Microsoft’s “Browse Never” Campaign: Was the Puke Really Necessary?

Do creative ideas and original content eventually run out, especially when it comes to advertising and marketing initiatives? Is spending millions on “bad” advertising the new emerging trend to capture audience attention and spread the word about new products and services? How much impact do “bad” ads have on sales as opposed to good creative ads?

Naturally, any campaign or advertisement a company launches should be thought of as the front of its building; inviting people to come in. Moreover, ads should have a certain intrinsic value that has an ability to broadly influence the mind of the population — the collective consciousness. But what we see these days is quite different, especially when it comes to Microsoft’s “Browse Better” Campaign!

Yes, a few of the advertisements in this campaign can be categorized as funny yet the majority are a little less than lame while the “vomit ad” is a little more than revolting! Though it is true that this specific ad did “spit up a viral hit” but one must wonder, will it lead to more sales? I highly doubt it since now, in my head at least, the image of IE 8 is linked to puke!

What is going on with Microsoft? That is a question I would love an answer to!

I mean after some research, I was able to find the following flaws in Microsoft’s advertising methods, and I just wonder, again, how neither the management nor their marketing or PR agents, see those flaws yet!

Take a look:

  • Even in their efforts to show that Microsoft PC’s are better because they are less expensive, Microsoft clearly pointed out that Mac is “too cool” for customers linking Apple to a trendy, cool image!
  • What about trying to prove that Macs are just for children? Seriously? 1) What about expert designers who use Mac for better quality designs with less complications and errors? And writers who utilize Pages and other simple yet efficient Mac tools? 2) How could Microsoft think that by accusing Mac of being user friendly that even a kid can use it, they would hurt Apple? Apple can argue that they are building brand loyalty since childhood which is a key to a long product life! 3) How could Microsoft go against Mac being for children when they have used children in their own advertisements?

  • Microsoft spent millions of dollars on advertising for Windows Vista, which would have been money well spent if they had used some of it to fix the many problems and errors Vista was suffering!
  • Microsoft is creative, maybe: it took Mac’s Garage Band’s idea and created a similar program for Microsoft users, Songsmith. I am sure that we might have considered using Songsmith if it weren’t for the lame, cheesy and rather annoying advertisement Microsoft voluntarily launched to promote it!
  • Finally, and though this point is not directly related to Microsoft’s advertising, it shows how other big players – Google – are marketing smarter for less money: Google Wave is already on everybody’s list to check out as soon as it is launched later on this year. Why? Because Google advertises via tech-savvy people and promises to change the future of communication through Google Wave, which is very popular through simple targeted announcements and press releases! (It is even one of Twitter’s trending topics).

That’s it for now, but I’m 100% sure that if I spend more time searching the Internet, I will find other lame, unplanned, less than original and negatively impacting marketing and PR mistakes! Therefore, I humbly advice Microsoft to reassign its marketing teams and its PR agency, Waggener Edstrom, and rethink its advertising strategies if it wants to gain loyalty rather than mockery, maybe even consider cheaper and viral advertising methods as YouTube’s famous Friday Pranks do. Microsoft can learn new tricks instead of their outdated attempts. Even non-experienced youngsters are doing a better PR job than Microsoft without any budget!

To conclude, it might be true that attention via “bad” and “lame” ads has the ability to create a viral element, but do you think they have the power to induce purchase!



One of Microsoft’s lamest ads ever!

Comments and Reactions

9 responses to “Microsoft’s “Browse Never” Campaign: Was the Puke Really Necessary?”

  1. Wow, it's the first time I saw that ad for Songsmith, and I can't believe how lame it is.
    What the hell were they thinking?
    An ad like that would actually turn me off buying a product even if I actually liked its concept.

  2. Beiruta says:

    Hello :) Welcome to our blog and thank you for taking the time to read and share with us your feedback :)

    I think it's really sad that some products and services actually lose their value and the interest of people before even being tested out due to taking wrong marketing and advertising decisions! What is even worse is that those decisions are being taken by large giants who should have, by now, learned their market and target audience well enough to realize that they are smart, sophisticated and conscious consumers!

    If you enjoyed this post, I recommend you read the previous one I wrote entitled: “Mac Uses Comedy & Characters to Overpower Microsoft”

    Regards :)

  3. TripleM says:

    It's like the 70s all Over again… singing families..
    So creative… Love the Ad.

  4. Amer Kawar says:

    You didn't read the post! LOL :P

    We are saying the total opposite: Microsoft's ads are quite bad lately, such as the Puke ad and this singing family ad compared to Google and Apple!

  5. Once again you are right on the mark with these observations and comments. Microsoft has gone a little too far to try to appeal to a younger generation with its advertisements and they just don't get home with anything. I am enjoying your comments immensely and I look forward to the future. Thank you.

  6. TripleM says:

    You caught me… that was embarrassing :P but I did like the Ad..
    Anyway, I totally agree with you guys regarding Microsoft's outdated techniques. And unlike playing it the old way (Microsoft), success online makes you hungry for more so to keep up with such demand we should play it the Google way. Just release of a controversial product and let it be handle by tech-savvies and marketing gurus. Without question, word of mouth advertising is absolutely and indisputably the best form of advertising that has ever existed.

  7. Beiruta says:

    I'm honored to see that once again you agree with me regarding my observations :) I'm enjoying your presence here and your valuable feedback. Stay tuned for more insightful and research based topics :)

  8. FadiPick says:

    Ewww! I have just watched the vomit ad! :S! I have a mixed feelings about it! It made an impact on me, but not sure if it is a positive or negative one.

  9. bex409bex says:

    Hmm. This is interesting and enjoyed reading ur analysis. I think marketing and ad is about being creative and putting a mark among people and creating connections. But these days its just over the head. these days High Drama and spicy controversy seems to be taking over the case. Regarding the relation of sales and Ad, well I have to digg into the records :) Coz, I myself am in confusion about the BUZZ in the market and the Sales. Well about being creative ads, check this ad by Vodafone, it is one of the most creative Ad I have seen Enjoy it .

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