Microsoft’s new Surface tablet commercial clicked with me

I’ve been in the market for a new __________ for a few months. A __________ that serves as a reader, tablet and notebook. Before tonight, contenders for that blank were the iPad, MacBook Air, Kindle, nook and Galaxy Tab. I was watching Revolution when the Surface tablet ad came on:

Why I love this ad

Microsoft’s new commercial for the Surface tablet clicked with me in a big way. It’s trendy but stays true to their brand at the same time: They cast the omnipotent, half-hipster, male hero and brought in the big inventive, Jabbawockeez-esque sequences (with kids!). They left intact, and even reinforced, the Microsoft and PC “I’m practical, I’m functional” image by emphasizing the more mechanical aspects of the tablet. When I saw this ad I thought “the Surface tablet is fun and functional.” “The Surface tablet puts the fun in functional!”

Second, unlike most Apple commercials where the focus is on an i_____ in a large hand, Microsoft’s ad puts the focus on the user and not the product. Even when we see the user in Apple commercials, it’s usually some cool celebrity. In Microsoft’s ad, the users are little girls in plaid dresses and men and women in suits. The line in the sand that separates man from machine has been blurred by many a greasy Apple-user pointer-finger. Here, Microsoft seemed to redraw that line while saying, “Function drives form, obvi.”

Finally, I love this ad because it’s Microsoft’s mea culpa to the world. They’re using it to acknowledge and apologize for being out of contention for so long. (When was the last time you saw a Microsoft or Windows ad?) The “Surface movement” is their Rocky theme song montage; they’re back in the ring, ready to fight Apollo Apple, Ivan Google and Clubber Samsung all at the same time.

(Download the commercial’s song, “The Surface Movement”, by Microsoft here.)

I’m proud of Microsoft’s efforts with this ad. I’m proud that they’re back. I’m proud that they didn’t just make Surface one big ass table. And as usual, if a company can put on a great show for me, I’m apt to buy, buy, buy. I hope the tablet lives up to its ad.

Update 10/28/12: Seems like other experts agree on how successful this commercial is, including the world’s fatigue of the i____’s. From The Microsoft Surface TV spot is apparently enjoying great success on the Internet, as video advertising analysis firm Ace Metrix named it the most effective tablet ad of 2012.

“iPhoria is wearing off in the tablet market, and the introduction of the Surface has given Microsoft quite a few ‘cool’ points among consumers. The new Surface ads have flipped the ‘Mac vs. PC’ campaign on its head introducing intense aspiration among consumers, as evidenced by very high ‘change,’ ‘desire,’ and ‘attention’ Ace scores,” Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix, said in a statement.


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