Marketing Failure: Microsoft Pays NFL To Use Its Surface Tablets — And People Still Call Them 'iPad-Like Tools'

from the didn't-get-the-memo dept

Over at The Verge, Vlad Savov has an amusing post about how NFL announcers this weekend referred to the sideline tablets that players are using as “iPad-like tools.” Microsoft Surface tablets are being allowed on the sidelines as part of a $400 million deal between Microsoft and the NFL. And Microsoft is promoting the Surface as “the official tablet of the NFL.” And, in the end, all anyone remembers is that it’s an “iPad-like tool.” I wonder if the guy who signed that deal for Microsoft has lined up a new job yet…

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Companies: microsoft, nfl

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Comments on “Marketing Failure: Microsoft Pays NFL To Use Its Surface Tablets — And People Still Call Them 'iPad-Like Tools'”

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26 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Isn't Apple gGoing to Sue to Protect its Trademark?

What we have here is someone using “iPad” as a generic term for any tablet-like device. Apple’s trademark is being diluted. They should sue Microsoft, the NFL, and the offending TV network to protect their trademark.

Thus following the most famous makers of facial tissues, hardboard and expanded polystyrene foam in making a big fuss about their trademark, ensuring sure that consumers know that there are other options when trying to purchase said products.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Isn't Apple gGoing to Sue to Protect its Trademark?

What we have here is someone using “iPad” as a generic term for any tablet-like device.

No, they’re comparing another product to an iPad. If they said “they’re using ipads” or “they have Microsoft ipads” while knowing that the devices are not Apple iPads, that would be using it as a generic term. What they said is “iPad-like tools”.

Anonymous Coward says:

The announcer is John Lynch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lynch_(American_football)

Microsoft paid the NFL a lot of money, but the Verge claims that the networks themselves aren’t being paid by Microsoft. That isn’t true. Microsoft has been buying heavy advertising on NFL games for the last few years. Looks like Fox didn’t bother to clue their announcers in on what the sponsors were paying for.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Microsoft paid the NFL a lot of money, but the Verge claims that the networks themselves aren’t being paid by Microsoft. That isn’t true. Microsoft has been buying heavy advertising on NFL games for the last few years.

They’re not being paid to have their announcers promote the Surface. Buying ads doesn’t automatically buy you the announcers.

Andyroo says:

Oh Oh!!!

Is ipad becoming a generic term for a tablet pc, if so I am sure apple is not going to be very happy about that as the ipad name is something they cherish very much, even now my kids call their cheap table an ipad when they are mentioning it to anyone, not becasue they want people to think they have an ipad they are way too young for that.

michaelb958 (profile) says:

This is my life with a Surface!

I’m stuck with a Surface RT (don’t laugh: needed a tablet, wanted something with intelligence, Surface 1 Pro wasn’t out yet…). This is basically what continually happens to me. Every Single Time someone sees it for the first time, they call it an iPad. *sigh* (Disclaimer: I’m not an Apple fan.)

Simon says:

Re: Re: This is my life with a Surface!

The iPad market matured amazingly quickly. I still see people happily using iPad 2’s with no urge to upgrade. Personally when I gave my iPad back to my employer after quitting my job, I saw no reason to buy another.

The phone upgrade cycle is faster, but that is slowing down too now as there are less and less benefits to upgrading to the latest and greatest.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: iPad loses its Trademark status

Don’t count on it. It can even go in the opposite direction.

For example I picked up a US Robotics Pilot when they first came out. This was my third hand-held computer. The class of computers were already known as “palm-tops” by this point.

Put the Pilot had a stylus, and that was enough for the makers of Pilot pens to sue them. So the Pilot was renamed the “Palm Pilot”, and then the “Palm.” And the company started suing anyone who called their palm-tops “palm-tops.” And they took ownership of the word “palm.”

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