Microsoft drafts Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson's, um, honesty

In latest expression of "Honestly" campaign for Surface, Microsoft releases ad featuring Seattle Seahawks quarterback.

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He's telling the truth. Microsoft/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Honestly, whenever I hear people begin a sentence with "honestly," I prepare myself for dishonesty.

It's as if they want to force a twisted world view past my life-addled defenses.

For some reason, though, Microsoft decided to use the word as the rallying cry for its new Surface campaign. Some cynics and enthusiasts of other brands will no doubt mutter: "What? You weren't honest before?"

However, Microsoft must believe the word has power.

The latest incarnation of this campaign features a man who keeps defenses honest with an occasional throw downfield -- Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Here we have the Super winner just being himself. Honestly. We know he's speaking honestly because his first spontaneous word is "honestly."


His life is just one big whirl. Yes, even in the off season.

And the Surface allows him to do all those wonderful things like Skype and OneNoting that are essential parts of his life.

It's all perfectly palatable. However, it's a pity that Wilson is just another endorser in a series that involves actors pretending to be wedding planners or teachers.

One could imagine a campaign built more completely just around his pleasant presence and his ability to, well, win. The new Surface is a considerable improvement on the previous version, yet it still has a long way to go to become a truly competitive presence in the minds of many.

Unlike some of the other ads in the series, there's not even a hint of criticism of Macs or iPads here. Which is a pity.

There would have been a certain joy in Wilson suggesting, for example, that the Surface was represented by the multifarious talents of Seahawks' cornerback Richard Sherman.

While Apple is represented by the big mouth and pouty attitude of 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree.

I thought Microsoft was into trash talk these days.

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