Microsoft Releases TV Campaign for New 'Surface' Tablet, Keeps Agency Secret
Microsoft wasn't about to cool its jets after unveiling its first Windows 8 TV spot on Sunday night, set to the Eagles of Death Metal song "Only Want You." Yesterday it aired the first TV ads for its soon-to-be-released tablet, Surface, "The Surface Movement," which take a decidedly different approach.
Expected to spend well over a billion to market Windows 8 globally, Microsoft also looks poised to spend liberally to make its tablet a success. Surface ads aired last night during ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," NBC's dystopian drama "Revolution" and TNT's police procedural "Major Crimes." Viewers of AMC's "Walking Dead" also got a look at Surface in a custom integration with the network, which featured a texting zombie.
Microsoft declined to say who made the ads other to say it wasn't Crispin Porter & Bogusky, the shop behind its Windows 8 and Windows Phone campaigns. "Because Surface was a highly confidential project, we took a nontraditional approach with the ad campaign, and worked with a small team of a wide range of creative resources to come up with the campaign," Microsoft said in a statement.[UPDATE: Mystery solved. AllThingsD's Peter Kafka notes that Jon Chu, director of "Legion of Extraordinary Dancers" and "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," just took credit for the spot on Twitter.]
The minute-long ad doesn't dwell much on functionality, but instead emphasizes the sleekness of the tablet's design by showing 20-somethings spinning around with it and snapping its two pieces into place in rhythm on what looks like an idealized university campus. (It's somewhat reminiscent of the scene in "500 Days of Summer" where Joseph Gordon-Levitt breaks out into a choreographed dance with strangers in a Los Angeles park after he's had a relationship breakthrough with Zooey Deschanel.)
While Google emphasized functionality in its recent Nexus 7 spots, Microsoft looks like it's going after consumers who place a high premium on product design by playing up Surface's magnetic snap-on keyboard, its main aesthetic differentiator from iPad.