By now, most of us are aware that Microsoft would much rather have us subscribing to Office 365 instead of buying something like Office 2019 and calling it good. Microsoft, in fact, wants you to buy a subscription to Office 365 so bad that it has absolutely no problem trashing Office 2019 in a new series of ads. Yes, you read correctly: With these ads, Microsoft is attempting to show how bad its own software really is.
It’s a risky strategy for Microsoft, because one of the keys to running a business successfully is to generally talk up your product rather than highlight its shortcomings. Still, that’s exactly what Microsoft is doing in a trio of new ads that show three pairs of identical twins attempting to carry out identical tasks – one of them using Office 365 and the other using Office 2019.
In one ad, the twins are tasked with filling out a spreadsheet with data on each of the 50 states. Since the twin using Office 365 has access to Excel data types, they were able to finish while the other twin was still stuck on inserting the capital of Alabama, the poor fool that he is.
Another ad has our twins attempting to edit a resume in Word before sending it off to recruiters through LinkedIn, while the final ad has a separate pair of twins finishing a presentation in PowerPoint by inserting slides and converting ink to text. In all instances, the twin using Office 365 won in a landslide, just as they should because Office 2019 is apparently garbage software.
We’re not really sure what Microsoft was thinking here. Surely it would have been better to just release a series of ads talking about the intelligent features in Office 365 without mentioning Office 2019 at all? We’re no marketers, of course, so maybe we’re missing the bigger picture, but it sure seems like bashing your own product isn’t a very sustainable way of doing business. Then again, we’re here talking about these questionable ads, so maybe Microsoft just played us all.