The Surface – Movement
I would like to predict the failure of the Surface by Microsoft. I suspect it is a comparable product to the iPAD or other tablet PC’s but I know it is going to fail because as far as I can tell from the commercial the most interesting thing about it is that it has a keyboard and a flip out support that make a click sound when activated. You can make music with this click. You can do interesting dances choreographed around clicking a keyboard into place. While you are figuring out ways to exaggerate the apparently two uniquely cool things about your Surface, caricatures from all walks of life will be figuring out equally useless ways to work the clicking sound into what had previously been a clickless, and mundane existence.
Understanding that computers are a ubiquitous part of our lives and that tablets and phones are so quickly dominating the market for computer sales, Microsoft seems to be casting as wide a net as possible simply through representation. It is a ridiculous notion to attempt to capture every demographic in a single commercial but Microsoft tries. This commercial does a great job of showcasing dancing, the lithe face of a hipster, a black family, old people kissing, more dancing, and random people playing musical Surfaces (like musical chairs… get it?). I don’t buy it when Steve Jobs tells me the iPAD is going to change my life, but at least he was talking about how his product is going to affect me. The Surface ad fails because it is simply trying to project cool by association.
The art of making people feel a lack in their life so compelling that they want to fill it with your shit requires a succinct message with psychological impact. The message Microsoft communicates here is that they don’t understand what cool is, that people can dance, and that there system clicks.