How do you get people interested in an underdog mobile platform?
In a new ad spotlighting the Lumia 920 Windows Phone — which I first saw as part of Tom Warren’s article over at The Verge — Microsoft tries to do it by making viewers laugh, and making fun of the competition.
It’s a funny spot, albeit one which feels awfully close in style to Samsung’s Apple-mocking ads. (I’m not sure if that’s intentional or not.) And it doesn’t convey any virtues of Nokia’s Lumia 920 in particular or Windows Phone in general except that the Lumia looks nice, comes in pretty colors and is beloved by Engadget readers.
If commercials of this sort were the only means by which Microsoft were trying to get phone shoppers interested in Windows Phone handsets, I’d be skeptical. For one thing, doesn’t the company need to address prospective customers who currently use an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy model? Will they find the ad to be a laff riot or an insult to their intelligence?
After all, Windows Phone’s challenge isn’t that the iPhone and Galaxy phones are bad. The problem is that they’re good — so good that it’s tough to interest people in a non-iOS, non-Android platform. Even one as nicely done as Windows Phone, running on phones as nice as the Lumia 920.
Then again, Microsoft is still struggling to get people to pay attention to Windows Phone at all, and maybe this approach will work as a supplement to more straightforward communications about Windows Phone’s virtues. (I recently went to a movie which was preceded by a more prosaic, informational Windows Phone ad starring Ben Rudolph, Microsoft’s Ben the PC Guy.)
I do have one other question: Now that we have Samsung ads characterizing iPhone users as airheads, and Microsoft ads saying that both iPhone and Galaxy fans are doofuses, I wonder how long it’ll be until BlackBerry enters the no-you’re-the-moron fray?