Microsoft Windows with PC User Sean Sillar

Microsoft is moving into the next phase of the Windows Videos campaign, leaving Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld behind to reveal the everyday PC users who love Microsoft, with the tagline, “Windows, Not Walls”.

Sean Sillar in Mirosoft Windows television commercial

Sean Sillar, a Microsoft employee, takes the honor of being the real PC, not the stereotype played by John Hodgman in Apple’s Get A Mac series.

Sillar is followed by a montage of real-life PC users, celebrities and Microsoft Windows engineers who all repeat the “I’m a PC” mantra, including author Deepak Chopra, actress Eva Longoria, basketball player Tony Parker, hip-hop star Pharrell Williams, a graffiti artist, an Obama blogger, a McCain broadcaster, a scuba diver in a shark cage, an astronaut, and a grizzled commercial fisherman.

Eleftheria Parpis at Adweek quotes David Webster, general manager of brand and marketing strategy at Microsoft, as saying the new phase of the Windows campaign is about taking back the PC brand and telling the truth around what a universe of nearly a billion users love about the product every day. “While it does build on the caricature that Apple created around the PC, this dumpy guy who does not do anything interesting, after that initial point, it’s really not about them, it’s about us and our users.”

The tag’s use of the word “walls” is intended “to describe the various walls that can creep up in your technical life: walls between work and play and home, having to have different solutions from each of those or the walls between the devices you have, the walls between you and people and the services you want to use,” said Webster. “It was a good way to summarize the broad human compatibility that Windows provides.

PC Not A Stereotype

Eric Lai at Computer World points out that Microsoft is the elephant and Apple is the mouse.

“It’s Marketing 101. It clearly makes sense for the No. 2 guy to pick a fight with the No. 1 guy,” said Eric Hollreiser, director of corporate communications for Microsoft. But with its ad counterattack, Microsoft does not need to spend too much time on Apple, he said. “There were some pervasive misperceptions that we needed to address. It’s unmistakeable that we will focus on them. But we will quickly pivot to the positive values of Windows.”

Hollresier says Microsoft would rather get that message across subtly, through things such as its slogan, “Windows. Not Walls,” which “provides differentiation.” “We wanted to talk about us, [and] have people hear what we have to say about Windows, not what we say about competitors,” Hollreiser said.

Despite the number of people claiming that Seinfeld was pulled in favour of the new phase, it appears as though there’s a third spot in the wings, planned by Crispin Porter & Bogusky.

The 60-second commercial will air at 9:30 p.m. September 18, Eastern Time, during NBC’s The Office. A Web video version will be made available on the Microsoft Windows YouTube channel, on Microsoft’s Windows Site, and right here in this post!

Click on the image below to play the first I’m a PC video.

Click on the image below to play the second I’m a PC video.