What is the Microsoft Surface? It is everything, Internet. It is old people kissing and crazy guys backflipping in slow motion and schoolgirls krumping and some guy wearing body armor—or that's what it looks like when you hold a bunch of iPads in front of him. Wait, those aren't iPads. What are those things?
In all seriousness, director Jon Chu—who claimed credit for the spot on Twitter, even though Microsoft is trying to keep its collaborators on this secret (though it did say Crispin Porter + Bogusky wasn't involved)—actually does a pretty good job of distinguishing his client from the looming competition. The iPad, after all, is on the verge of becoming one of those brands, like Rollerblade or Coke, that casual users invoke whenever referring to a whole set of products. (When was the last time you heard someone talk about "in-line skates"? Actually, it was probably the late 1990s, when Rollerblades were popular, so never mind.) Microsoft's tablet is due out at the end of the month at exactly the same price points as the newest iPad; much has been made of the new machine's display quality and its operating system, but it still looks, more or less, like its competitor.
All the dancing and flipping and krumping manages to communicate pretty effectively that this, consumer, is not an iPad. It does more things, physically, than an iPad, many of which click alluringly. Does your iPad click, consumer? It does not? Then why do you have it? You deserve a tablet computer that causes your picnic table full of ethnically ideal, well-toned young people to walk their fingers across its screen in synchronized ecstasy while a benchful of stolid businessmen join their screens to their keyboards in perfect sonic union. Do you see those people lying in front of the robot, consumer? They are prostrate before him in worship. You could be, too, if only your tablet PC could literally be used as a percussion instrument. Hold your iPad to your chest and spin on your head, consumer. Can you do it, like the kid in the ad?
No. You cannot. it is not a Microsoft Surface. But it could be.
Director: Jon Chu