In any aspect of marketing, it all comes down to value proposition. A marketer’s job is to communicate the value of a product or service to a potential customer.
Even companies with big advertising budgets can lose sight of the necessity and responsibility of every marketer to convey value – they may actually be more susceptible to it.
For instance, ever since Apple’s renaissance, pretty much everyone wrote Microsoft off as the poor (and old) man’s Apple. Even they seemed to, with its not cool enough to be a Mac ad campaign a few years ago.
With all of the recent talk about Windows 8, and the debut of the company’s first tablet, Surface (set up to be an iPad competitor), a Cinderella-story comeback seemed possible. Maybe not likely – but possible.
When Microsoft announced it wasn’t going with one of its usual three agencies (Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Deutsch or Razorfish) to produce an ad for the Surface — instead choosing the relatively unknown 22-year-old Caleb Slain, who incredibly made Internet Explorer cool again with this ad — I thought Microsoft might pull it off.
However, instead of spotlighting the sleek and cool but extremely product-focused video that Slain created, the one I see on a constant loop is the incredibly distracting (and after the tenth view, annoying) dancing people and clicking noise ad, as seen below:
Let me make this disclaimer before we go any farther: I liked the ad, but I hated the sacrifice of value proposition it made in favor of the cool factor – because it is possible to have both. Just ask Microsoft’s competition, Apple.
“The click” is the highlighted aspect of the ad, an external keyboard that attaches to the tablet. Other than that, I’m just not sure what is supposed to motivate me to purchase the Surface. The krumping school girls? Maybe the ability to leap through mid-air while clicking into place the keyboard that comes with it?
“I think the only people who have a legitimate chance of going to the store and purchasing are people who are sold on Microsoft already,” says Adam Lapp, Associate Director of Optimization, MECLABS, adding, “The ad doesn’t do anything to distinguish itself from the iPad, and you don’t even know cost. It does nothing to motivate you to learn more.”
As you design your own ads, consider these three steps to create an ad with a strong value proposition.