Chinese computer maker Lenovo got creative, and maybe a little too creative, with the marketing campaign around its Yoga 3 Pro. Or did it? In a move to promote its new ultra slim convertible PC, the new 13-inch Yoga 3 Pro, Lenovo played a prank on some mall shoppers in the U.S.
Lenovo hired the Upright Citizens Brigade, a comic troupe, to help drum up visibility for its new device, which has a hinge design that makes it truly flexible. Shoppers at the Plymouth Meeting Mall in Pennsylvania were the latest victims of Lenovo's "prankvertising," according to the Tech Times.
Faux Lenovo "employees" turned the Yoga computer into a tablet, then tried to do the same thing with a MacBook, breaking it in front of customers and arguing about who was at fault, according to a report in the Triangle Business Journal in Raleigh, North Carolina -- just one such media report from various parts of the country.
People Got Really Mad
The fake employee then handed the broken computer to a shopper and ran away. Then the real Lenovo employee showed up, according to the Business Journal. But not everybody thought it was so funny.
In the comments on the YouTube Video, David Traver Adolphus said, “Wow. If you were trying to make some random people hate Lenovo, then job done!” Kalpesh Patel responded to Adolphus with this quip: “They're anyways trying to hard. Lenovo makes sh---y laptops anyways.” And A. Lawrence is sure that, “All the customers pranked should get a free laptop.”
Lenovo digital marketing manager Bob Cordell told Marketing Daily that the company is always looking for new and different ways to get its brand out there. But was this a major fail?
"We definitely recognize people will [view] this in different ways, just as we recognize there are passionate supporters of other people's products," Cordell told Marketing Daily. “But we hope to do this in a way that we’re upfront about it. We’re not trying to pull a fast one.”
But it Worked
We caught up with Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, to get his thoughts on what appeared to be a Lenovo fail. He told us something Lenovo should have known.
“Whenever you attack Apple the Mac faithful will rise up in inflamed protest but they'd never buy your product anyway,” Enderle said. “But they will help dive your campaign viral because their non-Mac friends love to rub their faces in stuff like this and the madder they get, the more the ad propagates. So this actually seems to be working rather well.”
The YOGA 3 Pro comes with Harmony, Lenovo’s software that adapts to users’ personal preferences as they use the device in its different modes. It’s 12.8 mmm think. That’s actually thinner than a pencil when opened. The PC also comes in lighter at 1.19kg -- 14 percent lighter than previous versions and lighter than a bottle of water.
Internally, the device has an Intel Core M processor, solid state drive storage up to 512 GB SSD and Intel integrated graphics. It promises up to 7.2 hours of battery life and connected via high-speed 802.11 a/c WiFi2. Prices start at $1,299.
Posted: 2014-12-24 @ 1:05am PT
I'm happy Lenovo is doing so well. Lately, my MacBook has been running slowly. Seriously, over time it had lots of tiny problems and I couldn't stand it. I never thought that would happen, but I actually had to use www.detoxyourmac.com to make it fast again. Hopefully Apple is more on top of it now.
Posted: 2014-12-01 @ 9:24pm PT
The problem is, Lenovo is sort of a bas**rd child of everyone now. IBM ditched the hardware supervision, Windows isn't competition when it comes to the tablet market, with IoS and Android providing seamless UX and attractive models, and if it's just about hardware refresh at the enterprise level, there's always Dell. So they are up against it. Though I must agree, their Lenovo PC Connection is a pretty good product in isolation.
Posted: 2014-11-30 @ 3:13pm PT
It's too expensive. Dell makes better laptops. Apple is a cult for many of its customers and the Kool-Aid is coming. When IBM stopped overseeing the quality of Lenovo products when they cut their PC division loose, Lenovo had no financial support to produce the quality level of IBM hardware which is very high (software, not so much), so Lenovo products got cheapened.
You make the judgement:
Posted: 2014-11-27 @ 9:52am PT
Don't listen to these people getting paid to praise apple products, checkout the yoga yourself. I love mine!!!
Posted: 2014-11-27 @ 2:27am PT
Windows is garbage. Pure, unadulterated.
Posted: 2014-11-27 @ 1:12am PT
I believe that's Rob Enderle, pretty much the *sole* analyst, not "principal". He's apparently been taking $$ from Apple wannabe companies for years to spread Apple FUD to promote their agendas. This guy is more off-base than the Chicago Cubs have ever been.
Posted: 2014-11-26 @ 11:35pm PT
The Yoga 3 Pro is a superior design. It is so versatile, just having a touchscreen alone puts it ahead of the Mac. Lenovo's quality still could improve though.
Posted: 2014-11-26 @ 6:03pm PT
Marty: that's sales for you.
Ultimately, Lenovo makes great products and the Yoga is one of them. The hinge design is awesome, and... wait for it... wait for it... I zombies and their inferior hardware!
Posted: 2014-11-26 @ 5:24pm PT
The Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga is the best laptop I have ever had. Much better that Macbook pro.
Posted: 2014-11-26 @ 5:20pm PT
I was a windows-pc user since 1994 (even a windows 95 beta tester) and my last one earlier this year was a Yoga 2 with windows 8. Between the badly made laptop, the worst windows operating system yet, and the split-personality laptop-tablet conflicts, I thought I was finally in computer hell. Out of frustration I tried the mac air and was amazed by the instantaneous speed of the programs, the functionality with windows office and other windows apps and files, and the long battery life and quick recharge. It was like going a decade into the future techwise. What Lenovo is doing here is akin to a caveman taking a bic lighter and smashing it with a rock to show its inferiority to good old sticks rubbed together to make a fire. In short, no contest. Lenovo sucks. Apple rules.
Posted: 2014-11-26 @ 5:18pm PT
"The PC also comes in lighter at 1.19kg -- 14 percent lighter than previous versions and lighter than a bottle of water."
Provided that bottle is greater than 1.19 liters ...
Posted: 2014-11-26 @ 4:51pm PT
For the same price, I can get a MacBook Pro which doesn't come with Microsoft Windows. No viruses. No spyware. No messing around and fixing my computer all the time. Plus I could go for weeks on end without even rebooting.
Posted: 2014-11-26 @ 4:25pm PT
What your saying makes no sense unless you own stock in Apple.
Posted: 2014-11-26 @ 4:24pm PT
That "battery life" is a lie.
Posted: 2014-11-26 @ 1:18pm PT
Sounds like someone missed out on a deal and is a little upset, eh Marty?
Posted: 2014-11-26 @ 12:28pm PT
Lenovo is a stupid company. I worked in its "sales" department in North Carolina. It was a toxic environment of people fighting over the inbound calls, and constantly accusing one another of "stealing" their deals. All they had to do was change the rule to anyone could close a deal regardless of prior call. But just like any other stupid organization, that would have made too much sense.
Posted: 2014-11-26 @ 12:20pm PT
Waaa! I want one!!!