I’m just back from a great week back at home with family in Liverpool and the place is looking great as it winds down it’s year as European Capital of Culture. Matt has mentioned the rather large I’m A PC installation in the city and I came across it a few nights ago when driving through the city centre. It’s a huge a bloody impressive LED bank of screens right opposite the main train station. Added to this, much of the rest of the city is adorned with normal billboards with numerous images from the campaign.
Right after I took these images one flashed up with an image of my pal Allister Frost who is behind the UK execution of the campaign which reminded me to ask him whether Liverpool has gotten special treatment due to the influx of visitors or whether other cities have similar blanket treatment. Perhaps it’s tied to the revamp of the Aintree branch of PC World which has had an impressive makeover of the so called “PC aisle” and has roving Windows Gurus (who were damn good when I listened in). My brother and I also commented on the amount of times we saw the I’m A PC ad on the TV over Christmas. Way more than any Apple ads.
It sounds like the Windows team has gone for a similar approach to the NY Subway system according to Todd Bishop which makes me wonder if there is concerted effort ahead of CES or just that the campaign is now really getting in to it’s stride as advertising on this scale presumably has a long lead time to secure such space.
What I’m really interested in though is the effect of this campaign. Is it changing perceptions? Is it a subtle perception changing approach that is having the desired effect? I’m always skeptical of advertising and always wondered why companies do things like paying a few million dollars to have a tiny sticker on an F1 car that is hardly even seen. I guess it’s all about brand association for them whereas this campaign is attempting brand association with millions who already own the product.
I’m no advertising or branding guru but I think what we’re doing here is good – I just can’t put my finger on why at the moment. I’m trying not to be biased (I will be inevitably) but I really like it. Maybe it’s just that when I drive past a billboard I’m genuinely pleased to say “hey look, another one of our ads”. Probably quite sad I know….
Almost everybody I know (non techies) who have seen the advert either a) doesnt understand it or b) thinks its stupid. That's the honest perception outside of the blogosphere.
I think the campaign is rich, wonderful and powerful. However, my concern is timing. The world is in a deep economic gloom and I think for many consumers, it's not a matter of whether I'm a Mac or a PC. It's whether I will have a job next year.
That being said, in terms of branding and approach I think the advertising team is spot on with the campaign. I haven't had a chance to hit PC World or Dixons. But I do hope staff have "I'm a PC stickers" on the machines. The stickers are lovely little social objects!
Steve I am afraid I don't agree with you at all. I find this campaign really nauseating to say the least.
I also think as pointed out by another poster a lot of people don't get it.
I guess time will tell how successful it is and whether it changes perception of PC's.
You just reminded me that I forgot to ask you what this was all about,as I do not get it either, when I see the ad's on TV my end comment would be " so what" someone needs to explain the meaning to us mere mortals.
well if my mum doesn't understand it, I feel an explanation is required.
basically this campaign is all about starting a conversation which is sort of what has happened here. though it has no real message, it's the start of a journey is redefining what Windows is all about rather than having it defined for us - notably by Apple with their "I'm a PC" ads. There are some who would argue we're copying their stuff or acknowledging it and thus giving it credence but I like what the agency did - i think it's clever but that may be because of where I sit in this thing. For the man (or woman) in the street I can see how it may come across as pointless. What it has done is spark discussion and questions and bring Windows back in to the consciousness.
I hope that helps explain things a little better.
meantime, I also found out through this exploration that Liverpool's media all is the biggest in Europe at 90m long.