New Windows 8 TV ads are weird, don't show Windows 8 [Update]

Microsoft has been promoting Windows 8 over the past several months in TV commercials by actually showing Windows 8 in action. Users are seen accessing the Start screen, playing with apps like Fresh Paint and generally getting used to the touch UI.

Today, Microsoft uploaded a trio of new Windows 8 TV ads on its official Windows YouTube channel and, well ... there's just no other way to say it. These ads, all under the "Training Camp" title, are some of the oddest we have ever seen that have been made to promote any version of Windows.

All three ads show groups of Japanese people, speaking their native language with no subtitles, doing some odd things. The first TV ad shows three men touching a watermelon, each with different results that, in the real world, should not actually happen to the melon.

The second TV ad shows two men wearing tuxedos on opposite sides of each other, playing a piano, while also playing ping pong with a paddle that's attached to the rear section of their suit. Yes, you read that right and it's even odder to watch.

The final ad shows three women being told how to make themselves presentable with makeup in 10 seconds. Two of the women try and fail to do so but the third just plants her face on a table filled with some kind of makeup material and voila; she's fresh and beautiful looking.

Aside from the fact that the content of each ad is very strange, the other thing that's noticeable is that a Windows 8 PC is nowhere to be found in any of these commercials. Microsoft seems to be using the ad's content as a metaphor for features in Windows 8. The watermelon ad is linked to the touchscreen experience and the piano-ping pong clip is meant to show that Windows 8 can do two things at once.

The third commercial is supposed to show that Windows 8 can be both "beautiful and fast" but that's reaching a bit for that metaphor to work. In any case, these three new commercials will certainly be talked about a lot, no matter how people feel about them in the end and perhaps that was Microsoft's general idea.

Update: Microsoft apparently was not ready to show these videos yet. All three have been switched to private mode on YouTube.

Update 2: The videos are back up.

Source: Windows on YouTube

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Weird my foot! I was immediately seized by an urge to go out and buy a - what was it again? oh yeah, a Window 8 touch something or other. No, wait! I was mistaken. It was a watermelon I wanted to buy.

I'd say that the ads succeed somehow, with the positive message, and it raise curiosity.
Now if these last ads doesn't help .... they just have to improve their Os, and take in account feedback.

Smart advertising; don't draw attention to your product's weaknesses. In this case that means the product itself, Windows 8.

Umm... not every commercial needs to show the OS. Also, as the update stated, it's not finished. Everyone knows what Windows is. These are just fun entertainment ads geared to specific markets in Asia that spark interest, and if they want to learn more they go to the website.

Most ads I've ever seen for MS about anything of theirs makes no sense what so ever!

Those Surface ads they've been showing most lately, are absolutely stupid. Watching that makes me purposely NOT want to get one, which I don't anyway, simply because of the stupidity of it.

A whole lot of commercials are like that now and some of those things are things I may have wanted or liked, but won't ever think of again simply because I can't tolerate that much stupidity!

And that's fine. It's not targeted to people like you. It's meant for NON-TECH CONSUMERS, which is why tons of people love those commercials. They are fun, bring awareness of the brand and if they are interested to learn more they go to the website.

One thing you need to take into account is that these ads are obviously targeted towards an Asian market. Have you seen Asian television? Especially commercials? This is no where close on the oddness level to some of the things I've whilst on a bored YouTube browse. Asian commercials are weird, but at least these three are pretty funny. the watermelon was my least favorite, but I still found it funny.

I got to see the first 2. The first one is pretty much a guy with a long finger nail that slices a watermelon's rind off and the second guy (a nerd) is able to carve it by just tapping it then slicing it open. The second video is about two guys playing pianos with ping pong paddles attached to their bottom playing a game by wiggling back and forth.

Yeah, these are branding ads, we see them all of the time, like the Geico commercials, really, how many of them have anything to do with car insurance.

The power of touch
Work and play
Beautiful and fast

I'd say very solid and mainstream branding ads.

Totally... at least you get it... I hate when these tech commenters always whine and cry. They are not geared towards them. If they actually go to the brand's youtube channels, there's lots of feature ads/videos there for them.

I'm pretty sure they are speaking Chinese not Japanese. So I think it's safe to assume that these are Chinese people not Japanese people.

svnO.o said,
I'm pretty sure they are speaking Chinese not Japanese. So I think it's safe to assume that these are Chinese people not Japanese people.

And that these ads are probably targeting those people... not USA or Europe.

rfirth said,

And that these ads are probably targeting those people... not USA or Europe.

If they had Chinese or Japanese words at the end then I'll say its targeted at them.
But with the bogus language they are speaking and the English text, I'd say its for an international audience.

Wonder why they chose Asians?
Maybe I'm too sensitive but kind of feels like MS is making fun of Asians.

RockmanNeo said,
They meshed bunch of Asian languages together and add some mumbles to it.

If that's the case, MS better wishes its viral videos don't go viral or they risk public outcry. No one seriously wants their language mistreated in such way.

But honestly, there must be someone on Neowin board that speaks in Cantonese or Shanghainese to confirm my theory right?

Update: Looks like MS woke up and realized the mistake...and placed the three ads in private.

ThunderRiver said,
I can tell you that the third commercial is not Mandarin. In fact, none of them are in Mandarin. My guess is Cantonese or Shanghainese.

Well I knew it wasn't Japanese and thanks for the correction. Sounded Mandarin to me at first but I don't speak any other language than English.

Created an account just to let you guys know that its neither Shanghainese or Cantonese. I heard some similarities to Shanghainese in its tone, so if its an actual dialect, I'd say it'd be a Wu Dialect/Language.


Source: I speak Shanghainese and my friend speaks Cantonese.

scaramonga said,
Don't wanna scare potential customers off by showing the actual product.

Umm... not every commercial needs to show the OS. Also, as the update stated, it's not finished. Also, everyone already knows what Windows is. These are just fun entertainment brand awareness ads geared to specific markets in Asia that spark interest, and if they want to learn more they go to the website.

I felt all three were funny. But the last one made me lol with just the look on the girls face at the end.

These adverts are meant to convey a message with the branding and not to showcase the OS. Effective if the branding is meant to convey "quirky" and "unconventional".

lol.. this is sad. I don't understand why companies use commercials that have nothing about their products..

but.. still better than Apples lmao

Actually the answer is simple, buyers are superficial, and the company doesn't feel the product will sell on it's own merit. That is. And sadly, it works.

What it comes down to in the end is whether the product is any good or not. If the product is exceptional it should be possible to tell a good story about it.

Thanks for that clarification, that does put them in perspective. Seriously. I suppose the language and oddity should have made that apparent.

onedrummer2401 said,
It's targeted at Asian audiences, and Asian TV is stereotypically very odd. It'll fit right in.

1. I thought the first one was kind of dumb, I get the metaphor, but not very enjoyable.
2. The second video wasn't particularly interesting until the ping pong began, kind of cool. Metaphor was a bit more clear, but still not that great.
3. The last one wasn't looking any better until the chick face planted, I couldn't stop laughing. To me, the metaphor didn't really matter at that point

Public marketing has never been Microsoft's strongest quality.
But on days like these, I get the feeling that nobody hates Microsoft and its products more than their own marketing department.

That's OK, do they show Windows 8 apps? Oh, yeah, you're right. I should go back and get a marketing degree, this day and age, you get paid lots, to market, nothing.

MorganX said,
That's OK, do they show Windows 8 apps? Oh, yeah, you're right. I should go back and get a marketing degree, this day and age, you get paid lots, to market, nothing.

They are marketing the entire OS not some specific apps. And if you think Windows 8 lacks apps then you've never used it. It's a Windows OS and you can see that developers know it will have a respectable marketshare. There are lots of high quality apps for different needs.

It's nothing like WP7 was back in 2010/2011. There were many apps missing that made it near impossible to switch to it from Android or iOS. Windows 8 is growing quickly and while there are about 60,000 apps they include many core and high quality apps. It's about quality not quantity and while WP7 lacked both W8 had the quality covered. And with MS bringing new youtube and facebook apps to WP7/8 it wont be long before they bring them to W8 as well. Until that time there's metrosocial for facebook and metrotube/primetube/youtube player for youtube. All great apps too.