My reaction to Microsoft Hohm is mixed. The branding and marketing are quite clever, and that’s yet another welcome change. More fundamentally, Hohm is yet another example of Microsoft chasing Google’s tail. Maybe Microsoft should conserve some energy by taking a shorter path rather than tagging behind the weaving Google.
Whoa, the fourth Bing commercial is simply outstanding. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shouldn’t feel bad about approving that $80 million to $100 million marketing budget. He’s getting good value for the money spent.
Too many people are wasting too much energy writing about the name for Microsoft’s new search engine—assuming there is going to be one, rather than made-over Windows Live Search. Kumo, Crapo, Frapo, Wacko—who cares? Microsoft could rebrand search Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Bozo the Clown or the Muffin Man. Right now, the name shouldn’t matter to anyone, nor will it make much difference against Google’s dominance. Microsoft must fundamentally change how search works.
The most successful companies share several attributes in common. Among the most important: They sell a lifestyle. Apple has effectively done this with multiple products, which is unusual. There are separate, yet related, iPod, iPhone and Mac lifestyles. But many buyers pay a premium price to join the Mac club.
There are plenty of other examples. The Harley Davidson lifestyle is the graying, middle-aged guy, dressed in leather and riding his hog or the stereotypical Hell’s Angels type. Pepsi sells a lifestyle, too. In my youth, it was the “Pepsi Generation.” Now it’s the active, youth sports lifestyle around Mtn. Dew, among other Pepsico products.
If the economy doesn’t force Apple to lower Mac prices, ultra-low voltage processors will. So claims Stephen Baker, NPD’s vice president of industry analysis. Stephen foresees a dramatic sea change coming in late 2009, as ultra-low voltage processors move more into the mainstream laptop market.
She is an artist, and, on second consideration, Sheila certainly does look like a filmmaker.
Sheila Dvorak is star of Microsoft’s newest “Laptop Hunters” commercial, which is currently airing during U.S. prime time. I saw the ad last night, I believe during Fox’s “Fringe,” which I had previously recorded.
Microsoft’s newest “Laptop Hunters” commercial, embedded below, is the most ambitious yet and perhaps most misleading. The buyer’s budget is bigger and her laptop criteria slaps Apple where it hurts: Among core constituency of artists, designers and filmmakers.
I love great marketing videos. This one is a keeper.
My wife suggested that I read Washington Post story, “The Elite Apple Corps: A Hundred Million Strong, Every One of Them Cool.” I live in California! I don’t read the Post anymore, which is why I didn’t see it. The story appears in today’s Style section.
Reporter Hank Stuever hits on what’s wrong with the Apple retail stores. They’re too busy, and so they’re no longer fun.
Jealous Computers. They hate being replaced by the Nokia N95.
Today’s New York Times column “An iPhone Changed My Life (Briefly)” hits at the device’s fundamental problem: Hype. There was too much of it—and not really from Apple—that may have over-raised many people’s expectations. The issue Michelle Slatalla raises is one of returns. Will she return her iPhone? She writes, “I have started thinking seriously about returning the $599 phone, despite a 10 percent restocking fee. It hasn’t really changed my life in the ways I’d hoped”.
But she may have started with overly unrealistic expectations, which the runaway hype helped foster. The name includes “phone” for a reason. Apple didn’t promise a device that would cure cancer or feed the starving.