Amazon’s second most popular laptop result when you search for the term and sort by best sellers is the following Samsung Chromebook. Moreover, Chromebooks have been popular on Amazon for quite some time. As if the threat from smartphones and tablets weren’t enough to scare the daylights out of Microsoft’s PC division, the Chromebook threat seems to be really inflicting damage. This is the reason Microsoft is “striking back” with an ad campaign featuring Pawn Stars cast explaining a Chromebook is not a real laptop, doesn’t work when there is no WiFi and goes on to explain that Google tracks you in order to show you ads and of course there is no Microsoft Office.
This is negative advertising at its finest – it is interesting though that Microsoft has to explain a lot about Chromebooks before it can bash them. This is why negative ads are so tough to pull off – especially when you are a category leader. In order to pull one off, you legitimize the competition and then explain more about their product before you make your argument against it.
It will be interesting to see if the ad campaign has a negative effect on Chromebook sales and how Google counters if at all.