Comparing advertisement budgets from Apple and Microsoft


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The very popular (and often funny but not necessarily true) TV ads from Apple mocking Vista have generated a lot of talk. Discussions are usually about the facts that are presented in the commercials, naturally divided between Windows-users and apple-users. The facts in the commercials are sometimes true but also very debatable because they are rendered in a simplistic and humorous way. You have to keep in mind that they are just commercials, people!

One of the commercials brings forward the impressive marketing budget that was used by Microsoft to promote Windows Vista. It says that maybe they should have used that money to fix the major problems found in Vista instead of promoting it. I’m not going to say whether that’s true or not.. but I still prefer Windows XP.. by far! ;-)

The point of this article is that I read about the impressive numbers behind those ad campaigns. Microsoft’s advertising budget for Windows Vista is the well known $300 million. Lindsay Blakely from Bnet has posted an article about Apple’s numbers and where she found them. Apple’s Fiscal year ends in September and in its SEC Filings, the numbers are very clear. it turns out that Apples budget is even bigger than Vista’s. Apple spent a colossal $486 million on publicity in its last fiscal year. That’s half a billion dollars on advertising! With that budget, it’s almost impossible you didn’t see the vista-bashing commercials or at least iPod ads.

Microsoft, however, has a much bigger advertising budget when all their business units are combined. Including Windows, Office, Xbox and everything else, Microsoft’s ad budget was $1.2 billion for 2008. This would mean that Vista alone was about 25% of the entire budget.


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