In case you haven't noticed, Microsoft has a new ad campaign out. In the past, Apple has generally been an easy pick for victor in any PR battle, but Microsoft's new 'Laptop Hunter' ads are turning the tide. They focus on the primary (to the average consumer) benefit of a PC over a Mac; the lower cost.
All of the ads run around the same premise. One or more customers are out shopping for a new computer. They tell Microsoft the rough amount they're looking to spend, and Microsoft gives them that amount of money to pick out a laptop. The couples go into the store and the camera follows them as they make their choice. In the end, the couple always chooses a PC of some sort. There's also usually a snide little veiled comment about Macs in there somewhere.
The 'Laptop Hunter' ads are far less annoying than the Justin Long/John Hodgman ads, and at least as successful. In a BrandIndex study Microsoft beat Apple in customer 'value perception' scores, which means that most consumers now think a PC is a better deal. This trend started around the same time the Laptop Hunters ads began to air.
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Apple apparently took notice. They slashed prices on all of their MacBook Pro models and then called Microsoft COO Kevin Turner and asked him to kill the advertisements. Of course, that just guaranteed that Microsoft will do no such thing. The Laptop Hunters ads are phenomenally successful (although they may be scripted after all) and there's no chance Redmond is going to pull them before they've had some more time to twist the knife in Apple's gut.