The third television commercial in Microsoft's Laptop Hunters series is out and this time it's Lisa and Jackson. The tagline:
With just $1500 in hand, Lisa and Jackson look for a laptop that can handle gaming and much more.
This time more regular people off the street paid SAG actors shill for Windows-powered PCs based mostly on price. In the third TV spot Jackson, an 11 year old, and his Mom shop for a laptop that's got "speed, a big hard drive, that's a good gaming computer."
Like in previous installments, the subjects stop into Best Buy to browse the offerings. This time instead of going to the "Mac store" the hapless duo only has to walk a few feet across an aisle to the Apple store-within-a-store within Best Buy. This is where the fun begins.
After looking at a few PCs the Mom wants to go see the Macs "which are kinda popular at this age" and says "Whoa! these are way more money dude." The equally insufferable kid calls the first MacBook on display "kinda small" to which the Mom says "they're kinda of pretty" and then makes a face as if she smelled something really bad. The kid then says, "maybe we'd rather go with PC" and, surprise! They buy a $900 16-inch Sony Vaio (model VGN-FW351J/H according to PC World.)
It should be noted that the "kinda small" white MacBook is a discontinued model and that they didn't even look at the other Mac offerings (at least on screen anyway). And what about that Sony Vaio notebook? Is it a decent model? Customer Reviews on the Best Buy Web Site rate it three stars out of five with one comment stating that "it's pretty" (oh, the irony) but that it has "bad hard drives, bad USB placement."
It's also funny to note that under the Editorial Reviews tab on the Best Buy Web site our own CNet Reviews gives the craptastic Vaio 3.5 stars noting its "attractive design." The bad features, according to the review include "slow performance for a system in this price range; resolution isn't suited for 1080p Blu-ray content." I'll let you guys discuss the merit of the Vaio in the TalkBack.
The problem with the Microsoft ads is that they're pushing PCs mostly on price and there are risks associated with setting yourself up as a "cheap" solution or the "low cost" alternative. Wouldn't the most price-conscious shopper opt for a free OS like Linux as opposed to Windows which adds anywhere from $25 to $75 to the cost of a PC?
What happens when the market eventually rebounds? Positioning yourself as the cheapest may work during a recession but it's a risky move on Microsoft's part over the long term.
My posts on the the previous MS Laptop Hunter ads:
- Lauren -- On a strict $1000 budget, Lauren hunts around town for a big screen laptop.
- Giampaolo -- On a budget of just $1500, Giampaolo looks for a high-spec laptop that's up to his standards.
I haven't posted a poll in a long time, so here's a fun one: