Supposedly, Apple Legal picked up the phone and gave their old friends at Redmond a call, and asked them to stop running its “Laptop Hunter” ads. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner had this to say during his keynote speech at the 2009 Worldwide Partner Conference.
And so we’ve been running these PC value ads. Just giving people saying, hey, what are you looking to spend? “Oh, I’m looking to spend less than $1,000.” Well we’ll give you $1,000. Go in and look and see what you can buy. And they come out and they just show them. Those are completely unscripted commercials.
And you know why I know they’re working? Because two weeks ago we got a call from the Apple legal department saying, hey — this is a true story — saying, “Hey, you need to stop running those ads, we lowered our prices.” They took like $100 off or something. It was the greatest single phone call in the history that I’ve ever taken in business. (Applause.)
I did cartwheels down the hallway. At first I said, “Is this a joke? Who are you?” Not understanding what an opportunity. And so we’re just going to keep running them and running them and running them.
Call me skeptical, but I just don’t buy this. For starters, since when does Apple Legal actually pick up the phone instead of mailing a letter, as is the standard practice in the legal world? Second, what are the odds that the guy who received the phone call just happened to be the same guy giving the keynote? Third, if Apple was really serious about this, they would have sent a cease and desist letter to Microsoft and would have followed up instead of making a weak telephone request and then forgetting about the whole thing.
This whole thing seems kinda fishy, and our guess is that it was simply an exaggerated story meant to rally up the troops and demonstrate just how successful Microsoft’s ads have been.