Microsoft has released a new ad for the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone smartphone, an ad that mocks fans of both Apple and Samsung devices. The commercial poses each party as guests at a wedding and draws upon memes that will be familiar to the echo chamber.
Microsoft's Image of an iPhone Fan
The commercial is cute and clever, and it smacks both parties using inside jokes without the insulting and derogatory attitude Samsung used in its Apple attack ads. For that, Microsoft should get some points, but just as with the Surface ads, I find myself wondering who Microsoft's target market is.
From the ad (embedded in full below the fold):
Samsung Wedding Guest 1: "iSheep!"
iPhone Wedding Guest 1: "Copy Box!"
Samsung Wedding Guest 2: "Autocorrect this!"
[NERD FIGHT ENSUES]
I also like the two Samsung Galaxy S3 owners who make a point of bumping phones, which gets an iPhone owner to launch Siri and say, "Search, one-trick pony." That's funny stuff on both sides.
Those are lines straight out of article comments and nerd arguments heard 'round the echo chamber. On the other hand, that's the problem—all of the humor is aimed squarely at partisans who have already chosen sides. The message of the ad—that you can do cool things with the Nokia 920—is lost to those who might actually be interested in that message.
The bigger takeaway in the commercial is that iPhones and Samsung smartphones are fun, exciting, and useful. You can search on them with your voice. You can take photographs. You can wield them like a truncheon. They're devices that engender passion, like the guy above with the (fake) Apple tattoo.
The the help chimes in. They're standing there, two of them, an isle of calm with the rest of world swirling around them in a passionate display while they look on in detached boredom.
Hired Help Male: "Do you think if they knew about the Nokia Lumia they'd stop fighting all the time?"
Hired Help Female: "I don't know. I think they kind of like fighting."
The Hired Help Letting the World Pass Them By
Which brings us to the next weird point. The ad paints the Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone as bit players no one knows about. Is that really the message Microsoft should be delivering?
I watch this commercial and I find myself coming back to the advice I offered Microsoft's board last week: identify the people responsible for this commercial and fire them. Keep going up the chain until you get to the CEO spot and find someone to replace Steve Ballmer.