Saturday, September 26, 2009

The worst Microsoft ads of all time

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The worst Microsoft ads of all time

A cringe-inducing Microsoft advert has been doing the rounds this week - but there are plenty of other skeletons in the company's closet

Microsoft Windows 7 party video
Earlier this week I linked to the horrendous Windows 7 'party' video, which tickled our funny bones for all the wrong reasons.

In the comments, a few people suggested that it was a triumph of marketing because, after all, we were talking about it. That's rather optimistic, isn't it? Best response was from RCroasdale: "People also talked about Harold Shipman, but it didn't make me join his surgery."

A few others suggested it was actually a spoof. Were they right? Well, I think that would only count if Microsoft had a sense of humour that is drier than the Sahara - in my experience, it doesn't have much of a sense of humour at all.

But let's be fair - it wasn't like the car crash commercial in question was intended to be a widely-viewed TV ad promoting Windows 7 to the general public. No, it was just an attempt to prime the pump for those Microsoft fans who might want to evangelise the software to their mates.

Those mitigating circumstances, however, That doesn't mean, however, that Microsoft hasn't produced some corkingly bad adverts in its history. So let's take a trip down memory lane...

1986: Steve the salesman

These days, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer is known as a hot-headed, testosterone-pumped spokesman for the company. But he started off as a hot-headed, testosterone-pumped salesman for the company, pitching new products to retailers and the public. Back in 1986, he led from the front with a spot for Windows 1.0 that aims squarely at the world of late-night ads and infomercials.

"And can you believe it, REVERSI?" he screams, his eyes bugging out and his sports jacket no doubt drench with spittle. "All these features and Reversi all for just... how much did you guess? $500? $1,000? Even more? No, it's just $99 dollars! That's right!"

Somehow I can't imagine him doing anything else.

1988: W-w-w-Windows 386

Forget Michael Jackson's Thriller - this 12 minute promotional tap
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