With the release of Office 2004 for the Macintosh just a month away, Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit has settled on an advertising campaign designed to appeal to the Mac user’s Apple sensibilities.
Building on Apple’s iLife advertising campaign that says “It’s like Microsoft Office for the rest of your life, Microsoft will sell Office under the slogan “It’s like Microsoft Office.”
Mac Business Unit general manager Roz Ho was enthusiastic about the campaign.
“It works on so many levels!” Ho effused. “Because, indeed, Microsoft Office is much like Microsoft Office. Spookily like Microsoft Office. Eerily like Microsoft Office. Frighteningly like Microsoft Office.
“Some say…” Ho, added, pausing for dramatic effect, “…it is Microsoft Office.”
Ho smiled wryly, raised her eyebrows and nodded knowingly.
The campaign, however, has fallen flat with Mac users.
“I think they screwed up the metaphor, didn’t they?” asked long-time Mac user and supporter Damien Barrett. “Shouldn’t it have been ‘It’s like iLife for your office’ or something?”
“No, no,” said author and Mac user Dori Smith. “It’s not a metaphor. It’s a simile.
“They screwed up the simile.”
Holding his thumb and forefingers up in a “W”, Barrett mouthed “Whatever” and continued.
“I’m just saying, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s not even ‘It’s, like, Microsoft Office.’ Like… y’know! It’s, like, Microsoft Office, dude! It’s not even that! It’s just some misplaced comparison.”
“Simile,” Smith corrected. “It’s a misplaced simile.”
Uncomfortable advertising campaigns are not new for Microsoft’s Macintosh products. Word 6 was sold under the catch-phrase “It sucks, but it was so much easier for us to code.” When Apple made Internet Explorer the default browser, Microsoft trumpeted the application’s position in several Mac-related magazine ads that read “We own your azz, beeotch!”
Office ships in May and continues to cost a lot.