New Surface TV ad makes its debut; no dancers in sight

When Microsoft launched its TV ad campaign for its Surface tablet, 11 days before the launch of the product itself, it decided to go with a very energetic video featuring lots of moves by well trained dancers. The ad itself was a eye catching commercial but oddly didn't really focus much on the tablet's features.

Now Microsoft has launched a new 30 second TV ad for the Surface and it has made its online debut on the official Surface YouTube channel. As you can see above, this video is all about the tablet, with no dancers, and indeed no humans, in sight.

Instead, the clip shows some of the stand out features of the Surface, including its Touch Cover keyboard in its many colors, its built in kickstand, its many ports and its "Modern" UI. There's a glimpse of the tablet playing a movie (the latest Ice Age flick) via Xbox Video and there's even a shout out to the built in version of Office 2013 RT Home and Student at the end.

The big question: Which ad is really more effective to sell the Surface to the general public  - the first one with the dancers and the old people kissing outside, or this new TV commercial that is just about the tablet?

Via: Winsyde
Source: Surface on YouTube

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31 Comments

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It certainly is not pitching any kind of serious, mainstream PC. More suitable and appropriate for an auxiliary PC and its associated Windows-8.

I like the first one much better. This one focused on the features, but I don't feel this was very effective. I believe a more classic approach would work well : People using the product.

Just a general discussion of their ad. People like to share their opinions.
As it is shoved in our faces, we might as well discus it.

They need to air ads that show the following:

- Comes with Office, unlike that other tablet
- Full USB support, unlike that other tablet
- Keyboard that was design specifically for use with it, unlike that other tablet
- Browse you files, unlike that other tablet
- Takes a beating, unlike that other tablet
- HDMI, unlike that other tablet

Yes, call Apple out on their shortcomings. Push those features that really do set it apart. Make people pause to think "maybe an iPad isn't all that..."

These short zippy, spinny, colorful ads are nice and all but do nothing to sell it.

laserfloyd said,
They need to air ads that show the following:

- Comes with Office, unlike that other tablet
- Full USB support, unlike that other tablet
- Keyboard that was design specifically for use with it, unlike that other tablet
- Browse you files, unlike that other tablet
- Takes a beating, unlike that other tablet
- HDMI, unlike that other tablet

Yes, call Apple out on their shortcomings. Push those features that really do set it apart. Make people pause to think "maybe an iPad isn't all that..."

These short zippy, spinny, colorful ads are nice and all but do nothing to sell it.

I could totally see an ad with that soft male voice speaking like in the apple commercials.

"what if i said tablets have never shown their true purpose. what if i said that you can do more on less. what if i said productivity is pivitol. Here is a tablet that makes no compromise. Introducing the Microsoft Surface. With office built in, this truely is the most productive tablet ever made. Surface. *click*"

laserfloyd said,
They need to air ads that show the following:

- Comes with Office, unlike that other tablet
- Full USB support, unlike that other tablet
- Keyboard that was design specifically for use with it, unlike that other tablet
- Browse you files, unlike that other tablet
- Takes a beating, unlike that other tablet
- HDMI, unlike that other tablet

Yes, call Apple out on their shortcomings. Push those features that really do set it apart. Make people pause to think "maybe an iPad isn't all that..."

These short zippy, spinny, colorful ads are nice and all but do nothing to sell it.

I agree they should point all those things out, but preferably without mentioning the other parties. Just like: Hey look what our device can do. Not: iPad can't do this but we can...

Keep it positive, but highlight the extras you don't get with the other tablets

A problem I'm finding with all the ads is the heavy focus on the keyboard which many consumers will find is a costed extra when they get to the store. That extra perceived charge will be troublesome when it appears the keyboard is an integral part of the device and its advertising

technikal said,
A problem I'm finding with all the ads is the heavy focus on the keyboard which many consumers will find is a costed extra when they get to the store. That extra perceived charge will be troublesome when it appears the keyboard is an integral part of the device and its advertising

The heavy focus on the keyboard is a vain attempt to convince potential buyers that a tablet can be considered a serious data entry/creation device (which it is not). For that, one needs a full size laptop or desktop with a "real" keyboard. When one considers a tablet as a secondary PC, at best, much of the heartburn and angst goes away.

BajiRav said,
wow, this is a terrible ad
Show one feature and show it well instead of dumping everything in under 30secs!

AMEN!

BajiRav said,
wow, this is a terrible ad
Show one feature and show it well instead of dumping everything in under 30secs!

stfu, i love it.

BajiRav said,
wow, this is a terrible ad
Show one feature and show it well instead of dumping everything in under 30secs!

I cannot agree more. Quite confusing and you're left wondering, "but why would I care ?"

BajiRav said,
wow, this is a terrible ad
Show one feature and show it well instead of dumping everything in under 30secs!

I dont think its terrible like you say. lol.

It was 30s long, in that 30s they mainly focused on the form factor and hardware. Like USB outlet, stand, keyboard,slim-ness.

After the form factor it breifly showed off that its capable of doing allot by zipping through things like xbox, office, skype.

Its kind of a half and half. As much as id like to say "focus on one thing" - this commercial was still ok.

BajiRav said,
wow, this is a terrible ad
Show one feature and show it well instead of dumping everything in under 30secs!

This is similar to what major toy manufacturers do in their commercials.

What it does is help people visualize the device so they can learn to distinguish it from an iPad or other tablet, and so they can see the beauty of the device. Similar to seeing glamour shots of a new vehicle rather than seeing a video of someone driving it.

None of the ads are effective because you dont see the device in use in any kind of detail, as in how a normal person would use it, its apps, snapping an app to the side, using Office, connecting peripherals. All the ads show is glimpses, the colours of the touch covers and the stand flipping out. What does that tell anyone who has never heard of the Surface about what the device can actually do? Pointless ads, typical MS rubbish marketing.

efjay said,
None of the ads are effective because you dont see the device in use in any kind of detail, as in how a normal person would use it, its apps, snapping an app to the side, using Office, connecting peripherals. All the ads show is glimpses, the colours of the touch covers and the stand flipping out. What does that tell anyone who has never heard of the Surface about what the device can actually do? Pointless ads, typical MS rubbish marketing.

Please show me ads like you describe?

efjay said,
None of the ads are effective because you dont see the device in use in any kind of detail, as in how a normal person would use it, its apps, snapping an app to the side, using Office, connecting peripherals. All the ads show is glimpses, the colours of the touch covers and the stand flipping out. What does that tell anyone who has never heard of the Surface about what the device can actually do? Pointless ads, typical MS rubbish marketing.

It is a 30 second ad. What do you expect, a complete dissertation of how to write your latest novel using Word, upload it to SkyDrive for sharing with other users? They actually did that once, with OneNote sharing a grocery list from the desktop to WP7; and that commercial was criticized also. Besides, the competition has done quite well for themselves showing flashy commercials without substance, they went years without showing their device in a commercial, and those ads were hailed as brilliant.

It sounds like efjay would like Microsoft to show doctors using nonexistent apps for their practice or a contractor in the middle of nowhere rendering a job on the spot or other unrealistic uses of a tablet all so that you think you can do so much more than you actually will or even can with it. Sound familiar?

dopydope said,

Some gibberish

Just to clarify, I'm not saying that the Surface ads should be like that, I'm just giving an illustration for what efjay said ...
Although these ads are incredibly powerful IMHO.

duddit2 said,

Please show me ads like you describe?
Pretty much any Apple advert.

I should point out I love the Surface and see its potential to dominate the market. But MS needs to slow these videos down, quit blowing their load about the colors of the keyboard and start showing people using this device. Honestly, if people don't see how they could use it they're just going to buy an iPad.

efjay said,
None of the ads are effective because you dont see the device in use in any kind of detail, as in how a normal person would use it, its apps, snapping an app to the side, using Office, connecting peripherals. All the ads show is glimpses, the colours of the touch covers and the stand flipping out. What does that tell anyone who has never heard of the Surface about what the device can actually do? Pointless ads, typical MS rubbish marketing.

Typical MS rubbish marketing? How about the years of Apple "we hate people who we don't consider cool" commercials which never ever showed one single feature on their overpriced machines, but instead spent their 30-second commercials bashing the PC, and by extension, PC users. Yeah, they were much better. Give me a break. You don't really know what you're talking about.

"The big question: Which ad is really more effective to sell the Surface to the general public - the first one with the dancers and the old people kissing outside, or this new TV commercial that is just about the tablet?"

This question is actually a lot harder than it seems on the surface.

billyea said,
"The big question: Which ad is really more effective to sell the Surface to the general public - the first one with the dancers and the old people kissing outside, or this new TV commercial that is just about the tablet?"

This question is actually a lot harder than it seems on the surface.


I see what you did there