Has Microsoft finally gone off its rocker? Probably not, though its latest ad release makes you wonder.
The minute-long spot, titled "The Browser You Loved To Hate, pokes a bit of fun at the stigma that surrounds the company's Internet Explorer (IE) browser.
It begins with a question: "Did you ever tell your parents they had to stop using Internet Explorer?" It then declares, "You aren't alone."
The rest of the ad features a character named George who obsessively uninstalls Internet Explorer from every computer he encounters it on. At one point, the character screams, "The only thing it's good for at all is downloading other browsers." And then he's taken down by a library security guard.
That's a deep dig at yourself, Microsoft. But at least this time around, the company is attacking itself rather than its competitors. Back in February, Microsoft released its "Googlelighting" ad attacking Google Apps, the web giant's cloud-based collaboration and productivity software.
With "The Browser You Loved To Hate" video, it seems Microsoft simply wants to encourage non-IE users to try it out, in spite of whatever negative preconceptions they may have of the browser.
The ad ends with a recovered George (who still must overcome a strange relationship with his policewoman cat, Officer Cupcake) and a link to a website called, "The Browser You Loved to Hate." The site features positive reactions from around the web to Microsoft's newest version of Internet Explorer, IE9, released last March.
Director of Internet Explorer product marketing Roger Capriotti expressed Microsoft's intentions for the new spot in a March 15 post on the Windows Blog:
Come learn more about the browser you loved to hate and how it has changed since you last used it. See what others are saying about the IE9 comeback. You don't need to ditch your current browser, but there are probably a few sites you go to each day like Facebook that you can pin with IE9 and see what you think. You might just like what you find.
Do you think Microsoft's funny new ad works? Check out the video (above), and share your thoughts in the comments.