I confess to having a soft spot for much of Microsoft's recent advertising. Mainly because it bothers to appeal to my soft spot.
The company decided to use the glamour of the Golden Globes ceremony to remind people of their innate love for the underdog. In this case, the struggling, table-waiting, eating-out-of-a-tin actor.
In new ads, we see what appears to be an audition. Actors express their love of their craft, their commitment to it. They end with a different Microsoft brand "precongratulating" the Golden Globes stars of tomorrow and offering the tagline "Be What's Next."
The most moving line is offered by an actor who says, "I'd rather fail at this than succeed at doing anything else."
In showing such vulnerable emotions, Microsoft is, perhaps, trying to help you change your perception that it is this big, nasty monolith with all the warm feelings of a Nordic Genghis Khan.
Perhaps it is reminding you that Windows Phone and Bing are charming underdogs who, one day, with your undying support, could win the Golden Globes of mobile and search.
It is pleasantly uplifting to see Microsoft continuing its sudden affection for charm as its offensive tool.
What do you think Apple has used for the last 20 years? Brute selling force? Oh, you cynic, you.