Last September, when Microsoft first launched its “I’m a PC” ads, we pointed out that Apple was a marketing behemoth, and Microsoft was the nerdy engineering company:
We think of Apple as a products company, and Microsoft as a business behemoth, but Apple is the company that floods the airwaves with ads while Microsoft is mostly a company of software engineers. Every time I’m about to buy an Airbook, I wonder how much of its cost is its carefully constructed image.
An astute commenter on that post, Mark Zims of Toronto, compared the actual spending on sales & marketing for both Apple and Dell: 12% of revenue for both.
We also noted that the ad would be difficult for Apple to one-up. When Apple finally did take it shot, a month later, it complained about Microsoft’s ad spending, prompting TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld to complain that Apple spends plenty of money on advertising too.
Last night, courtesy of Lindsay Blakeley, TechCrunch reported on the precise amount Apple spends on advertising alone, $438 million (13% of total sales & GA expenses) in FY07 compared to the $300 million Microsoft spent marketing Windows Vista. The comparison is slightly unfair, because Apple also sells iPhones, iPods and Macs, not just an operating system, but Windows also has far more sales.
No matter how you slice it, our original point still seems worthwhile: Apple is more of a marketing company than Microsoft, by a long shot.