A strength that I have come to rely on and appreciate in the advertising industry is cynicism. I call it a strength, as it has helped me question the mundane (yes truly) and recognise quality, even if it is hidden among the “distinctively average”. I believe that the industry sometimes has an unfortunate tendency to toot its own headlines; and often within the process of selling a product, modesty and honesty are characteristics that I have come to miss. However, without sounding all saint-like (a quick step away from a worrying click-through rate), I also admire the confidence and creativity that advertising inspires. Let these adverts for Internet Explorer 9 be a case in point –
The first is the real ad – all pulsating music, chic headlines (suggesting a kind of social depth) and a dynamic and smooth transition from ‘story’ to slide to search. I love Microsoft, but my inner-cynic tells me that this is too good to be true.
The second ‘advert’ is the spoof version that suggests a less pleasant browsing experience. Using the familiar Explorer pauses, Youtube stutters and error alerts, the ‘honest version’ created by WorldWide Interweb mimics, what we in media like to call – a frustrating user journey. Not exactly new to me, this video humorously builds on users’ problems with earlier Internet Explorers – although, do not fret Microsoft, I have always blamed Dell.