A new ad comparing Chromebooks to Windows laptops features Bill Nye “The Science Guy” breaking down the science of fear. The commercial claims that users are afraid to switch away from Windows machines and tries to convince people to overcome their fears (via ZDNet). It also makes claims about Windows laptops, stating that they are slow to boot up. It also implies that Windows devices are more prone to viruses by pointing out that Chromebooks have built-in virus protection.
It’s not rare for companies to make ads specifically comparing a product to a competitor’s device. This Chromebook ad never specifically mentions Windows, but it’s clearly referring to it. The license plate of Nye’s busted up car that’s slow to start and prone to freezing is “WNDWS.” Recently, Microsoft released a Surface commercial in which a person named Mac Book recommends a Surface over a MacBook. It’s a fairly common tactic among advertisers. Microsoft has also taken jabs at Google in the past.
This ad has some questionable points, however. Nye states in the commercial that “one [while pointing to the Chromebook] has built-in virus protection… The other [while pointing to the Windows laptop] should be quarantined.” Windows laptops come with Windows Defender, which recently received a perfect score in all three categories in an AV Test. It’s also worth questioning if people are afraid of switching or just prefer to use what they like using.
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