Apple’s New Competition

Microsoft made a large decision this week and awarded their $300 million ad account to one of the hottest agencies in North America, CP+B.
According to Adrants, Microsoft spent over $1 billion in advertising in the US during 2006 and they have finally found their new agency.

CP+B are the creators of Whopper Freakout, Volkeswagen’s “Ego Emissions” and “Safe Happens” campaigns and the “Man Law” Miller Light campaign. They’ve won a number of awards in the past couple of years and are on track to win more with their latest BK campaign and their Domino’s Pizza website.

Fallon was Microsoft’s previous AOR and I have to admit that I did enjoy their brand campaign TV spots for Vista. That being said, every time the marketing execs from Microsoft watch an Apple-PC commercial they must cringe at the success of their competitor.

Microsoft and CP+B have their work cut out for them. The reviews of Vista have not been kind and Apple’s creativity continues to uplift their share price. Could an agency change be exactly what the company needs?

Maybe. But CP+B’s ideas have been more on the irreverent side of impact than what Microsoft might be expecting. They have created impact and won awards but this will be their largest challenge.

For Microsoft, the next campaign will be their most critical. Can they shift from being the nerdy, boring brand that Apple made them? Better yet, can they go back at the folks at Apple to raise some points about their competitive advantages?

My guess is we will find out, one way or another, in about 6 months.


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