Posted March 16, 2012 9:08 am by with 13 comments

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Browser wars are a touchy subject, especially around the folks from Microsoft who have seen their Internet Explorer dominance be eroded by the likes of Mozilla’s Firefox and the dreaded Google Chrome browser among others.

Internet Explorer 9 is the latest and greatest from Microsoft. They need to promote its existence so earlier this month this ad surfaced on YouTube. I just saw it for the first time and, from a purely marketing perspective, it’s, well, puzzling to say the least.

Being self-deprecating can be an effective technique in modern day advertising. The humorous take on any ad is one proven way to get the attention of your target and the attention needed to get your message across.

In this case, it seems like Microsoft has confused funny with disturbing. Is it a good practice to have your message of “being improved” delivered by someone who is portrayed as someone that no one would want to be around for any reason? Sure you can play the ‘crazy card’for laughs but when you are saying that maybe you have to be nuts to like Internet Explorer 9 (indirectly but it’s there) you should have a sit down with your ad agency.

What’s your take on this ad from Microsoft? It’s Friday so relax a little and take a few minutes to be heard.

  • This one doesn’t quite hit the mark.

    I agree with you the self-deprecating humor has its place in online marketing. If done right can be hilarious and memorable. This one, though, I think went too far at the end with the cat thing. A different ending might make this effort a bit more effective.

  • It reminds me a lot of the Dominos ad campaign. Yes, we realized our product was terrible but here we are trying to fix it. I thought it was clever until the cat bit. It wasn’t necessary.

  • “Her name is Officer Cupcake!”

    I liked it, it wouldn’t make me switch from chrome to IE, but, it was funny, and the cats face is priceless.

  • I thought it was an ok ad personally. Suffice to say it’d take more than this to make me switch browser, but the ad itself wasn’t so bad.

  • I actually thought it was effective. The message that IE9 is actually good (it might be better but I wouldn’t say it’s good) really hits home after seeing what many a web developer has dealt with for years with the previous incarnations of IE. I wouldn’t say this ad went to far at all, in fact I’ll probably share it.

  • Jake H

    The weirdest part of the ad, to me, was when he dragged IE into the recycle bin to uninstall it. That only works on Macs….

  • Microsoft sure have a quirky marketing agency. Like their Googlelighting ad this is just plain weird.

    They are trying in vein however, they did too much damage with their previous terrible browsers for any self respecting tech savvy person to ever dare using (or recommending) Internet explorer.

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  • bvfnslfda89

    The weirdest part of the ad, to me, was when he dragged IE into the recycle bin to uninstall it. That only works on Macs….

  • RIP internet explorer..just so you know the marketing department ripped off the MEME. that has been going around for years. After Chrome came out I never looked back, between Firefox and Chrome there is very little reason to move back.

    Here is the original viral that was going around.


  • I think it’s brilliant. I can’t say how many people will respond to it but to me it offers just the right dose of acknowledging past faults while promising better performance. Of course, they need to live up to the promise or the campaign could backfire.

  • It’s not funny enough, and it’s not going to convince anyone who’s not already using IE to switch.

    It doesn’t matter if IE9 is BETTER than IE6. It’s still not as good as Chrome or Firefox, so why would anyone prefer to use it?