The new Microsoft ad compares a MacBook parody unfavorably to the latest Surface Pro ad.
The rivalry between Apple and Microsoft has certainly cooled significantly since the 1990s, when the two companies have been embroiled in what appears to be a never-ending series of legal and other battles for PC dominance. But even if relationships between the two tech titans have generally improved, that doesn't mean Microsoft isn't reviving the old feud for marketing purposes.
In a short ad to advertise the Microsoft Surface Pro 2-in-1s, Microsoft tries to disguise Apple by comparing its own device to a supposedly inferior "BackBook". For those keeping track of things at home, the BackBook is obviously a replacement for Apple's MacBook.
Compare the proverbial apples to oranges
The gist of the ad is that the Surface Pro is a far more versatile device than the MacBook, and the keyboard can be detached to use it as a tablet. It also has an integrated stand and much more. Apple's laptop (or rather the Apple-inspired replacement for the generic X brand) is presented against a dreary backdrop without doing anything that exciting.
The comparison is of course a bit unfair. The MacBook is not a hybrid device like the Surface Pro and is intended to function as a conventional laptop. A more appropriate comparison would be to the iPad Pro, which has a detachable keyboard and can be used as a tablet. (It also runs Apple's iPadOS operating system, for those who see this as a big selling point over a Microsoft Windows product.)
The 2-in-1 line of Surface devices is versatile, allowing you to work anywhere, anytime. Sign up for a demo. pic.twitter.com/p9vTM3wMAu
– Microsoft India (@MicrosoftIndia) March 24, 2021
The Microsoft Surface Pro ad was shared on the company's Microsoft India Twitter account. It ends with a screen asking viewers to update on surface. The accompanying text states that:
"The 2-in-1 line of Surface devices is versatile and allows you to work anytime, anywhere. Sign up for a demo."
To date, the ad has been viewed more than 1.1 million times. It's not clear whether Microsoft plans to roll out the campaign internationally or run follow-up ads in the same series.
Having fun with rivals
Apple usually avoids comparing its products to those made by competitors these days. However, it arguably helped create this subgenre of tech commercials that poke fun at rivals – perhaps most notably with the Get A Mac ad series that ran from 2006-2009.
These ads featured comedic comparisons between actors representing both Macs and Windows PCs, depicting the former as hip and confident and the latter as neurotic and slightly boring.
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About the author
(113 articles published)
Luke has been an Apple fan since the mid-1990s. His primary interests in technology are smart devices and the interface between technology and the liberal arts.
From Luke Dormehl
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