When I was in junior high, I was really uncool. No, no. Seriously.
I was so uncool that by the end of junior high, right before I escape to the blissfully fresh start that was a Catholic school over 30 miles away and people who didn’t know me during the “awkward years”, I was desperate and would actively try just about anything – a new look, a new feigned interest, whatever – to be cool. It was crazy, but I was desperate.
Like, Microsoft desperate.
As The Girl Riot notes, they are at it again with that whole desperately trying to be cool thing. This time, it’s with a t-shirt line called “Softwear.”
The one-trick pony boys over at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky are so intensely focused on the whiz-bang “we’ll make you famous” cool factory ethos that they have forgotten what gives Microsoft its only chance of true coolness. That is, the brand’s complete uncoolness.
Microsoft is like the guys from Superbad. The brand is a corduroy pants wearing, slightly overweight and shortsighted teenager standing up against the wall at a school dance.
Microsoft is the guy from the Mac vs PC commercials.
Microsoft is a sort of disheveled, pretty dumpy, good on the inside guy who is, after all, pretty likable and certainly familiar. In fact, I like how Apple has cast for the Microsoft brand more than Microsoft had. And I am sure that I am not the only one.
Microsoft is not a hipster (nice try, t-shirts). Microsoft is not cool (I don’t care if you are a PC Mr Random Famous Person). Microsoft is not going to be made relevant because it costs less than Apple (hey, thanks for reminding me that your product is cheap and not nearly as functional or as desirable! I totally wanted the budget brand choice! First class is for losers!):
Other than a deeply flawed strategy that has cheapened the brand and trained consumers that Microsoft/PC products are only good when they’re significantly cheaper than the competition (good luck with future profit margins), I really think that the Microsoft working coming out of Boulder is solid.