Microsoft has a long and checkered history when it comes to product advertising. Perhaps you recall the cringeworthy yet bizarrely compelling “Bing Goes the Internet” ad campaign in the early days of the search engine’s existence. Here’s one of those clips:
Then there was the Microsoft campaign mocking the iPhone — mildly funny at points but still goofy and awkward:
There’s also the Bing It On Challenge and the Jerry Seinfeld ads, which were better but mixed.
A new campaign released today — though apparently not originally intended as an ad — is quite a bit more effective than most of these other ads. It’s a much more subtle and powerful plug for Bing and other Microsoft products, such as Skype, Surface tablets and Windows Phones.
Called “Three Generations,” it tells the story of an adult woman having a baby on her own, with the help and support of her father, whose wife (the woman’s mother) is deceased. The Microsoft products are woven into the storytelling in a visible but “organic” way that doesn’t hit viewers over the head.
I admit being emotionally affected by the ad myself. Here it is: