Remembering the hungry hippo

I am not too sure if being nostalgic and in your early 20s is a good thing, but I love how this advert gets me thinking about hungry hippos. For those of you not in the know/too young, hungry hippos is one of my favourite childhood games – the kind of vociferous, manic type of activity that has probably nurtured my competitive streak, as well as adulation of hippopotami. However, I digress. Today’s post is all about Microsoft, and without a bitten apple in sight… In fact, continuing the theme of fruit and veg, I would classify this advert as more of a filling spud, as there is something quite heartwarming and satisfying about it, the homely appeal of a roast potato with butter.

The advert investigates how Microsoft has grown up, except without actually talking about computers, and understandably, software development. Instead, Microsoft is positioned more as a distant friend to “the children of the 90s”, reliving and recollecting their bizarre ex-past times and trends. Losing at pogs, killing off your tamagotchi, sinisterly renaming your online wagon companions as your real-life friends (another great game); Microsoft plays the “We were there. We get it” card to perfection. Arguably, this is a line often played [insert advertising example in the comments] and yet Microsoft plays it with the panache of a person winning at poker – the business objectives concealed behind some excellent 90s memories. Plus if there is one thing that this audience likes, it is being reminded of their youth.

Forget the “flower power” of the 1960s, the 1990s have the power to sell, although the actual switch from Chrome might take a little longer…

The agency behind the work is Column Five.

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