The original founders of Microsoft... and a token brown guy.
Last week, I had the pleasure of touring the humungus Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. Suren Singh of Microsft gave myself and my colleagues a personal tour of the grounds which is home to over 30,000 employees and spreads across 8 million square feet. I still can’t get my head around it. What struck me most about the impressive grounds is the university campus feel it had that got me feeling nostalgic about my days at UVic. There are plenty of soccer fields outfitted with outdoor artificial turf, immaculate landscaping that retains the pacific northwest feel, and buildings up buildings divided by business concentrations.
The highlight for me was a visit to the Microsoft museum that covered the history of the company from it’s humble start in 1975 up to present day innovations like Surface and Xbox 360. By the way, Surface is VERY cool and ironically (I learned) that it almost never came to fruition. There are endless possibilities for this technology to be used in everyday workplace and home appliances. Below are some photos from the museum, but quite honestly, they don’t do it any justice. Visit it in person if you ever get the chance. Worth the trip out to Redmond. And, thank you Suren for the hospitality!
Now it’s all beginning to make sense. The Gates Seinfeld ads were just a teaser to get people buzzing with its quirky humor and purposeful lack of Microsoft-related content. Negative or positive, it did. Create an environment of high awareness for the brand, then launch the real campaign as people are curious and thirsty to find out what’s next. Well, what’s next is “I’m a PC” ad campaign that embraces Apple’s negative reference to Microsoft in its campaign, and turns it around to show that PC users aren’t the sterotype depicted in the Apple campaign. Instead, they are people of all walks of life, from teachers to architects, artists to programmers, celebrities to ultimate fighters. I’m impressed. From this first set of commercials, I think the ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky is on to something. Regular PC users can also go to the Microsoft website and upload a video or picture of themselves, which will be profiled on the site, can be shared with others, and could be featured in future Microsoft ads as well as appear on the big screen in New York’s Time Square. It’s an audacious campaign and one that will be very hard to ignore.Check out the article in the New York Times that details the Microsoft campaign.
Here is the follow up ad (long version) to the first Gates Seinfeld Microsoft ad. Techcrunch isn’t impressed, and based on the comments I’ve received regarding the first ad, not many of you will be either. I found this one very much like a Seinfeld episode, so I enjoy the humor, but I do have to say that it isn’t getting to the point fast enough. This holds true with the shorter tv ad versions that I’ve seen.