by Shane O'Neill

Microsoft Mocks Rivals (Again) with Windows Phone Wedding Brawl Ad

Apr 29, 20132 mins
AndroidComputers and PeripheralsiPhone

A funny new Microsoft Windows Phone commercial crashes a wild wedding, but bashes dominant foes Apple and Samsung instead of selling viewers a phone.

Though Nokia Lumia Windows Phones are still struggling to sell in the U.S., the phones did generate record-high sales last quarter for Nokia. So now seems like a good time to get aggressive with advertising.

And Microsoft does just that with its new TV spot for the Nokia Lumia 920, yet it’s that passive kind of aggressive.

The ad — called “Don’t Fight” with what I assume is accidental irony as Microsoft fights for its mobile life — mocks the petty rivalry between iPhone and Android (mostly Samsung Galaxy) users, a rivalry that only vaguely exists in real life but is depicted as a blood bath in this obviously satirical ad.

The 60-second spot, due to appear on national TV, is set at a wedding that is interrupted by someone taking a picture with his “enormous” Samsung phone. This leads to some passionate quarreling between attendees divided neatly between iPhone users and Samsung Galaxy users. In the exchange, Siri, S Beam and the whole brand-herd mentality (iSheep!”) get a lampooning.

When a woman yells out “auto-correct this” and slugs an iPhone user, the bodies and chairs start flying. Amid the mayhem, two calm and composed wedding waiters holding Nokia Lumia 920 phones ponder what all the fuss is about.

Male waiter: “Do you think if they knew about the Nokia Lumia they’d stop fighting all the time?”

Female waiter: “I don’t know, I think they kind of like fighting.”

The ad uses humor much more effectively than Microsoft’s spiteful and oft-criticized Scroogled ad campaign. But it suffers from the same kind of passive-aggressive tendencies: it mocks the competition without educating the viewer on the product’s strengths. It also unintentionally emphasizes how passionate the competition’s fans are, while reminding us that Windows Phone does not have a passionate fan base. In the end the sales pitch seems to be: Windows Phone — a solid third alternative. Inspired yet?

The male waiter (again unintentionally) sums up Microsoft’s conundrum when he asks, “Do you think if they knew about the Nokia Lumia….?”

The Nokia Lumis 920 has been available for eight months. Shouldn’t they know about it by now?