Microsoft sends rep out to dis iPhone, Android
It's the classic source of angst for a marketer: if only people could actually see how good this product is, then they'd understand.
For Microsoft, it must be especially frustrating. The company feels there are features to Windows Phone 8 that are so good that any reasonable person would swap their iPhone or Android if they just saw Microsoft's phone up close and personal.
That's the apparent impetus behind a new round of videos featuring Ben "The PC Guy" Rudolph. The videos show Rudolph meeting strangers and then talking up superior features of the Windows 8 Phone. In the video above, he interrupts a couple's dinner to show them how much better the Nokia Lumia 920 is versus the iPhone. In the video below, he challenges a woman to a text-off with her HTC phone and wins handily. After each instance, he gives the participants the Lumia 920.
Microsoft is reaching into its old playbook for this variation of the Pepsi Challenge. In February, the company dispatched Rudolph for the same mission with the Windows Phone. That program, "Smoked By Windows Phone," hit a snag when a participant in a challenge claimed it was rigged. (Rudolph later apologised.)
Before that, in 2009, Microsoft ran an ad campaign called "Laptop Hunters" that featured putative real consumers saving money by buying Windows-based PCs rather than Apple's comparable but pricier models. Microsoft also promoted its Zune MP3 player by taking pot-shots at the iPod that year.
It's unclear whether the tactic will work this time around. However, if Microsoft was somehow able to clone Rudolph and have him run the same comparison with the tens of millions of people who own iPhones and Android devices, it might just do the trick.
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