Microsoft, Rivals Join Forces on $70 Million Campaign To Sell PCs
Some of the world's largest tech companies and computer manufacturers have teamed up to deliver a message to their buying audiences: If you have an old PC, you don't know what you're missing.
In what's being described as an "unprecedented" marketing collaboration among competitors, Intel, Microsoft, Dell, HP and Lenovo are kicking off a "PC Does What?" campaign aimed at people and businesses with desktop devices that are four or five years old or older. Set to launch Monday, the campaign will run in the U.S. and China -- the world's two largest PC markets.
While previews of the group's TV ads have already been slammed by some observers as "awful" or "cringe-worthy," the marketing campaign will extend far beyond television spots, according to executives from the participating companies. The effort will also include native advertising, social media and search to ensure that potential buyers looking for information on PCs will come across the ads and details about the companies' devices.
'Victims of Our Own Success'
So why are these companies getting together for the first time to promote their products? It's because "in some respects we are victims of our own success," as David Roman, chief marketing officer of Lenovo, said yesterday.
There are some 500 million PCs in use today that are four to five years old. And with so many other powerful and mobile devices to choose from now, not as many PC owners have been looking to replace their aging desktops.
Worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter of this year were 11.8 percent lower than they were in 2014, according to analyst firm IDC. Analysts attributed the decline to several causes, including a slowdown in buying ahead of the late July release of Windows 10 and weakening currencies that reduced purchasing power in some markets.
"People are saying, 'If it's not broken why do I need to fix it?' said Patrick Moorhead, founder, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. Yesterday, Moorhead moderated a live Webcast with the chief marketing officers of Dell, HP, Intel, Lenovo and Microsoft to kick off the PC Does What? campaign.
He said the campaign was devised to "educate the consumer and raise awareness for the things that a PC can do. It is literally a black-and-white difference."
Steve Fund, CMO of Intel, agreed. "We have an amazing story of innovation to tell," he said. "We're really challenging people to think about, Does their PC do what the PCs of today do?"
'Driving Awareness' about Hardware and Software
Chris Capossela, Microsoft's chief marketing officer, said the new ad campaign was an industry first. "Our focus came together incredibly quickly," he said, adding that the companies expect to continue their collaboration beyond this campaign, which is scheduled to run through November 30. "We will take phase two when the right time comes."
Developed by Intel's ad agency, McGarry Bowen, the PC Does What? campaign carries an estimated cost of $70 million, according to ad industry reports.
IDC's Q2 report on the PC market predicted that sales would continue to decline for the remainder of 2015 before stabilizing. The report noted that following the July release of Windows 10, "many users will opt for a free OS upgrade rather than buying a new PC."
Now that the new software is out, though, the companies behind the hardware are hoping the new ad campaign changes users' minds.
"It seems only appropriate that the key players in this industry rally behind a single campaign to drive awareness about the innovative hardware and software propelling this change," Capossela said.
Posted: 2015-10-22 @ 7:59am PT
Wow...just wow, the ad campaign makes the PC look even less cool. Instead of showing all the really interesting new features, they focused on things the PC has done for years, play music and video. Wow you can load a map? How about the RealSense technology or something interesting? The slogan is beyond horrific, like some old person trying to hang with their kids. Waste of $70 million.
Posted: 2015-10-17 @ 3:55pm PT
So are they trying to sell me something I don't need? I am no rocket scientist. Why should I buy a PC whose CPU will idle 99.99% of the time when my current CPU is already idling 90% of the time? The latest cell phones are sexier.