Flicking through my copy of the Daily Telegraph the other day I came across the Microsoft XP ad - you know, the one that is said to look like Teletubby land - and it struck me.
After being forced to abandon its original 'You can fly' slogan following events in New York, Microsoft and its advertising agency were doubtless working night and day to conceive of an equally snappy slogan. They arrived at 'Yes you can'.
Unfortunately, this sounds like it was always second on a very short list. As far as the channel is concerned, of course, it should have been: 'Yes you can (if Bill Gates says you can because in future Bill will be calling the shots for all you guys.').
But this time the usual furore about whether Microsoft is killing the technology industry by bundling everything into an operating system was quite muted as there is a war on.
However, if we are not in the mood for that argument and Microsoft is going to get away with driving every other application provider to the wall, the least that is to be expected is that it will reinvigorate the market.
Unfortunately, its advertising thus far doesn't augur well. To drive sales for its partners it could have at least come up with some decent marketing, and frankly, listening to an ageing pop queen making some mild drug references just isn't going to cut it. Even if the product is good, Microsoft's marketing is looking very jaded.
Saying that, you have to say well done to Microsoft's PR agency/department for selling the same story to the press concerning Madonna's Ray of Light as they had when they used Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones for Windows 95.
"We paid the Stones/Madonna XX million to use the song," they say, and this completely unprovable story was duly copied by pliant journalists because a big number always looks good to the news editor.
But, of course, while selling the same story may be fun for Microsoft and make their PR agency/department feel clever, it is neither original nor that effective.
So instead of forking out all of that money on Madge - even if she is the acceptable face of English aristocracy since her marriage to Mr Ritchie - Microsoft would have been better off giving the money to its channel partners and allowing them to choose a song for their own marketing.
For Windows XP, my own choice would have been Spinal Tap's legendary Gimme Some Money. Even in marketing, people like the truth.
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