Be careful with competitor caricatures

Microsoft recently released a series of online video ads that parody Apple, and then quickly removed them. As this article from Gawker describes, the ads were pulled not because they were offensive, but because they were just plain bad. (The Gawker article shows the only ad that is still online.)

There’s a lesson for all of us in this: It’s easy create shared beliefs within our own organizations about things, such as our competitors, and believe them to be true just because everyone around us does. In this case, it’s clear that Microsoft ridicules Apple and includes caricatures of Apple that reflect what Microsoft people think, but not necessarily what people watching the ads will think.

Question the consensus within your company. You may just be reinforcing each others’ beliefs, with groupthink that doesn’t represent what the rest of the world thinks.


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Posted in Marketing, Observations

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