Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mom, Make Mac Stop Making Fun of Me!

Microsoft is spending over $300 million dollars to help win more customers to their PC platform. What, you might ask, are they doing with all that money? Increasing online security for their users? Building a lean, mean, operating system that boots automatically and never crashes? Designing a voice-activated environment that recognizes every voice command perfectly, while using practically no memory?

Nope. They're spending nearly a third of a billion on... get this: Looking Cool. You know, being popular. The National Business Review ran an article entitled,
"Microsoft to Seinfeld: If We Give You $10 Million, Can You Make Us Cool?" and spelled out the plans to enlist Jerry Seinfeld and other celebs to combat the powerful cultural cache delivered by the visual rhetoric of the "Buy a Mac" ads.

It seems that, in this case, the medium is the message (of course) - but it seems also that the rhetoric is the product! If you doubt it - view again some of those Mac arguments fraught with ethos-implications:

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