February 12, 2013 Dancing Surface Ads

Remember when Apple made ads depicting people dancing to the latest music playing from their iPod1? The message was express yourself by owning an iPod, and listening to your own soundtrack. The ads not only sold the iPod, they made Apple look cool. Now it is Microsoft’s turn to promote their new line of Surface tablets. But instead of looking cool, the dancers in Microsoft’s Surface ads are trying too hard. It is a like a North Korean propaganda parade meets an over choreographed flash mob. I get what Microsoft wants the ads to say. Be different. The Surface is different. This is not your ordinary kind of computing. Break free from business as usual. But instead of invoking an emotional response fueled by catchy tunes, Microsoft’s ads left me feeling dazed and confused. Why are all those people dancing?!?!

Some people think Microsoft should let the Surface sell itself by showing off some of its features, but those ads never work.2 Can you remember the last time Apple showed off how an iPod worked? Already the placement of features like the stylus, and USB port in the second ad feel forced.3 It is ironic that during all this dancing Microsoft is showing off some really great ads that provoke an emotional response towards Internet Explorer. I just don’t understand how one side of company can go this far astray, but I would like to think maybe this man is responsible.

  1. I do, because that is the only music we played when I worked at the Apple Store. 

  2. Personally I don’t think “ease of use” is Microsoft’s strong suit. 

  3. Who wants the creepy guy on the microphone to be your boss?