I U+2665 The Slowskys

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/05/29 22:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/05/29/610351.aspx

I can't deny it, I am a fan of Bill and Karloyn, the Slowskys.

In case you haven't seen their commercials on TV, here is one of the first ones, actually the first one I saw.



Now it is easy to get a little too caught up in this sort of thing.

I mean, I'm certainly am not going to use their AIM handle to start chatting with them or anything -- I have enough slow typists on my IM list as it is, enough to make me wonder if we don't all have a little turtle in us....

And I probably won't even add their blog (The Slowskys: a nullus volito) to the list of blogs I read, as there is something about fictional blogs that doesn't really appeal to me (even if they have an RSS feed!)

But I am interested, speaking as a moderately intelligent person who cares about language and who runs Microsoft Office and who also has Comcast High Speed Internet, why the Comcast-Slowsky ad campaign appealed to me so much in a way that Microsoft's Have you evolved? / Don't be a Dinosaur Head campaign did not....

Obviously I am not one of those who sits in the "Anything But Microsoft" camp, so that is not the reason (though there are some who do not need to look any deeper than that!).

Looking at both ads, at what each campaign was trying to communicate to me, there are some clear differences. Let's look at the message that each one imparts to me:

The MS ad has an overall negative message for those who do not upgrade, who do not evolve. It is actually saying that there is something wrong with you if you do not upgrade -- you are a dinosaur, one of those creatures who (in the words of the Johnny from the movie Airplane II: The Sequel "...got too big and fat, so they all died and they turned into oil." You are a throwback, and you will become extinct. Unless you are in county government or something, in which case you probably aren't even up past DOS yet, you are simply either someone who evolves or someone who (like the dinosaurs) will become extinct.

But the Slowskys are charming and funny, and to be honest there is nothing wrong with finding the whole internet making you feel like you are being rushed. As turtles go they seem to be doing rather well for themselves, and they are quite happy with things as they are. Turtles are not extinct at all, and the campaign is not explicitly saying "Don't be a Slowsky!" at all -- even if there is an implicit suggestion, they are quite clear that it is not stupidity or poor judgment that leads them to their conclusion.

I think I like the subtle differences in approach here, a lot.

Now of course I may not be the target for either company -- I was using both products before their ad campaigns started, so neither one really affected my purchasing decision. And I know enough to not judge either company by the folks who do their advertising anyway.

And, Truth be told, I know enough about Microsoft (its good and its bad) to keep a firm "net neutral to positive stance" without really breaking a sweat (certainly my being on the payroll does not keep me from pointing out flaws, but I am obviously a fan overall), while my upset about Comcast refusing to pick up SoapNet in my area has me tempted to go to DIRECTV more and more each day. And Bill and Karolyn do not tempt me to stay, any more than that Gekko would keep me at Geico if they were my auto insurance company (which they are not, and not only because the Gekko blog is three years old yet has no RSS feed)....

But I can't help enjoying Karolyn and Bill Slowsky. :-)


This post brought to you by  (U+2eab, U+2665, and U+2ef1 a.k.a. CJK RADICAL EYE, BLACK HEART SUIT, and CJK RADICAL TURTLE)

# oocha on 13 Jun 2006 10:00 PM:

yuo ucks

XxRAWRxX19 on 16 Jan 2008 6:49 PM:

u know how u did the ♥??? well do u kno how 2 do a diamond? i need to kno!!  =\

Michael S. Kaplan on 16 Jan 2008 7:26 PM:

I used Unicode characters, I even listed the ones I used....

Mr. Ed on 14 Feb 2008 9:12 PM:

I would love to send "Bill Slowsky" some feedback, because I love those commercials. I'd say "Give 'em Hell, Bill", 'cause I like my DSL connection too! :-)

It's the slowest DSL I can afford at 256K, but it's fast enough for what I need it for - And No Caps.

What the people at Comcast don't tell you is your downloads are capped at 5GB/month. What good is that!? I could download at least twice that in a month with a 56K dial-up connection.

Hey Bill, if DSL is still too fast for you get a dial-up connection! :-)

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referenced by

2008/02/18 Hello pot, meet kettle (aka No, I don't want Comcast phone service, dammit!)

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