Last Trek commercial I saw that had me smiling was this one featuring William Shatner and his long-time nemesis the rubber suit Gorn hawking the new Star Trek video game. This time around we’ve got Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto trying to sell…Audi cars. Okay, I’m not exactly “getting” the connection between Star Trek and Audi automobiles but whatever. Nevertheless, Trek fans should get a real hoot out of this one which features Nimoy swearing and singing his “famous” song the, “Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.”
Well Nintendo finally kicked off its marketing blitz with their first Wii U full length commercial today titled, “How U Will Play Next.” Video game launches can be special events especially if they are big franchises such as next week’s Halo 4 or Call of Duty Black Ops 2 due the week after but I have to admit the only thing more exciting is new hardware. The Wii has been by far the most bought system this console cycle but if one looks at sales charts it was massively front loaded selling like hot cakes in the first few years and then basically falling off a cliff the past two years allowing Microsoft’s Xbox 360 to surge ahead in North America (although it still lags behind the Wii in total units sold). Globally there is still no contest as the Wii will end the current console cycle number one worldwide.
While the previous Surface ad was filled to the brim with people of all ages dancing with glee at the arrival of Microsoft’s newest hardware product it has to be asked whether or not it truly educated consumers as to what the Surface was all about. Techies will already know about it especially those Microsoft fans as well as businesses which have been evaluating it for office consumption. The average consumer on the other hand probably has next to zero information on the Surface and, more importantly, a truly lacking rationale as to why they should care to consider the product over the iPad or other tablet. This new ad from Microsoft surely will go a long way in introducing the Surface and at least making a succinct case as to how it is truly differentiated from its competition.
Well that was fast. After months of speculation Microsoft finally went ahead and bit the bullet by announcing pricing for their Surface RT line of tablets and as I expected it is exactly in line with their primary competition namely the iPad. I realize the Net was abuzz that perhaps Microsoft was somehow going to release this at a crazy low price but most seemed to have forgotten that Microsoft themselves gave the statement that it would be priced competitively compared to similar tablets.
It has been a very long time since I penned a technology or marketing related post but it seems the right time with the advent of Microsoft’s marketing blitz for arguably their biggest gamble with the impending launch of their Surface brand of tablets to directly combat Apple’s seemingly insurmountable lead with the iPad. Sure, some might say that Microsoft’s bigger product would be the launch of Windows 8 and though I agree the fact remains that Microsoft is playing to their software strengths in the new OS whereas Surface represents a sharp U-turn for the company into releasing their own hardware.
Why do people watch reality TV? While there are plenty of reasons one might point out I am sure a huge percentage of people tune in weekly just to see how ridiculously bad/awful/ridiculous things are for those “performers” and are elated that compared to them, their own situation seems imminently much better. There is some sort of sadistic emotional resonance going on when people watch other people implode whether through economic hardship or plain old romantic failure. The list of disasters these virtual families go through make day time soap operas seem tame. Nevertheless, in terms of the business world the same phenomenon can be seen except instead of virtual families we revel in watching big hulking corporations explode before us in a cacophony of sheer stupidity.
Nokia continues its global campaign for its Lumia line of Windows Phone devices and while initial reports range from them doing below expectations to higher than expected all we can say for sure is to wait for Nokia’s quarterly results which will no doubt shed light on how well it did or didn’t do. When rumoured sales figures come in as low as 500,000 to higher than 2 million it shows that many have no idea how well Nokia can execute as the Lumia is essentially a re-launch of the brand.
As many fans of mobile phones will probably already know Apple and Samsung are not the closest of corporate friends right about now as both companies are locked in a massive litigation battle regarding patents. I won’t bother to get into the nitty-gritty of the various issues but anyone can merely go to Google or Bing and do a search to find out how each company is taking this very seriously.