Microsoft’s series of “Laptop Hunters” ads are cute, realistic, and appeal to consumers at a time when our disposable income is limited. Apple doesn’t seem to think they’re so cute, though—the company’s lawyers apparently tried to have the ads stopped.
MIcrosoft Chief Operating Officer told the story in a speech:
And so we’ve been running these PC value ads. Just giving people saying, hey, what are you looking to spend? “Oh, I’m looking to spend less than $1,000.” Well we’ll give you $1,000. Go in and look and see what you can buy. And they come out and they just show them. Those are completely unscripted commercials.
And you know why I know they’re working? Because two weeks ago we got a call from the Apple legal department saying, hey — this is a true story — saying, “Hey, you need to stop running those ads, we lowered our prices.” They took like $100 off or something. It was the greatest single phone call in the history that I’ve ever taken in business. (Applause.)
It’s only fair that Microsoft change the ads if Apple had subsequently introduced some different models at lower prices. However, there’s some proof that the laptop hunter ads have actually changed consumer perceptions—particularly those of laptop-loving youngsters.
This blog post, incidentally, was written on a Mac.
Microsoft: Apple wanted ‘Laptop Hunters’ ads pulled [CNET]
In Mac vs. PC Battle, Microsoft Winning in Value Perception [AdAge]
Allison Watson, Stephen Elop, Bill Buxton, Kevin Turner: Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 [Microsoft]