The power of advertising?

I’ve covered before the “laptop hunters” advertisements but I may have no better example of the power of these things and why FUD must be countered in order to give users an informed choice that is best for them.

Im sure regular readers will agree, I very rarely mention Apple.  Thats not because I am against proprtietary per say, its simply because the wife treats the Mac like a holy relic and I very rarely get a chance to play on it.  The one thing I never do (even as a reasonably experience user in many platforms) is call a system “trash” if you notice I will refer to Vista as having “issues” simply because even Vista has enough functionality to not deserve the title “trash”.  Its a sweeping statement that in end means nothing (and can be misleading) if the person saying it is not qualified to do so.

So firstly lets look at a new advert thats popped up on the Net, much to the delight of many of our Microsoft faithful.

http://www.itsbetterwithwindows.com/

I’m sure most people see it for what it is, an advert.  The attractive mother, sunny days, happy children and good times for all is the way it tries to deliver the Microsoft experience on the Netbook.  Until now I would have believed the power of advertising had no effect on the masses since its pretty obvious the advert is designed to sell you something with an idealistic lifestyle being represented.

The following user (who I wont identify yet in the hope they come here first and justify their comments) seems (IMO) to have completely bought into the laptop hunter ethos.  I’m sure they are not alone.  This to me highlights how dangerous adverts can be to some.  Lets have a look at the conversation:

User: loves the tmobile wing! fuck #apple, im a #microsoft techie

Goblin: and thats something good because…? I didn’t know Blockbuster staff were #Microsoft Certified these days.😉

This user hit an annoyance of mine immediately.  Claiming some sort of expertise.  What I have said repeatedly (and as a result some of the people named here before have now corrected) is claiming some sort of technical superiority on a product or range.  It is up to OTHER people if you are a “techie” or not.

So the conversation went on:

User: its good to be a #microsoft nerd because #apple is over rated and designed for asthetics and not functionability

Goblin: Thats a joke right? Have you used a #MAC ? If you are into functionality and not aesthetics why not use Linux then? theres plenty of distro’s that will satisfy your “tech” thirst. Gentoo? you don’t have to use KDE or Gnome you know. I’d love to hear your comments on why Apple is overrated…I think you’ve bought into the “Laptop Hunter” ads. Oh dear. In all seriousness, Id love you to visit my site and state your case with an appropriate article. Zune? remember – 01/01/2009 ?

So now we move to the realm of insult.  Now keep in mind I just want to know why our budding David Braben is claiming OSX trash.

User: You are a pompous asshole. This is an unwinnable debate and my occupation and major are irrelevant. #asshole

and I’d say thats a true comment, UNTIL you start casting judgement in areas where you are not qualified to do so.  Just like I couldn’t call the Vista code “trash” you certainly can’t draw the same inference on OSX UNLESS you have the relevant credentials.  So after my comments again asking for clarity on his opinion, we get this:

User: thats where your wrong. I’m forced to use OSx in school & on a friends computer. Ive wasted more than $1k on ipods which all broke

and there is the qualification.  I appreciate that people are entitled to their own opinion, but if you are going to post in a public forum with sweeping remarks, expect to be challenged, if you dont like it there is always PM.

I wont be hard on this user (and I don’t believe they have a hidden agenda) as I think it represents how powerful advertising and large proprietary firms marketing can be.  You have a section of people who praise a product, yet don’t really have a good reason for doing so.  In respect of these alleged broken Ipods, Microsoft have had issues with broken Xbox360’s have they not?  Does that make them trash?  Zune had a failure on new years eve.  Does that make Zune trash?  You just have to look at the sales figures of Zune to see what people really want to buy, and I dont believe its Microsoft’s offering.  Even though you allegedly had bad luck with your Apple experience, Im sure you’d agree that its not what everyone had, otherwise there would be a massive public outcry towards Apple and they wouldn’t have recieved the great profit figures that they had last quarter and if Apple were as bad as that, Microsoft would’nt need to make reference to them in their adverts would they?

I have no particular love or hate for Apple, but just like I challenged the Linux advocate who posted misleading text, the same must be done for all platforms in the spirit of fairness.

In respect of the conversation, Ill hold back on the link until we see if we get a proper justification.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com



7 Comments Add yours

  1. anim0city says:

    Advertisement is not to blame, Ive had windows since dial-up internet. Four ipods have broken, my zune hasnt. Hardware compatability and software compatability alone KILL OSx is my main argument which you have ignored several times because its true. I dont play video games so I dont care about Xbox and my Zune has never failed or needed reformatting. Id suggest next time you debate microsoft you should take the time to defend Apple because Im not sure why its not trash even after our ‘debate’. Also, I think you handled the entire conversation immaturely, your good editing techniques seem to mask that here, though, clever.

  2. openbytes says:

    Firstly, thanks for taking the time to reply.
    Lets look at your justifications in more detail, and also let me put it to you now, that what you seek to imply Apple are guilty of, Microsoft is just as much so.

    Quote “Advertisement is not to blame, Ive had windows since dial-up internet.”

    There, IMO we hit upon the main reason. How can you be expected to move to Apple when as you admit, you’ve been with Windows since dial up. This would have been the perfect justification (as I said before) for you choosing Windows, the simple fact that you are more comfortable with it. Theres not a problem with that at all, but to declare a system as trash simply because of personal reasons is a little misleading is it not?

    Quote “Four ipods have broken, my zune hasnt.”

    Are you really saying that you believe this is a global experience? I would doubt it since the Ipod popularity far exceeds that of Zune. I think what you detail here isn’t so much of a hardware one, but rather a consumer one. Theres a difference. Before you ask, I would not want an ipod either, but thats not for any reason other than I have no need for a portable MP3 player.

    Quote “Hardware compatability and software compatability alone KILL OSx is my main argument which you have ignored several times because its true.”

    So lets have these examples, but before you give them consider that Apple provides a complete hardware solution with its MAC. Have you ever visited a Vista forum where people have tried to upgrade from XP and hit numerous problems. This is not so much a fault of Microsoft, but when you are dealing with a diverse range of hardware configs, I’d suggest a Windows installation would be more prone to problems than a MAC solution. (IMO) Please list these compat issues you have.

    Quote “I dont play video games so I dont care about Xbox and my Zune has never failed or needed reformatting. ”

    Neither do I (for the most part) but that wasn’t the point, the point made was that a hardware failure does not automatically make for a “trash” comment. Zune failed on new years eve when a problem with its code caused it to hang. That wasn’t one unit, it was many.

    Quote “Id suggest next time you debate microsoft you should take the time to defend Apple because Im not sure why its not trash even after our ‘debate’.”

    and I’m not sure what point you are trying to make. The challenge wasn’t so much a defense of Apple, it was more a challenge of a sweeping remark with a personal experience basis.

    Quote “Also, I think you handled the entire conversation immaturely, your good editing techniques seem to mask that here, though, clever.”

    Immature?

    Let me quote you:
    “loves the tmobile wing! fuck #apple, im a #microsoft techie”

    “You are a pompous asshole. This is an unwinnable debate and my occupation and major are irrelevant.”

    Where have I been immature? Please quote me, and while you are doing that, I’d love to hear of your compat issues.

    Like I say to so many people:
    ” cave quid dicis, quando, et cui.”

    I look forward to your reply.

    *EDIT*
    Since anim0sity has cast doubt on the original conversation by implying I’ve falsely represented him, please go to http://www.twitter.com/_goblin and you can see the entire conversation in its context.

  3. buildyourfortune says:

    Wow, this is very interesting. I enjoyed reading your post. I do have to ask or should I what “cave quid dicis, quando, et cui” means?
    When you get a chance check out my site: http://budurl.com/95ch and let me know what you think, thank you.

  4. anim0city says:

    I wasn’t rude until you decided to talk about my job and Major, which go hand-in-hand because I work myself through school. I consider trash anything i can picture myself throwing away and ive thrown away plenty of apple products. Apple may offer a full line of hardware but I like having a plethora of options.

    “Media courses cover software engineering now?” rude.

    “I didn’t know Blockbuster staff were #Microsoft Certified these days. ;)” rude.

    And Im fully comfortable and know how to use Apple, I just dislike it. I was once a fan, for like three seconds. I got a laptop this year for free and still didnt buy an Apple, price difference aside

  5. anim0city says:

    but Im personally bored with this so I’d appreciate it if you left it alone, my opinion won’t change, your opinion wont, I agree to disagree

  6. openbytes says:

    Notice the😉 ? and in anycase (unlike you) I justified why the labeling of something without qualification is so wrong. In regards to the Media course comment, since that IS A COURSE not a personal slight, I’d say you were trying to make an issue out of it and if you didn’t want a comeback like that I’d suggest you keep your sweeping generalizations to yourself (or post them privately to your friends)

    Quote “And Im fully comfortable and know how to use Apple, I just dislike it. I was once a fan, for like three seconds. I got a laptop this year for free and still didnt buy an Apple, price difference aside”

    Quote “but Im personally bored with this so I’d appreciate it if you left it alone, my opinion won’t change, your opinion wont, I agree to disagree”

    and thats your entitlement to ask. You’ve proved again you cant justify yourself properly and IMO reinforced what I was saying about labels and qualification. You haven’t stated these compat issues and you haven’t given any further details.

    You haven’t given any fact for me to disagree with, simply a statement which you refuse to justify with a few examples.

    I’m sure you are bored and maybe a sign that you are not really a “Microsoft techie” since if you were, I put it to you that debate and justification would be something you would relish (and be able to do.)

    FUD. Needs to be challenged if its directed at Microsoft, Apple or Linux, it’s what prevents users from making informed choice.

    In answer to the comment from the other poster in relation to “cave quid dicis, quando, et cui.” it is particularly relevant to the conversation that Anim0sity tried to have:

    “beware what you say, when, and to whom”

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