How do Microsoft's advertisements really affect Apple?

Anybody who's anybody knows about Microsoft's 'Laptop Hunters' range of advertisements, and how they're targeting the prices of Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. If, for some reason, you haven't seen the ads yet, a quick search on Neowin will get you up to speed. Critics have bashed the range of videos for 'bending the truth', though Microsoft supporters love them to pieces. There's a question that's been raised a few times, though... are these ads working? Is Apple taking a hit in the public's eye (and wallet), or are they doing just fine? A recent BrandIndex study reported by AdAge reveals a bit of insight.

BrandIndex has talked to 5,000 people regularly over a period of several months, and what they've determined is that Microsoft has overtaken Apple in terms of value perception. When did this overtaking happen? At the end of March, roughly around when Microsoft began the Laptop Hunters advertisement range. Let us explain how the value perception value is determined: BrandIndex goes to a customer, and asks them whether they got a good deal for their dollar. Obviously, they need to talk to a lot of people, so that's why 5,000 consumers were involved. We've included a graph of the dates and the value perception for both Apple and Microsoft below.


Image courtesy of AdAge.com.

The survey consisted of 18-34 year olds, who showed BrandIndex that "the age group gave Apple its highest rating in late winter, when it notched a value score of 70 on a scale of -100 to 100 (a score of zero means that people are giving equal amounts of positive and negative feedback about a brand)." The score sits at around about 12.4 today, as shown on the graph. Microsoft, though, has gone from a score of almost 0 in early February to 46.2 at the time of writing.

Ted Marzilli, who is the global managing director for BrandIndex at consumer polling service YouGov, said that, "Apple had a pretty big advantage, historically, when we look at our data." He added, "Apple did a great job of putting Microsoft on the defensive. It made them look old, stodgy, complicated to use and unhip. But Microsoft has started to hit back, and younger folks are more cost- or value-focused." Marzilli linked this to the ad campaign by saying, "It would be very unusual for Microsoft's score to be increasing this much and Apple's to be decreasing without some sort of event driving that, like a major campaign that's particularly successful."

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