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Apple Legal to MS: “Hey, you need to stop running those (Laptop Hunter) ads, we lowered our prices.”

At the 2009 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference on Wednesday, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner told a quick story about a call he received from Apple’s legal department following the launch of “Laptop Hunters”. In the campaign, which Turner claims are unscripted, people are given $1,000 to find a laptop that suits their needs. Those pesky Mac people don’t like them, apparently.

In pretty much each iteration, folks choose computers that aren’t made by Apple &#151 because you’d be hard-pressed to find a new Mac for less than a grand. But then Apple lowered their prices, by “like $100 off or something,” notes Turner, at which point he got the now semi-infamous call from Apple’s legal team (says he) that made him do cartwheels all the way home. Turner:

And so we’ve been running these PC value ads. Just giving people saying, hey, what are you looking to spend? “Oh, I’m looking to spend less than $1,000.” Well we’ll give you $1,000. Go in and look and see what you can buy. And they come out and they just show them. Those are completely unscripted commercials.

And you know why I know they’re working? Because two weeks ago we got a call from the Apple legal department saying, hey &#151 this is a true story &#151 saying, “Hey, you need to stop running those ads, we lowered our prices.” They took like $100 off or something. It was the greatest single phone call in the history that I’ve ever taken in business. (Applause.)

I did cartwheels down the hallway. At first I said, “Is this a joke? Who are you?” Not understanding what an opportunity. And so we’re just going to keep running them and running them and running them.


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