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New "Imagine" ad gets to the point: no extravagant dancers in sight

This week Microsoft showcased their latest Surface ad; unlike previous commercials, this one gets right to the point and skips the fancy dance routines.

Brian Hall, General Manager of the Surface team, stated that they had "gotten lots of really nice feedback" on their high energy Surface ads, but some fans were "downright angry" that Microsoft wasn't "talking about more of what it actually does." The latest cinematic production from Redmond tackles the issue and attempts to tell the story of Surface.

The new commercial highlights the ability to carry a single device with the "speeding capabilities of a laptop, but the size and touch of a tablet." The capacity to run Microsoft Office, plug in a USB device, and attach a magnetic Touch or Type Cover are all mentioned.

Microsoft wants to sell the Surface as "the world's first productivity tablet.", but their last few commercials have been showcasing the device as nothing more than an expensive dance prop. This newest ad serves to address those looking for a device with the ability to run Microsoft Office; as of now, this is one of the Surface's largest selling points.

It is worth noting, that the Surface displayed in the commercial is the RT model and that consumers looking to purchase a machine with the "capabilities of a laptop" might be surprised when they are pointed over at the thicker and more expensive Surface Pro.

Either way, it is nice to see Microsoft releasing a commercial that gets down to the details of what the Surface actually does. A majority of the people I speak with have a general of what the Surface is, but a smaller majority knows what the product can actually do compared to an Android tablet or iPad.

Do you think Microsoft is headed in the right direction with their latest commercial or do you prefer the flare and vibrancy of their dubstep themed advertisements?

Source: Microsoft Surface Blog; Thanks for the tip, Johnny!

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Reader comments

New "Imagine" ad gets to the point: no extravagant dancers in sight

54 Comments

My wife moved from a full Windows 8 touch screen laptop to the Surface RT and she loved it. RT will live and die by the Microsoft Store so for amy RT device to survive, quality apps will be needed.

Oh, you mean more so than they already HAVE  <-- click, clicky to see a lot of commercials that have been on TV, movie theaters, online, etc.

Typing this from my Surface PRO and I have to say that next to my Kia Optima EX '11, this is the best tech purchase I've ever made. It just is everything I could have asked for as a replacement to my broken 17" Tshiba laptop.
My Kia.... yeah, it's a Kia but I have it fully loaded and its speakers BANG. And that engine takes me 'round them curves as well as a car that cost $10K more.
Ok I'm out. Gonna go play some Infinity slayer

Sure as soon as an American car can get me premium stereo, heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front and back seats, rearview camera, and push button start for under $24k

I ended up going with the 2013 Honda Accord (similar reasons) but have to say, the Kia Optimia raised an eyebrow...nice looking car.

I've got an Optima myself and I absolutely love it.  Fully loaded for $30k has more in it than a lot of cars at $35k+ and looks awesome.  It's funny you made that comment because for the first time ever I have almost no complaints about my car or my phone (an 8X)!  And as for buy American, I'm there on most things and I like to buy American cars.  But this Optima was built in Atlanta by American workers in a factory Kia built brand new to support this country as a growing market for them.  My last Ford I had, although an American company, was built in Mexico.

Ah ha yes. Ny car before this Kia was a ford focus '04 and gave me a lot of problems and it was ugly (my father got me it as a HS grad present new in 04 so I was grateful regardless). The new focuses are nice though. Back back on kias, they made me a believer with this car

Funny how so many of the Asian cars are built here,yet so many of these "American cars" are built in Mexico,canada

Even though the brands are not American does not mean its less American than other models. The Accord is the "American" car available because it is fabricated and made in the US. Subaru Outback is the same.

Good choice Daniel. I have just taken delivery of a 2013 Accord Coupe V6 with Navigation. Such a nice car! Were you able to set up the on screen text message function? If so, let me know. :-)

There are some Kia's and Hyundai's that look nice, but the resale value just isn't on par with what I'm used to.  Not to mention that I've rented a couple, with under 8k miles on them, and the ride and comfort level was terrible.
 
But, to each his/her own :)

Kia's and Hyundai's are very nice cars. You should be proud.. And ignore the "buy American" comments. Some people on here don't realize this is a international site. JFTR.. I'm American.

Yes, I agree. While I may not have the Kia, I have the 2014 Mazda 6 and its a striking good car. But on topic, I love my surface RT. Add in the fact that I use it for school and the constant updates, its my go to travel laptop per say.

Mazdaspeed3 ;) that little car(which I have) will beat most American muscle cars with just 2k of aftermarket parts and still be much cheaper than the American ones... Though I do love the exhaust note of a big v8

Until you hit the gas in the corner. Then you're picking weeds out of your grill due to the massive understeer.

Actually, when cornering a skilled driver, as myself, uses acceleration to get more grip around corners.. And, if you're on two wheels then you better give that baby some gas when cornering or you're gonna find yourself in a less desirable situation... Lol!

I'm going to bet he's not pulling e-brake turns on a regular basis. Unless you already have the back end loose, hitting the throttle mid-corner with FWD does not give you more grip. It just uses up all the grip the front tires have, which leads them to stop turning the car.

This is a much better ad IMO. I own a Surface RT (got it on launch day), and love it for the most part. The only thing that bothers me, from personal experience, is that under-powered Tegra 3 processor. Compared against a Surface running Windows 8 (x86 processor), the Surrface RT stutters.

This is the main issue I have with getting a RT tablet. If Intel really delivers with what they claim with the Haswell and Bay Trail processors(Long battery life with increase of performance), could there be almost no point to a Windows tablet with an ARM processor? Especially if the other claim by the CEO of Intel is true to see Intel-based tablets as low as $200. I know this is all speculation right now and a lot has to happen before this truly can be a case. I think buying an RT right now wouldn't be a loss if you absolutely needed it. But I think I will wait and see what happens.

New ad is good, but still needs to showcase the design more... bit like the initial pre-launch teaser. They could have run a campaign so that the dub-step adverts drum up interest & coolness and the current new ads show the Surface being used. Just my view...

I think, both ad campaigns were necessary.. one to raise attention and create a feel for the "click" and the other to show the capabilities.. ms should've just released them both at the same time or at least closer to one another.
What bothers me with this ad is the animated screen at around 6 sec which is bigger than the real screen and not even centered.

Think the point of the first batch of adds was subliminal mindshare goal. Now they're solidifying its existence.

For the first time Microsoft's marketing scares me. As previously mentioned this should have come out along side the dancing click commercial...WTF

So nice, I watched it twice!! Finally spelled out the real benefits of the Surface. And not one dance move!

Finally a decent ad; this is a massive improvement over the ridiculous incredibly annoying can't watch that crap again dancing surface adds.
 

Welcome Michael, I, along with many others I'm sure, are very excited to have you join the Windows Phone Central team. I look forward to many more posts, and I went ahead and took the liberty of reading a couple of your previous blogs on other sites. I have to say, Michael, I'm impressed, I'm excited for more, sir.

Ads work in combo and appeal to,different audiences and have a different function within and during a campaign.

Having said that, this is a good one! ;)

Yes! What we need is a special Hobbit-themed Surface to come out at the same time as the second Hobbit movie, gold colored with elvish writing along the edges. Bonus points if the lettering lights up when the device is on. :)

I want gollen to do the ad! The lock screen is a picture of him and a simple circle to unlock. At the end he says "my prrrrecious...."

Very good Microsoft!!! If people are going to make a big money investment on what could potentially be their ONLY tablet for a long time, they need to be drawn by what the money can buy for them. Cute dance videos, as neat as they really are, only help to move your fanbase, not the non-wealthy college kid who really wants a tablets for lots of uses. You have a VERY good product, now "sell" people on it (and maybe drop the price a tad)

Loved the commercial when I saw it last night. That will answer questions that most people have about the surface in the beginning... Like "what is it?", "what can it do?, and "how is it different than the other tablets?".

I think the commercial is great, I loved the dancing but they sorely lacked an informative commercial so it's nice to see one finally emerge. It's rather worrying it took them six months to figure out what they wanted to say about it though...
 
As an aside, I just think Microsoft should be updating the internals to the latest ARM processors every six months, even if they're not changing the exterior. Just so people going out and buying it now are still buying a "new" product. Seems silly to wait for new devices to update the innards.

I think this is the add line that Microsoft should follow. Showing off what the device does and how it will be a benefit for you. I think line really works well. It's much better than an army of people walking doing the click thing... Yea so it clicks but will it be useful to me and how so? in the later adds that was never addressed. This new add is trying to do that.

I rode next to a guy on a plane the other day who had purchased a touch screen Lenovo notebook with Win 8, and he really likes it. When I pulled out my Surface Pro, the first thing he said is, "I hate those dancing commercials"

I like the ad well enough, but let's not forget that Apple have been using irritating but memorable style over substance ads for years with some success! The dancers ad was shallow but, maybe more than any MS ad I can remember, people remembered it and more than a few have recognised my Surface as a result (they told me that's how they knew).

Well, this ad finally is able to point out what I've been pointing out to everyone (and I mean everyone) who asks about my Surface Pro with the "Ferrari Red" Touch Cover. When that baby's snapped in, everyone asks about it and I tell them and show them how it blows an iPad away. When I have the "Boring Black" type cover snapped in... No one has ever asked about it. (Hint Hint Microsoft). That's ok... The Touch cover is so great that I rarely ever have the black type cover snapped in. Type a LOT better overall with the Type cover. Anyhow, this commercial as well as the tagline shift to "The Tablet that Runs Office" is a step in the right direction for the device. Now, they need the same tagline for Windows Phone.