Apple's "Mac vs. PC" ads are advertising legend now, and in 30 seconds can do more to spotlight the differences between Appleand Microsoftthan just about anything else.
So effective, they even annoyed Bill Gates, who says when he first saw them, he didn't get them; didn't understand them.
Apple's ads are almost appointment television: you move a little closer to the screen, you turn up the volume a little more. They just work.
Apple: CNBC Intelligence
And all the while, Microsoft investors and fans have been waiting for the company to answer. To come up with something that takes a swipe back. For Microsoft to fight back.
And for years, Microsoft has been silent. Quietly letting Apple paint its opponent. Control the message. And it has been working. Mac sales are soaring, Microsoft shares have gone nowhere, and Vista is largely viewed as a dog. And not a cute puppy, but a dog that doesn't perform.
Apple has owned the message.
So imagine Madison Avenue's surprise when The Wall Street Journal reported today that Microsoft will embark on a $300 million image campaign for Vista, and use comedian Jerry Seinfeld as its pitchman, paying him a reported $10 million for the gig.