windows phone

May 13

Microsoft & Nokia groom their comedy act

Let’s give credit where credit is due. An ad associated with Microsoft is making people laugh.

Not that this hasn’t happened before. The difference is, this time viewers are laughing with Microsoft — not at it.

It’s remarkable, because for many years Microsoft has been the older guy at the party trying to prove he’s cool or funny. Mostly, it’s turned out awkward (the Gates/Seinfeld buddy series), lame (“I’m a PC”) and/or befuddling (Surface dancing ads).

Given this track record, I’m assuming that the creative spark in this ad originated with Nokia. (Although Nokia hasn’t exactly behaved like a creative powerhouse in the past either.) But the branding here is heavily Microsoft, which has obviously opened its wallet to put the concept of “Windows Phone” front and center. Continue reading →

Nov 12

Winning their hearts with Steve Ballmer

Would you buy a phone if it were endorsed by Barack Obama? Lady Gaga? Ben Affleck?

How about Steve Ballmer?

I’m still having nightmares over this one. If you’d asked me weeks ago to guess who might be the “celebrity” voice in a Windows Phone ad, I can guarantee I’d never have guessed Ballmer.

That’s because there are blatantly obvious reasons not to go that route. Though I know people who have personal experience with Ballmer and swear that he’s a brilliant man, his public persona is what it is. And it isn’t all that appealing.

Putting a CEO out there like this isn’t something that’s done lightly. It normally involves a spirited debate between client and agency.

How likable is the guy? How believable is he? Will viewers identify with him? Will they even like him? Continue reading →