New Microsoft Surface ad: No dancing, but still clicking

A new video appears on Surface's YouTube page. This one tells you that Surface is yours and that it's full of very interesting details.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read
This is the closest color to my prison outfit. But a little matchy-matchy, I think. Microsoft/YouTube Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I know that many have barely ceased to practice their formation routines, after the release of Microsoft's first Surface ad.

"Should we crunk with it or tango?" is a very reasonable question after this foray into Gleeful territory.

However, today Microsoft has posted another, more stationary ad to its YouTube page, so that you can become more intimate with its great multi-colored hope.

"Welcome to Surface," it begins. "Surface is yours."

Perhaps it will be. It will be hard to choose a color that will match my prison uniform, but I will work on it.

However, this is a curiously cliched beginning. You are about to hear that Surface exists to satisfy your lifestyle -- not that Microsoft necessarily knows about your green teddy-bear fetish.

Because this ad (will it run on TV? I doubt it) is more informational, it allows you to peruse techie details like Micro SD and HD video out port.

However, the more the ad shows the product, the more you realize that Microsoft has done an excellent job of ensuring that it doesn't look like anything else.

That detachable, clickable keyboard-cover thing is a refreshing sight. You just know that many a dull business meeting will begin with a discussion about why someone chose the orange rather than the blue.

You also know that everyone who sees it will want to know what it's like typing on the inside of a fuchsia cover.

On the other hand, when you look at the "classic keyboard" experience on this film, it might remind you of, well, a PC. You know, black and a little clumpy.

The promise is that you can "see more, share more and do more."

Somehow the word "more" becomes more indigestible every time I see it.

More important is the fact that there's a considerable number of people who see that a considerable number of people own an iPad and would love to have a genuine option.

People want to be different, as well as think different. Seeing more? Sharing more? These phrases seem a little like a fan twirling hot air.

The fact that Surface has a very pleasing and original little keyboard -- please, tell me it actually works -- gives it a sense of deja not vu. Ergo, a sense of "I'm different."

Though this video leans toward the prosaic, I understand that CP+B, the agency often responsible for Microsoft's ads, isn't leaping up and down to take credit for any of the Surface ad work so far.

Indeed, a Microsoft statement offered this about the Gleeful spot: "Because Surface was a highly confidential project, we took a nontraditional approach with the ad campaign, and worked with a small team of a wide range of creative resources to come up with the campaign."

Sometimes this can be translated as: "We didn't like what our ad agency suggested, so we panicked and asked a few other people for ideas and mixed them all up. Ta-da!"

But just as Apple has proved quite a few times, if your product is the best ad you've got, the TV ads serve more reinforce and reassure, than to excite.

The real proof for Surface will come when it begins to be touched by the hands of real humans. That's when the dance will truly begin.

Microsoft Surface unveiled: The first Microsoft-branded Windows tablet.
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