Microsoft has found new moxie, and its just-announced Meet Your Match YouTube viral video campaigns are taking on competitors Apple and Google. Right now, however, the campaign seems mostly focused on the hardware advantages of the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X phones’ cameras.
The videos all start with the same message from Microsoft employee Ben “the PC guy” Rudolph: ”Hi, I’m Ben, and today I’m showing people why Windows Phone is a better match for them than iPhone and Android.”
In the spots, Rudolph — no red nose in evidence — shows up apparently unexpectedly, surprising iPhone and Android users, and showing them something better about his Windows Phone. Cheeky, but effective, at least in the spots that made it to YouTube.
Here’s one of the iPhone 5 segments, which uses the Nokia Lumia 920, which has an 8.7 megapixel camera to iPhone 5′s 8 megapixels. Yes, that’s the same phone that Nokia famously used in its faked ad — the ad that led users to believe it was shot with the 920, when in fact it was shot with a high-end video camera.
But the camera is, actually, quite good:
A quibble: Ben doesn’t use the iPhone 5′s built-in flash. He doesn’t with the Nokia either, but if the Nokia is optimized for low-light capability, that could be seen as something of an unfair competition. Or, from the other side of the coin, as an example of why you want a diversity of devices in your mobile collection, with differing capabilities for differing user requirements.
Rudolph runs the same script by a family which has a myTouch Android phone from T-Mobile, with a 5 megapixel camera. This time he uses HTC’s Windows Phone 8X, which has an 8MP camera:
Again, predictably, the Windows phone wins.
How effective these ads will be remains to be seen.
What is clearly visible, however, is that Microsoft is no longer content to take a backseat in the mobile device market, and with Surface and Windows Phone 8 is making a major push to become a significant player.