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Young Bill Gates, The Face Of Opportunity

Joe Wilcox pointed out this great ad on Microsoft.com using a very old photo of Bill Gates:

bill-gates-ad.jpg

It sends such a great message. The whole world over knows the story of Bill Gates, his enormous success coming from a very modest start creating software, and in a simple photo tells people everything they need to know about how software development can be very exciting and very rewarding.

The other interesting thing: This wouldn’t have been the smart thing to do several years ago, not before Gates’ reputation changed from hardcore aggressive evil businessman to kinda endearing nerd who did good and became a huge philanthropist.

Microsoft keeps running all these ads talking about a people ready business. How about showing real people! Bill Gates is just the start, these ads need to feature real people, in real situations, talking about how they really use Microsoft products. Have Bill Gates tell us about the cool Microsoft stuff he uses in his office, but also have a nurse in a hospital saying how she uses Microsoft, and a poor family using Encarta for homework, and a small business using Microsoft’s free accounting tool.

Microsoft’s “people ready” ads show thin, typical young to 40s people in a corporate environment. They need to get more personal, and get real, to show us people ready. If I was working there, I’d do the reverse of Channel 9, going to the customers instead of the employees, and asking them to tell us how they’ve succeeded using Microsoft products. That’s a huge untapped way to show off what Microsoft can and already does do.

April 19th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Corporate, Developers | 2 comments
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2 Comments »

  1. UK ads push MS as a “people_ready” business. Humanising MS would be a great start to breaking down the barriers that MS is some great behemoth with total disdain for everything in its path.

    This ad is a great step!

    What better way to invoke FEELINGS in people than to show them what can be done with a little imagination. If Bill can creat THIS, imagine what YOU can do using MS tools kinda thing!!

    Comment by Paul Fabretti | 4/19/2007

  2. […] to Nathan Weinberg for the […]

    Pingback by blending the mix » Blog Archive » | 4/23/2007

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