In new Microsoft ad, it takes a long time to buy a PC

The latest "laptop hunters" ad keeps hammering Apple on every conceivable aspect. But why does it seem to take 11-year-old Jackson and his mom, Lisa, a long time to buy their PC?

After Lauren, the actress, and Giampaolo, the model engineer, meet Jackson, the cutest kid you ever will see. His mom, Lisa, is quite nice too.

Yes, with its "laptop hunters" campaign Microsoft is going to keep punching with every possible demographic and every last letter in the extremely traditional advertising vernacular until it hears the merest whimper from those smug, designer-clad pretty-boys at Apple.

Lisa and Jackson are a charming pair. Revved up by the folks cunningly pretending to be market researchers, they scurry around Best Buy as if they're playing a sophisticated form of hide and seek. They're can't hide that they're seeking "speed, a big hard drive, and a good gaming computer," for under $1,500.

Their search, with the inevitability of the scene in most movies where the cute, lovable protagonist meets with bulbous-nosed, evil villain, has to conquer the Mac drawbridge.

Lisa's ready with an instinctive line: "Macs, they're kind of popular with this age," she says, pointing at 11-year-old Jackson. The deeply interred subtext? Macs are pre-pubescent toys, PCs are for those who know a Jaguar from a cougar (and who don't want to spend too much on either, of course.)

In order to emphasize this mature mindset, Lisa treats her son as she would a friend. Looking at the pretty Apples, she offers: "These are way more money, dude." While Jackson decides the Macs are just too small, his mom offers a curious, indigested grimace as Jackson sees that his needs can only be met by a PC.

Lisa and Jackson are far more convincing as, well, human beings than either Lauren or Giampaolo. That's why when they exclaim "Blu-Ray!" together, we don't necessarily say "Hoo-Ray!", but we don't want to reach for a remote, a beer or a set of car keys either. (We still miss Jerry and Bill, though. The most honest pairing in any Microsoft ad.)

However, just as Giampaolo's alleged tech savviness seemed to nullify the tortuousness of his search, so I find myself left with another curious cold compress at the end of Lisa and Jackson's laptop lagoon.

When they begin their quest outside Best Buy, it is light outside. By the time they deliver their last strikingly spontaneous thought about Jackson being 11 and Lisa being slightly more than 11, darkness is all around.

Does it really take that long to buy a PC? Or is this a symbolic, portentous message about darkness falling and the myth of the Tooth Fairy? (What do you mean, you never saw the movie?)

 

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