This VAIO Is Not Mine

When I first saw this online ad a few days ago, it got my attention and a clickthrough. Given the fact that even Dell recently realized that plastic comes in more than one colour, I thought it was nice to see yet another PC company trying to compete in terms of product design.

Sadly, once you get to the site, you realize the ad's a huge over promise. Turns out that what the fancy Photoshop work is trying to tell you is that you'll be able to choose your laptop's components (nothing new) and then, drumroll please ... inscribe two lines of text just North of the Esc key. Ooooh, someone call Apple and see if they can do something with this! (Sorry for the two Apple posts in one day, but if nothing else, strictly on an online marketing level, they certainly paint a juxtaposition, don't they?)

Now, I realize that a lot of good advertising deals in metaphor, but I don't think it's particularly working here. After all, there are many companies out there that, for example, will allow you to do things like sending in your own designs to personalize a snowboard. And Nike's been letting kids embroider their name on the back of a pair shoes for years. That is, of course, as long as said kids' names don't translate to a political statement or a tirade against global capitalism :-)

At first, I thought I was missing something. The page where you'd be able to design your laptop's cover, even from a predetermined set of images like the new design-your-own-card site from Starbucks. I haven't found it yet, but I did find this in their handy FAQ:

How can I personalize my VAIO® Notebook PC?

To truly make this VAIO® Notebook PC your own, you’ll want to put your stamp on it. You have the option to engrave a personal message directly onto your VAIO® Notebook PC, up to 30 characters. Preview your message as it will appear on your VAIO® Notebook PC. You can also select the colour of your VAIO® Notebook PC. however, colour options wil differ according to the base model.

The extreme personalization options are almost palpable.

Mac Online Ad

I like this online ad from Apple which extends their John Hodgman / Justin Long TV campaign to the web (Saul Hansell has a post about it in NYT Bits today). I like it because even though this has been possible for a while -- buying more than one space on a page and having the ads play off of each other -- more often than not, it feels forced and more Flash experiment than ad creative. This is a great execution, and a real nice way of integrating the offline talent. You can see a YouTube video of it here.