Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Oh, do grow up, Microsoft Philippines!

Imagine your once-respectable granddad caught in the throes of a second childhood and dressing up in a Snoop Dogg outfit. Oh, sure, he's well within his rights to do so. Oh, sure, some pretty young thing will find it cute. But on the whole, isn't it a little pitiful to see your granddad looking like a, well, a dork?

This is much the same way I feel about Microsoft Philippines' ad campaign for Microsoft Dynamics. Ladies and gentlemen, exhibit A:
Ostensibly, Microsoft wants to portray the CEOs and CIOs who have made the bold move to Microsoft Dynamics as heroes. And not just any old heroes, mind you, but superheroes. Complete with code names, secret weapons, and sidekicks. That would all be fine if it were all lost in the fine print. But -- oh no! -- the ad people have to get smart about it and draw in some comic-style avatars.
Some subjects look perfectly alright. See the lady above? She's respectable both as herself and as her cartoon alter ego. It's the principle of subdued costuming.
This guy doesn't look so bad, either, except now you see the hint of a cape and what's supposed to be some chest armor. What does this look say? Butler? Matador? Ballroom dance instructor? A little silly, but still forgiveable.

But then, you have this guy:
I don't know about you but he looks like he's ready for a little S&M, what with the tight-fitting latex headgear. Oh, alright, maybe he wants to hide his bald spot. What self-respecting superhero wants that secret out in the open. But...orange? Seriously!

However, this guy really takes the cake:
What immediately comes to mind is "kinky cyber-rastafarian." Whereas Orange Dude above might have wanted to hide his follicle-deficiency, Mr. Rasta here looks like he wants to compensate for his secret identity's hair loss. He really should lose the glasses, though. It's just so...ewww! Yo! Mah homie, wazzup?

Given my history with Microsoft, there's no love lost between the company and me. On the other hand, the company does have my grudging respect for its savvy in-your-face marketing campaigns; that's what made them such feared competitors in the past.

However, this new campaign is just so tacky. The whole approach ill-befits the target market. Microsoft Dynamics is positioned as a competitor to SAP and Oracle Business Applications. You want to portray an image of stability and reliability. Instead, you get something that looks like it was selling a pre-teen video game. Dudes, show a little respect for your customers! As it is, you make them look like, well, dorks.

Or maybe this really is just reflective of the Microsoft mindset?

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