The beauty of bad ads
Microsoft’s new product, Songsmith, seems to be generating more popularity because of its boring commercial.
January 15, 2009 3:06 by Aarti Nagraj
“Oh the horror!” says one of the comments on the new Microsoft Songsmith commercial posted on YouTube. “ME EARS… ME PRECIOUS EARS….MAKE IT STOP… FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAKE IT STOP…” says another.
Microsoft recently released Songsmith, a software which basically analyzes any tune that a person sings into a computer, adding a virtual band to the background. The idea is to make anybody sing a song.
The commercial for the product portrays the story of a family who use Songsmith, and sing their way along work and life. The 4:00 minute ad reportedly features Microsoft researchers Dan Morris and Sumit Basu, who made the product.
While the product itself has been experimented upon, and has been both praised and hated, the commercial seems like a classic example of attracting attention by upsetting audiences.
Tech blogs have been criticizing the ad mercilessly. Cnet says “Microsoft hits a wrong note with Songsmith video”; “Microsoft SongSmith Commercial is 100% Terrible” says G4 TV, and the Escapist says that the commercial is “unintentionally hilarious and blissfully unaware of it.”
While there are doubts about the ad’s authenticity and whether its just a joke from Microsoft, at least four different users have uploaded the ad on YouTube, and one of them has been viewed more than 277,000 times so far. Looks like Microsoft is singing its way to success.