Let’s face it – Microsoft is not exactly known for great advertising campaigns, specifically when it comes to consumer electronics such as its Zune MP3 player and music store. For several reasons, the iPod has dominated the MP3 market, mainly due to its tight integration with iTunes, and that application’s robust feature set. However, the iPod/iTunes habit is an expensive one, without question, and Microsoft is finally taking advantage of the current economic environment to remind consumers that being an Apple fan is expensive.
Take this latest ad, comparing the Zune and Zune Pass to the latest iPod. Both the 120GB iPod Classic and the 120GB Zune MP3 players are priced at ~$230 on Amazon, currently. The Zune has TONS more features, but we’ll ignore that, for now. In the ad, Microsoft points out – correctly – that in order to load that 120GB iPod Classic up with a full 30,000 songs, it would cost…well…$30,000. Alternatively, the ZunePass is a subscription service that gives you unlimited downloads each month.
Yes, there are several caveats to the ZunePass – DRM-protected, limited device support, etc. However, you could easily argue that most people with an MP3 player are listening to their songs in one of 2 places – on that MP3 player, or on their computer. For a large majority of people purchasing either a 120GB iPod Classic or a 120GB Zune, this comparison is tough to argue with.
I like this ad because it’s loud, but not annoyingly so, and because it’s simple. It doesn’t take much to see the sense in the argument, and there’s a really simple call to action – go check out the Zune. Easy as that. There’s no question left in the viewer’s head as to who the advertiser is or what the promised benefit is. The only real question in my mind is why Microsoft hasn’t released a Zune app for Windows Mobile that allows you to play ZunePass content on your smartphone. What do you think?