There is so much to love about this commercial from Microsoft about Windows 8. OK, if you are not a jaded, overly-sarcastic, and emotionally-repressed tech editor, it may not be as funny to you as me, but let me explain where the entertainment value comes from my perspective.
The premise of the commercial is pretty generic and formulaic as far as tech commercials go, nothing to fault anyone on there. A Microsoft spokesman is taking Windows 8 on a tablet (not a desktop mind you, that would be tough to carry around) to random passers-by on the street and showing them how easy Win 8 is to use and all the neat new features and functionality.
Mind you, I will give MS credit here and say the random people really do seem like they are just that, real people on the street and not actors disguised to look like real people. So far so good, we have all the makings of a completely non-descript and non-offensive tech commercial trying to target average consumers to keep an open mind about Windows 8. Now the fun begins.
First is the spokesman. This guy creeps me out. I think the intention here was to get regular tech guy, kind of like that nice IT guy at work, or that savvy Best Buy Geek Squad guy that came over and set up your HDTV set. But in reality, this guy seems really aggressive, kind of annoying, and not very likable. He is the kind of tech employee that comes up to me in a store and I walk the other way hoping to avoid a conversation and he pushes some tech in my face for the umpteenth time today.
Second, really watch the reactions of the people as he shows them features and functionality in Windows 8. People seem irritated, bored, annoyed, and not impressed at all. You will see a lot of quick cut-aways from the everyman faces as people don’t really react to what he is saying. Even when they act impressed, it seems forced and not really sincere. It's kind of like when you open that crappy pair of socks as a Christmas present, and you need to show your dear aging Aunt how happy you are, with a modest but false "Mmmm, yes!"
One of the best moments is at 25 secs in, when he shows a person that you can pinch to zoom out with Windows 8. The young man reacts with a muted "Whoh." Well, pinch to zoom tech is not exactly a new or exciting feature MS, sorry.
Check out the young man with the black hair who says he uses Windows 7, watch his reactions as the spokesman shows him Win 8 and its features throughout the video, I would describe his reactions and facial expressions ranging from bored and unimpressed to almost hostile at some points.
You can't make this stuff up or buy such endless entertainment.
I do have some advice for MS PR and Marketing. Next time, get a nice, young and pretty spokes model, hired some actors, and don’t try to do anything real or authentic in your commercials. Some clever editing may have smoothed the edges of this botched attempt at connecting with 'real' people, but people like me who have nothing better to do than watch this video 10x over in order to pick it apart can't be fooled by such novel editing and camera work.
Pinch to zoom? Really??? Wow!!!