Crispin Porter is a very, very good ad agency. I don’t always agree with their creative, but more often than not it has a positive effect. As they get bigger, though, they run into client issues, category issues, and problems they haven’t seen before, making it hard to succeed all the time.
One issue they are currently addressing with the new Microsoft advertising is the corner they have been painted into by TBWA/Chiat Day’s “I’m a PC” campaign for Apple. The campaign uses a Bill Gates-like nebbishey figure to represent the PC and he is never as cool or consumer-friendly as the Apple figure. Moreover, he takes shots like a hockey goalie.
Crispin Porter has done a campaign that plays defense against the Apple campaign, in a sense whining about being mistreated and made into a “stereotype.” This defensive position is a mistake and very un-Crispin-like. They are best when on offense. Secondly, the genius of the Apple work is not in dis-ing Microsoft so much as it dis-ing the PC. Microsoft has taken the bait…focusing on the PC not the software. Microsoft needs its own idea. About software. And “Life without walls.” (the new line) isn’t it.