It looks like Microsoft is taking us back to 2006.
The company has released a new series of ads for its Surface Pro 3 hybrid PC that are, shall we say... more than a little familiar. Specifically, the new TV spots draw inspiration from Apple's now-iconic "Get a Mac" campaign.
If you've somehow forgotten the Apple ads that inundated our living rooms between 2006 and 2009, here's a quick refresher: They featured Justin Long (most recently seen on New Girl) as the "cool" Mac and John Hodgman (Bored to Death) as the boring, nerdy PC. Using these two archetypes, they mocked many of Windows' supposed flaws, poking extra fun at the poorly received Windows Vista release.
Despite their familiar setup, the new Microsoft ads have a somewhat different feel. Instead of showcasing stereotypical users, the ads feature the Surface Pro 3 and MacBook Air side by side, along with the hands and voices of the people using them. Like the old Mac ads, they're presented as a dialogue between two users, but in this case the Surface user comes out on top thanks to his device's supposed superior flexibility.
The ads also use much more upbeat music, similar to Apple's iPhone campaign and Microsoft's recent Surface and Windows Phone promos.
Conceptually, they're a big step up from Microsoft's old $300 million "I'm a PC" ad campaign, which (to me, at least) always felt kind of awkward—like one of the biggest corporations on earth was trying just a little too hard.
Instead of trying to make some grand statement about what it means to be a PC user, these ads cut straight to the point and highlight what makes the Surface series unique.
We'll soon see if these new ads incite new battles in the ongoing fanboy wars. In the meantime, you can check out our reviews of the Surface Pro 3 and the mid-2013 Macbook Air to see how the two devices actually stack up.
Hero image: Apple