For god’s sake Microsoft, kill this ad campaign

“Your potential. Our passion. Our website isn’t working.”

OK, I added the last bit, but if you enter the URL in Microsoft’s current print ads (www.microsoft.com/uk/potential) you get the reassuring message:

The system cannot find the file specified.

You’d have thought someone would check that the URL in the ads actually worked, wouldn’t you?

Luckily it’s not too much of a disaster, because the advert’s not going to persuade any sensible person to check out the site. Microsoft does a lot of things very well, but advertising isn’t one of those things – and the current campaign is particularly bad.

The print ad (similar versions run on TV) shows some kids in a tree house, and a chalk outline of a jet has been superimposed on top of the pic. The copy runs like this:

We see
The King of the Skies

Children dream of flight, to soar. These dreams become their potential. And with the right tools and a little help, they’ll make them more than their passion; they’ll make them their life. This is just one of the infinite possibilities that inspires us to create software that helps you reach your potential.

There’s a PDF of the ad on Microsoft’s web site.

As an indication of how persuasive that ad copy is, I had to refer to it not just to quote it, but halfway through each sentence because my mind had drifted away. It’s nebulous nonsense that says absolutely nothing, but which does so at huge expense. The TV spots are just as bad: something about a school, or something. I can’t remember. There are some other press ads, too. One of them is called “hat”. I can’t remember anything more about it.

For god’s sake, Microsoft, kill the campaign and shoot whoever greenlighted it. And then shoot them again, just to make sure.

4 thoughts on “For god’s sake Microsoft, kill this ad campaign

  1. david says:

    Microsoft should just be honest with their advertising.

    Bill Gates appears on screen, lit from below (like the torch under the chin thing) and laughing manically. Slogan – “Microsoft – We own your ass”

  2. kevin says:

    I’ve seen some of the “Your potential” ads and they are dumb. It should be: “Your money, Our passion” because that is the only thing Microsoft truly cares about from any of us. What I don’t get is: Why does Microsoft even advertise? They certainly don’t need to. If it’s just PR, it’s dumb. Drug companies and oil/energy companies do a much better job of PR ads where they’re not advertising a product but rather blowing sunshine about how good it is for mankind that they exist. Plus Microsoft has much more of a monopoly. I saw an ad from Boeing. When was the last time you or anybody you’ve ever known bought anything from Boeing, hmm? They must have been in the process of negotiating a defense contract or something. And what about Wal-Mart? They advertise all the time. Never about sales, or low prices or locations, always about how happy their employees are or how bad things were in some little town (or inner city).. until Wal-Mart opened up there. And now everybody is happy and life is great la la la. One last thing. I think that like alcohol or tobacco, prescription drug ads should be prohibited. Doctors already know about the drugs. There’s one ad that says “Tell your Doctor if you have liver or kidney disease.” Isn’t your Doctor supposed to tell YOU if you have liver or kidney disease? Now we’re not only enticed to ask our Doctors for Cialis, Crestor, Viagra, Lipitor, Sonata, Ambien, Nexium, etc. We’re supposed to diagnose ourselves too? All of this would be OK by me IF we could write our own prescriptions. I need some Xanax.

Comments are closed.