Microsoft’s “To the Cloud” advertising campaign

"To the internet! I mean, er, the cloud"

What is it?

According to Winrumours,  Microsoft launched it’s “To the Cloud” marketing campaign in October 2010 to promote the benefits of it’s new cloud computing technologies to consumers. The campaign currently runs across television, magazines, the internet, billboards and airport signs.

Good Marketing, or Bad Marketing?

Bad. Just when I thought that Microsoft’s marketing couldn’t get any worse, I came across the new “To the Cloud” commercials on TV. The campaign is terrible for so many reasons. The main being that Microsoft are giving consumers the impression that cloud computing is new. Cloud computing isn’t anything new at all, in fact it’s been around for years, and it definitely is not exclusive to Windows users.

The funny thing is that the term “cloud computing” itself is so ambiguous that it can be used to describe literally anything to do with the internet:

Cloud computing describes computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the service (Wikipedia).

If I’m not mistaken, it looks like Microsoft’s unique selling proposition is the fact you can access the internet using Windows? In one of the commercials, a mother simply shares a photo via Facebook and this is apparently demonstrating “cloud” capabilities. No ones going to the cloud Microsoft, they’re accessing the internet, and they can do that on any operating system.

Another issue with the whole campaign is that the commercials make things like accessing a remote desktop seem so easy and simple to do. I understand they’re trying to make the technology appeal to everyone, but this is just deceiving. Ask someone with limited computer knowledge to set up remote desktop access on Windows and see what happens. I guarantee you they wouldn’t have a clue how to do it.

Finally, let’s talk about those three little words which I’ll be happy to never hear or see again after writing this post. In all the commercials, you’ll find an overly enthusiastic Windows 7 user who screams “To the Cloud!”. I’m sure that Microsoft envisioned thousands of people all over the world screaming “To the Cloud!” every time they share a file or start a video chat, but instead it’s only being used as the butt of peoples jokes.

I own a PC, and I own a Mac. But I can say that it’s things like this that make me feel ashamed to be a PC user. I’m still waiting for the day for Microsoft to become innovative once again, and start marketing smarter. When they do, they might get taken a little more seriously.

Good marketing or bad marketing? Did I get it right? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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