Ken Segall on Microsoft’s inane “click” ad campaign for the Surface:
Assuming that any or all of these features are enough to do battle with the titans of tablets (iPad and Android), you might expect to see mention of them in Surface advertising.
Instead, Microsoft has opted for the gimmick. It seems that Surface makes an audible click when you attach the keyboard/cover to the tablet. And along the way, someone decided that the click would make a nice “hook” for the campaign.
I’ve seen only two messages from Microsoft’s Surface ads. They painted my mall’s elevator doors solid teal with only the word “Surface” in the middle, but I don’t think that means anything to most people. It could just be a descriptive label: this blue elevator door is a surface. Yep, sure is.
And, of course, the bizarre obsession and sole focus on the “click” when the keyboard is attached. There isn’t even any emphasis on what’s clicking onto the Surface and why it’s so potentially useful. It’s the kind of ad campaign that might run after a product is already so well-known that it only needs to reinforce its presence.
Instead, Microsoft is relying on this to launch a new product that most people have never seen or heard of, and the only thing they’re telling potential customers is that it clicks, which will entice approximately nobody to find out more.
As usual, Microsoft’s advertising is ineffective, odd, and delusional about the market: a perfect reflection of its CEO.
Meanwhile, Surface reviews continue to be tepid. It’s playing out a lot like Windows Phone. The reviewers all say it’s interesting and that it has promise, but almost none of them want to actually forgo other tablets for it. We’re seeing a lot of “It has promise” and “It could be a great choice for people who aren’t me.”