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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Turns the Tables on Apple Inc. (AAPL)

One of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s most successful and long-running ad campaigns of the past decade was its famous “I’m a Mac” campaign, cheerfully poking fun at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows in a lighthearted way so as not to appear too antagonizing.

Apple subtly undermined the rival operating system by calling out its biggest weaknesses. The campaign ran for a whole four years, a relatively long time in the world of advertising. Microsoft subsequently responded with a new “I’m a PC” campaign in an effort to spin the saying in a positive light.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)That was all years ago, and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has now turned the tables on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The software giant has released a new ad, but instead of personifying operating systems with comedians, Microsoft stacks up a pair of tablets.

The approach is very similar: Playfully call out the rival’s weaknesses in a jocular fashion. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s live tiles update with information dynamically while the iPad’s icons remain static. The iPad lacks PowerPoint, and can’t multitask apps side by side. The iPad model shown also costs $250 more than the Windows 8 tablet displayed, the ASUS VivoTab Smart. These are all true of the selected comparison.

This comes shortly after another Microsoft ad poking at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s long-standing battle with Samsung. That spot pitches the Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 920 to the Apple and Samsung loyalists duking it out at a wedding while touching phones and talking to Siri. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s recent ads are clever, and a little less aggressive than Samsung’s shots at the iPhone maker.

As rivals continue to prod it, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has opted to stick to the high ground and focus on its products. After a string of marketing flops, Apple went back to a reliable formula of emotional appeal combined with product demonstration, which is the same approach that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has adopted. The search giant has also chosen not to target rivals directly in its ads, instead showcasing what its gadgets can do.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s ad could easily prove to be a success from a marketing standpoint, borrowing from the same formula used against it so many years ago. Let’s see if it translates into Windows 8 sales.

The article Microsoft Turns the Tables on Apple originally appeared on and is written by Evan Niu, CFA.

Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

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