Microsoft pulls "wide of the mark" ads slamming new iPhones

Microsoft went on the offensive against Apple, then pulled a reverse ferret and yanked the ads in question.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

What's worse than snarky comments? Snarky comments from someone who can't back them up. That's what Microsoft's latest ad makes me think of. It's yet another Apple mickey take, pouring scorn on the Cupertino company's latest models of iPhone. But Microsoft has taken the ad down, and released a statement reneging on its original intent.

The ad takes the form of a fly-on-the-wall video, as two Apple staff present ideas for the new handsets. I've embedded it so you can judge for yourself if Microsoft was right to yank it.

As you can see, it's pretty merciless, laying into almost every new feature both handsets offer. The iPhone 5C's colours come in for a particular ribbing, which I find a bit odd, seeing as Apple didn't go with the usual flowery names the ad mocks (like "robin's egg blue" or "chartreuse"). The 5C's polycarbonate casing also comes in for a slating, which is a bit rich, seeing as Nokia (whose phones division is soon to be owned by Microsoft) offers its Lumia range of smart phones in the same material.

"Are we going to tell people they're made out of plastic?" the man from Apple says in the video. "Nah bro." Well Jony Ive describes the 5C as "unapologetically plastic" in the promo video. Come on Microsoft, at least get your facts straight.

Anyway, I thought Microsoft was above this kind of mudslinging

The ad is part of Microsoft's #timetoswitch campaign. It released no fewer than seven parodies, though this seems to be the only one anyone nabbed before Microsoft realised its mistake.

The Redmond-based company released a statement explaining why it yanked the ads. "The video was intended to be a light-hearted poke at our friends from Cupertino," it reads. "But it was off the mark, and we've decided to pull it down."

It's not the first time Microsoft has taken aim at Apple. Its ad promoting the Acer Iconia W3 had the iPad mini in its sights. Nokia and Samsung have also slammed Apple in ads before.

What do you think of the advert? A bit of harmless fun, or should it have never been made in the first place? Let me know in the comments, or advertise your thoughts over on our Facebook page.