretty much the same as the first, but is this really the message from Microsoft? There is a person claiming to be looking for a laptop, they are then given the great opportunity to look for a laptop and if they can find one to their liking for under a certain amount, Microsoft will pony up the cash and buy it for them.

Sounds simple enough right? It is a pretty neat counter to all of the PC bashing ads from Apple [remember all the I’m a Mac ones] except for one thing; it has gotten out that the first person was an actress starring in small independent movies and ads, but the story line remained that she is a student. This has become the focus of many stories out on the net, I have thought about this and thought about this and I still do not understand why this is an issue.

Here is the argument -

 - Microsoft hired her as an actress to play the part of a student, this is wrong, misleading and makes a mockery of the whole campaign.

I agree with this sentiment; except there is no proof that this was the case. As Lauren has stated she responded to an ad on Craig’s List looking for help with laptop market research.  Now, I know many, many aspiring actors and actresses they are always looking for things like this [if they do not already have steady job] the reasons are simple.

Marketing research is usually done by people in marketing; these are often the same people that might be looking for talent for ads. So the aspiring actor gets to show their talent and make some cash. Now side two to this is that many marketing research products also include exposure; something every aspiring actress would want.

So we see it is not surprising that Lauren would apply for something like that.

Now we tackle the claim of being a student; to the best of my knowledge no one has disproved that she is in fact a student. On her MySpace page, she stated that she recently finished studies, received BA in Political Science and is now pursuing acting career. We have to admit that she’s the cutest looking 100 Year-old woman we ever saw, and that 110 year-old boyfriend is probably the happiest guy in the whole retirement community. Then again, if she graduated at 100, that means she’s right on track with Croatian educational system, quite similar to happenings on Franz Kafka’s International Airport in Prague [for those not getting it, visit her MySpace page, Ed.].

The imagery Microsoft is putting forth and the message are loud and right in your face; they are in the stores showing the price difference [which is the whole point of the campaign] with what would seem to be real people. This campaign and direction is completely new, Microsoft has never done anything this straight forward before and this is why I think it is so shocking.

If you strip down the ads and see the root of them they are not much different than the Apple ads portraying the PC as a pudgy, balding, drab older man, standing up against a healthy, young, hip, cute kid. The price that you are asking to pay for that is equal to the message that you can be as cool as Paris Hilton only if you have her financial backing.

Their claims were no less shocking, especially the ones about Mac OSX being immune to viruses. That was and is simply untrue. Let us also not forget in February alone Apple released 24 patches for OSX that covered exploits and holes in security. For something that Apple claims is perfect out of the box that is a large number of patches for nothing. We can also address the issue that every year at the annual Pwn2Own, Safari falls first and fastest .

So what is it? Is the PC better than Mac? Is OSX better than Windows? Whose ads are stretching the truth further?

Here at BSN*, we will be taking a deeper look at both ad campaigns, analysing into claims on both sides and finally looking through the marketing hype to find the real deal in the middle. After the advertising analysis ends, we’ll go into the depths of hardware and software – brace for it folks, we own and use both Apple’s and PCs, and some of them are more than $15,000 worth (without any software). With software… there is a reason why audio and video production costs that much.

We will start with stripping the ads down to their basics in part II.