Microsoft pulls awful iPhone mocking ads, admits they were 'off the mark'

Apple seems to be a constant target in Microsoft's advertising campaign of late, but the latest effort out of Redmond has actually been pulled. The 'parody' ads poking fun at the new iPhones depicted fictitious meetings taking place within the walls of Apple's Cupertino HQ, and even had a character that looked a lot like Steve Jobs – albeit from behind. Now, in speaking to CNET, Microsoft explains why the ads have been taken down:

The campaign "was intended to be a lighthearted poke at our friends from Cupertino. But it was off the mark, and we've decided to pull it down," a Microsoft representative told CNET.

Fun is fun, but there's a fine line and Microsoft seems to acknowledge that this time, the line was crossed. It also continues to differentiate Apple marketing from that of its competitors; Apple shows the strength of it's own products, not simply trying to trash another company's.

Did you see the ads before they were taken down? And do you think Microsoft is right to take them down? If you want to see a much better quality parody, jump a little further for a reminder of TeamCoco's fine effort from late last week.

Source: CNET

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Microsoft pulls awful iPhone mocking ads, admits they were 'off the mark'


It was not just awful. It was stupid and served no purpose.

But what would you expect from these desperate companies? Microsoft, Google, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, RIM ... gosh so many to remember! LOL

Apple did it back in the day so. What the diff. at least they did admit it was in bad taste.

Yeah but I don't think you could call what Apple did as being in bad taste. They were mocking the PC, knowing that lots of people use PC's at home because its what they use at work and are familiar with.

The same reasoning goes for the iPhone (lots of people use them and are familiar with them). Not sure what point you're making since the competition always wants to take jabs at the top dog.

Would really say they are still the top dog thou. Not mocking the phone or the OS. But the Galaxy market share is quiet big. I do like the iOS and phone, but are they really top dog still.

Desperate companies, man APPLE users are dumber than I thought....

You guys just crack me up, if this was reversed, you'd all be saying Apple has character or something like that....

If you are hinting at the I'm a Mac line of commercials, which everyone likes to point to that series as "look, Apple did it," miss the point. Apple took a perceived by many issue with Windows, often an issue many people faced, and mentioned it then, and this is the key, explained why the Mac was better in that instance.

They were not ads that said, Windows based PCs stink. Laughter. Boom with the Apple logo at the end.

Sent from the iMore App

Dude does commercials were complete and utter BS and totally tried to get the message across that PC's stink. The the perceived "why MAC was better" in that instance was even a bigger truckload of BS.

Yep, I watched the ad. My impression was that the ad's tasteless reference to Jobs was less offensive than its reckless stupidity.

I think Microsoft should have left it up as an instructive case for how a company in decline behaves before it collapses on itself.

I don't think the ads crossed any arbitrary line, but they were just plain awful. I'm all for a good ad poking fun -- even mocking -- at Apple, but these ads were stupid. It wasn't even clear to me what they were trying to poke fun at.

I guess my circle of friends is the only group in the world the finds these ads funny. True, they should not be TV ads, but they easily fit into the new class of viral YouTube ads that goes around. For starters, people that have been expecting more from Apple in the last two years are getting a little frustrated, so this ad seems to hit a nerve. "We're going to give users the Finger...the Fingerprint," or "We can charge anything we want".

At our Company, we had about 200 iPhones, but now those are melting away as contracts renew and our company decided to support Samsung-Android & Nokia-Microsoft. Last year, about half of the people that had renewals moved to Samsung, this year its about 1/3 Samsung, 1/3 Microsoft & 1/3 iPhone.

Two years ago, news teams were covering people sleeping on sidewalks to get their iPhone first. In some cases, people were buying as many as they could, so they could sell them for more than they paid. Those days are behind us. I don't imagine many people will camp out on sidewalks for fingerprint recognition. The iPhone fad is behind us. Apple, has no more tricks up their sleeve for now. They're going to have to slug out the feature/margin challenge like everyone else, only they're not really good at that.

The video went around the office late Friday and over the weekend. Apple and all the crazed people we had who "slept on sidewalks" have become kind of a joke around here and this ad sums it up for us.

I agree that Conan's parody was more intelligent and much funnier. Microsoft just has no class at all. Leave it to Conan, a Harvard man, to do it right!

They have a hell of a lot more class than most Enterprise companies out there, and they've done a lot more for people than most companies put together.

I agree that they have done a lot for enterprise in general. Not a day at work goes by without me using Outlook and Exchange in general. But that doesn't mean they have any taste. Steve Jobs put it best: "The problem with Microsoft is that they have no taste. They have no taste and I don't mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way." The pulled parody commercial and all of the current iPad commercials demonstrate Steve's point beautifully.

So they pulled the ads because they have no taste? Seems to be the other way around...unlike Apple. Steve Jobs put it best huh, we talking the same classless guy who wouldn't even recognize his own illegitimate child who at the time didn't want anything from him except acknowledgement. Is it the same guy who ran the company that sent 7 year old girls Cease & Desist letters when they wrote to the company for a school project?

BTW, I wasn't talking about their Technical Prowess, I was talking about taste and class outside their business, like all the money they've donated, and all the things they've done for various communities...Unlike Apple who couldn't give a RATS A$$ about 11 year old kids being whipped to build iPhones until it gets into the news....

Heh, that's reserved for the ones who pose at Starbucks with thrir Macbook, Ipad and Iphone all lined up on the table.

Best commercial ever. Y? Because it's true! Apple stopped being innovative after releasing iPhone 1. Since then they are trying to catch up with the rest of the world.

What a shame, company which first implemented touchscreen technology, and so many years later - none of they All-in-ones or laptops has a touchscreen. First company inventing GUI - graphic.user interface, and they iPhone home screen didn't change for years and years and years - still looks like poop, just flat now (which is style implemented by Windows and Android). Pathetic.

All you blinded Apple lovers... you deserve to pay extra for piece of crap.

Me: Computer system analyst, 15 years user experience and interface designer.

P.S. I didn't subscribe for notification if any of you blinded apple ass suckers will reply with some low IQ comments, so don't even bother (but since you are a low IQ creatures anyway, you will reply, and I still won't give an apple crap) LOL Suckazzzzz