Once upon a time, the ad marketplace was defined by Avis vs. Hertz or Bud vs. Miller. But in 2008, nothing got Madison Avenue buzzing like Microsoft's long-awaited counter-attack to Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign -- and Apple's equally anticipated riposte.
With Crispin Porter + Bogusky molding Microsoft and TBWA\Worldwide channeling Apple, we had no choice but to call it a draw.
CPB: Crispin co-opts Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign and debunks it with hip surfers, African schoolkids, Eva Longoria, and more.
TBWA: TBWA steps up the narrative to meta heights, using Apple's John Hodgman -- Justin Long duo to mock Microsoft's $300 million ad blitz.
CPB: Makes Apple ads look smug and insulting to Microsoft users, who actually are, we realize, all of us.
TBWA: The comedic act aggressively reminds users that Microsoft is more interested in spinning its image than fixing its lackluster product.
Best Sound Bite
CPB: Says the Microsoft engineer: "I'm a PC, and I've been made into a stereotype."
TBWA: Says Long to Hodgman: "Do you really think that amount of money is going to fix Vista?" Responds Hodgman: "I guess you're right. I'll just put it all in advertising."
Clever Image Inversion
CPB: Crispin uses earnestness to make the bully (Microsoft) look like the underdog.
TBWA: TBWA uses snark to make the bully (Apple) look like the underdog.
CPB: Crispin's "Whopper Freakout" campaign for Burger King drives Whopper sales up 29% and is the most recalled ad in years.
TBWA: TWBA wins $600 million Visa Global account.
The New Cola Wars
CPB: Client Coke Zero posts double-digit growth while the rest of the category in North America fizzled.
TBWA: Snatches Pepsi account away from BBDO, the drink maker's agency for 48 years.