Microsoft’s “Meet Your Match” challenge

MelissaMicrosoft has produced a series of man-on-the street videos comparing the Windows Phone to Android phones and the iPhone. The company wrote about this “Meet Your Match” campaign on the Windows Phone blog, noting some interesting statistics:

“…more than 75,000 Meet Your Match challenges & demos across the US, UK, France and Germany. That’s a big number, but what’s even more impressive is that based on these head-to-head customer challenges, a whopping 88% of the people who took our post-challenge survey thought that Windows Phone was a better match for them than the phone in their pocket.”

75,000 participants is a great sample size. Well done. I’m concerned, however, that Microsoft does not identify the phones that were in participants’ pockets. For all we know, they were pre-paid gas station flip phones.

The praise continues:

“Our Meet Your Match videos are doing equally well. They’ve been viewed on YouTube over 600,000 times and hundreds of thousands times more via our online ads, and 88% of voting YouTube viewers clicked the ‘like’ button.”

That’s great, but liking the video and liking the product are not the same. For example, I love this Honda Pilot commercial, but I don’t want a Honda Pilot.

The videos are well done but kind of silly. There are two that feature the iPhone. In “Liz’s iPhone,” the Windows Phone rep challenges Liz to send a text to her parents with her iPhone, while he does the same with his Windows Phone [1. I’m not sure why the Microsoft rep is sending a text message to a stranger’s parents.]. There’s a brief shot of Liz “typing” on her phone, if that’s what you call what she’s doing. It’s more like tapping the screen wildly (Seriously, what is she doing?). The rep finishes before Liz “even started typing the message.” That’s fine, but the implication that the Windows Phone is better than the iPhone because Microsoft’s rep knows its text app better than Liz knows Apple’s Messages is silly.

Another video features Melissa. The rep challenges her to update Facebook and Twitter from her iPhone before he does the same with his Windows Phone. Of course, she goes for the Facebook app, not the Notification Center, which offers much faster methods of updating both of those services. I admit that the Windows Phone tiles are really nice, but poor Melissa never had a chance, as she used the most time-consuming method to accomplish her assignment.

It’s not a bad campaign [1. In fact, it’s a LOT better than the Galaxy Note Challenge videos from last February.], but not entirely honest, either.