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Report: Microsoft's Laptop Hunter ads are working

Data from BrandIndex suggests the new campaign from Microsoft is improving the value perception of PCs against Macs, especially for 18- to 34-year olds.

So here's what having a strategy and taking a stand gets you. Yes, results.

At least that seems to be the conclusion one can reach from new data culled by BrandIndex. BrandIndex is a company that seems to get its kicks from tracking brands every 24 hours. A little neurotic, if you ask me. But you have to make a living somehow.

Anyway, its latest data suggests that Microsoft's "Laptop Hunters" campaign is radically altering value perceptions of PCs.

According to a report in AdAge, BrandIndex says Microsoft's so-called value perception has risen steadily since the campaign began in March, while Apple's has fallen.

Last winter, Apple stood at 70 on the value scale, while Microsoft was at zero. (Zero means that as many people feel bad about a brand as good) Now, Apple has fallen to 12.4, while Microsoft has risen to a glorious 46.2.

Here's the thing that might make you pause for wonder: the people who seem to be most influenced by the Microsoft campaign are aged 18 to 34.

Brand Index's global managing director for polling service YouGov told AdAge: "Apple had a pretty big advantage, historically, when we look at our data. Apple did a great job of putting Microsoft on the defensive. It made them look old, stodgy, complicated to use and unhip. But Microsoft has started to hit back, and younger folks are more cost- or value-focused."

I love research. I really do. It provides great fodder for discussion, cogitation and, ultimately, fireplaces.

The thing I am slightly more fascinated by is sales.

Currently, it may well be that younger people, who just might have less disposable income than those slightly older, are ragingly cost-conscious. (I have embedded a video that shows one young person's purchasing plight.) So when a survey person calls or e-mails them, they will give ragingly cost-conscious arguments.

This doesn't necessarily mean that their attitude while answering interesting existential questions will mirror their behavior when they come to buy.

Far more significant is the fact that Apple decided to respond to the Laptop Hunters campaign with an ad of its own. The competition always knows more than the researchers.

Microsoft has so far only pointed to a 10 percent increase in preference for PCs since the campaign was launched. When accurate and consistent sales figures emerge, they will be very interesting.

For those of you who are interested in what the slightly older folks thought, well, in the 35 to 49 age group, Microsoft went up a couple of weeks after the campaign launched, but now Apple has regained its lead.

Do these older people have more money or more sense? I will leave that to you to decide.