Apple vs. Microsoft rivalry had certainly cooled tons since the 1990s when the two companies were seemingly locked during a never-ending series of legal and other battles against each other for private computer dominance. But albeit relations have generally improved between the two tech titans, that does not mean that Microsoft is above reviving the old feud for marketing purposes.
In a short ad designed to market the Microsoft Surface Pro 2-in-1s, Microsoft takes a thinly veiled shot at Apple by comparing its device to a supposedly inferior “BlackBook.” For those keeping track of reception, the BlackBook is a stand-in for Apple’s MacBook.
Comparing Proverbial Apples to Oranges
The ad’s gist is that the Surface Pro may be a much more versatile device than the MacBook, boasting the power to detach its keyboard to use it as a tablet, alongside featuring a built-in kickstand, and more. Apple’s laptop (or, instead, the Apple-inspired generic brand X substitute) is depicted against a colourless backdrop, failing to try to to anything nearly as exciting.
The comparison is, of course, somewhat unfair. The MacBook isn’t a hybrid device, just like the Surface Pro and is meant to function as a standard laptop. A more apt comparison would be with the iPad Pro, which offers a detachable keyboard, and may be used as a tablet. (Plus, it runs Apple’s iPadOS OS, for those that view that as an enormous point over a Microsoft Windows product.)
The 2-in-1 range of Surface devices come with laptop-to-tablet versatility, enabling you work from anywhere, anytime. Sign up for a demo. pic.twitter.com/p9vTM3wMAu
— Microsoft India (@MicrosoftIndia) March 24, 2021
The Microsoft Surface Pro ad was shared on the company’s Microsoft India Twitter account. It ends with a screen imploring viewers to “Upgrade to Surface.” The accompanying text notes that:
“The 2-in-1 range of Surface devices accompany laptop-to-tablet versatility, enabling you [to] work from anywhere, anytime. check-in for a demo.”
To date, the ad has been watched quite 1.1 million times. It isn’t clear whether Microsoft has plans to roll out the campaign internationally or make follow-up ads within the same series.
Poking Fun at Rivals
Apple typically avoids comparing its products to those made by rivals’ lately. However, it arguably helped create this sub-genre of tech commercials poking fun at rivals—perhaps most notably with its “Get A Mac” series of ads which ran from 2006 to 2009.
Those ads featured comedic comparisons between actors representing both Macs and Windows PCs. The previous presented as hip and self-assured, and therefore the latter as neurotic and slightly dull.