Microsoft tweaks ad after Apple complains

Microsoft told AdvertisingAge it had adjusted its advert to reflect the new pricing for Macbooks

Remember last week when Microsoft was so ecstatic about Apple's complaints over the laptop hunter ads? Well, the software maker may have been overjoyed that it finally agitated its rival, but Redmond has quietly complied with Apple's complaints, according to AdvertisingAge. The Mac maker's beef was the fact that Microsoft's laptop hunter campaign kept saying Macbooks carried a price tag of $2000 or more, even though Apple recently improved the specs and lowered costs across its laptop line.

Microsoft's laptop hunter ads feature people on their personal quest to find the best computer for their needs. The commercials focus on the decision to buy a PC instead of a Mac, but have received some criticism over the fact the ads never mention Windows or Microsoft by name.

Last week at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans, Redmond's chief operating office, Kevin Turner said he did "cartwheels down the hallway" after receiving a phone call from Apple's legal department complaining about the campaign. "We're just going to keep running them [the laptop hunter ads] and running them and running them," Turner said.

And who can blame them? Since 2006, Apple's Get A Mac campaign has successfully capitalized on the variety of stigmas about Windows machines, including buggy software, a virus-prone operating system, and incompatibility issues. For many consumers, the Get A Mac ads have also equated Windows with comedian John Hodgman's character as a lovable yet inept PC. Microsoft has tried to counter Apple's ads with several rather unfortunate experiments, but the laptop hunters campaign is where Redmond really gained ground.

But Microsoft did recognize the laptop hunter ads needed some tweaks, and so the company has quietly revised at least one of its commercials. A recent ad features Lauren (not the original laptop hunter) and her mother Sue on the hunt for a portable computer. In the original version of this ad, Lauren's quip about Apple was, "This Mac is $2000, and that's before adding anything," according to AdvertisingAge. But in the version of the ad currently available online, Lauren has altered her words and only says, "it seems like you're paying a lot for the brand."

Microsoft told AdvertisingAge it had adjusted its advert to reflect the new pricing for Macbooks, but the laptop hunter campaign's core message is still the same, which Microsoft says is "the value and choice of the PC."

Connect with Ian Paul on Twitter (@ianpaul) or on FriendFeed.

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Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
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