Abrasive, Competitive, & Hard-Hitting Tech Branding

mac pc commercialCompetitors love to call each other out. Who’s ever going to forget the “I’m a Mac. I’m a PC.” ads of the 2000s? But is this kind of hard-hitting tech branding really necessary for building your brand? Well, if Microsoft knows what it’s doing, then the answer’s “yes.” (Note: if it knows what it’s doing)

Windows 8: Less Talking, More Doing

This 32-second spot throws a lot of punches at the ol’ iPad, from Siri’s flaws to general functionality and price. Microsoft doesn’t even stop there, but throws in a parody of Apple’s iPad mini commercial from last fall. Just for good measure, right?

Too much? Or just enough? In a way, it seems as though this brand-building tactic was developed in Apple’s Get a Mac campaign. For Windows to – albeit rather loosely – cop it is a bit blatant. Then again, why not?

Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone

The Nokia Lumia, though a Windows phone, takes an outsider’s approach in this ridiculous one minute-long spot. Though this ad is satire, it contains a good amount of truth, from the congregation raising its phones as one to the deep division between iPhone and Galaxy users.

Though Nokia does highlight the (dare I say) silliness of the iPhone/Galaxy wars, Nokia is at the same time a bit naïve to think that its own phone will suddenly swoop in and wipe out the controversy. It’s doubtful that too many iPhone users will be switching over to the Nokia Lumia 920. Also, the Galaxy users that Nokia does win over probably don’t have any attachment to their current phone.

How does spending factor in?

According to a Forbes article from this past August, Apple spent $933 million on advertising in 2012 – a year in which they earned $108.249 billion in sales. In that same year, Microsoft spent $1.6 billion on advertising, but saw only $74.3 billion in revenue. (“Only” being just a term of comparison here. I’d be happy to see “only” $74.3 billion in revenue.)

What’s your take on Apple and Microsoft’s marketing strategies? Does the hard-hitting, razor-sharp competitive edge each one of these brands tries to capture help or hurt their images?

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Ben Richardson is a writer based in Nashville, TN. While he loves writing on a variety of subjects, he's our go-to on all things related to branding and the creative aspects of content marketing. Follow him on Twitter!

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