picture 35 Microsoft starts fooling people into thinking they are coolLast March, Microsoft awarded its new $300 million consumer-branding campaign to ad-agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The agency is famous for its innovative and controversial ad campaigns for the Mini Cooper, Burger King, Molson and a recent mock porn movie made for Virgin Atlantic’s business travelers. Now Alex Bogusky, the guy who made Crispin Porter + Bogusky famous, is going to try to make Microsoft just as cool, or cooler, as Apple. Will they succeed? I read all about this story in a recent Fast Company issue and if you are interested in branding, Microsoft and/or Apple then I can highly recommend reading the article.

We are anxiously waiting for Microsoft’s next move. How cool will their next ad campaign be? Will it make fun of Apple? What are they thinking of? Well, it seems their first experiment is a new campaign called “The Mojave Experiment”, and it is something of a letdown.

Basically Microsoft has Punk’d a bunch of XP users by showing them Windows Vista and pretending it was their next Operating System. These users where filmed, shown some of its cool features and then the truth was revealed. The result is a bunch of security cam styled movies on a flashy website showing people pretending to be amazed with the great and innovative features this secret new operation system has to offer. The idea sucks, and the execution even more.

As Wil Shipley writes at his blog ‘Microsoft has managed to prove that if you have a friendly expert on a controlled machine (with Vista pre-installed) showing a carefully selected subset of Vista features to an ignorant XP user for a few minutes, the XP user will often say he finds Vista acceptable.’

In reality, finding 22 computer amateurs in July 2008 that haven’t even seen the highly publicised Windows Vista yet, just proves that their sudden change of heart about wanting something new means absolutely nothing. Yes, Microsoft, placebo’s work for a little while…