We’ve all seen a load of bad commercials in our day, and sometimes I can count a 1/2 dozen poor commercials in a single days time. Why is that? Why is it so hard to convey a message, to NOT confuse people? Why isn’t it easy to convince people to act? I don’t get it, because to me, a guiding principal to building a commercial that people like is to be HONEST!
In 300 words or less I’m gonna show you how Microsoft fails my test, but how it confuses and lets people down in a big way. Here’s the commercial in question, then my 3 points as to what is wrong.
Here’s my Big Three Points
Numero Uno: HONESTY This is the big one, Microsoft isn’t honest with the viewers or even the most interested fans. If you love PC’s and are looking for features to get excited about what do you see here that will compel you? They show the laptop converting to a 13.5″ tablet (no one knows if they want or need it), they show you writing on the screen at the job site, (has any architect taken a digital document to construction site and wanted to write up the screen? Even so, this is a use case for 1/10 of a percent of users) they show someone making music with it (just like every other PC or Mac out there (with no clear indication of why a touch screen laptop would be better) and they show some dude riding a bike. How is this honesty? Or, apparently their audience is Cross country Bicyclers, Female Construction Manager, and Musicians who like their computers to be small and have a touch screen. Do you know anyone in your world that fits any of those descriptions?
Numero Two-no: CONFUSION As mentioned above the use cases set above not only show a kind of lack of understanding or dishonesty with who might be able to use it, but it goes one step further with the voiceover mentioning things like “be bold” (how does a laptop help you be bold?) “be a titan of business” (is that what makes a titan of business? A construction worker who has a laptop with a pen?) and finally with the statement “with the right tools there are no limits where they will be able to take you” (how does a laptop that becomes a huge tablet enable me to live a “life without limits”?)
Numero Three-no: NO SPECS I understand that the “specs war” is basically over and that most laptops have decent computing power, but not offering any real details as to what it does, what it costs, what features it really has and size and weight specs, means that commercial watchers are left with nothing to get interested about (unless you’re a travelling female construction manager that creates music on the side and rides a ratty bike across the country.)
In summation, we could say they are lying to us, we could say they just trying to motivate us to be creative but we can also say that the commercial has no clear focus, has no clear audience and while different shows no real purpose.
I appreciate when Apple shows us a new feature, then tells us WHY they did it, and HOW the world can use it. Sure the Apple Pencil is silly, but at least they gave us a couple reasons why they created it, and gave several examples of how it can be used and how it is superior to what’s out there now. Apple isn’t perfect, but a 10 minute explanation or a singular scene is far superior to the dribble Microsoft has given us with the $3500 surface pro.