With yesterday’s big news about Surface and with the launch day just ten days away, it comes as no surprise that the Microsoft Surface advertisement blitz is now in full swing. The first advertisement for Surface was released the day of the announcement event back in June, it was a production video that played at the close of the event, which you can see below.

This initial ad showed the world that Microsoft was both excited by the tremendous technological achievements that the Surface provided, but also that they were seeking to reach a broader audience than the usually stuffy corporate world of advertising. This web-only advertisement announced to the world that Microsoft was playing for keeps. It has garnered over 7 million YouTube hits which is far more than most videos released by Microsoft across all of their divisions.

By comparison, the most viewed videos on the Windows YouTube channel is just shy of 1 million hits, and it has nearly triple the views of the Microsoft YouTube channel’s most popular video, showcasing their new logo. Their channel for Windows Phone is much of the same, with the most viewed video being well under 2 million views. Simply put, this sleek video was a hit for Microsoft and built up tremendous buzz about a Microsoft product for the first time in a long while.

Shortly after the Surface event in June some graffiti advertisements began to pop up in several major cities. This relatively low-budget approach just kept Surface on the minds of people in these cities. Obviously the initial announcement was geared towards tech bloggers and tech enthusiasts, and since the announcement left a lot of questions these ads just kept Surface fresh on everyone’s minds. Being from Houston, I never saw any of these ads in person, nor did I see them in my frequent travels around the United States, but here are some from New York City.

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From June until this week there wasn’t really much news about Surface, and the only thing I found memorable during this time was a snapshot of Surface cakes at the Windows 8 wrap-up celebration in Redmond. For those Microsoft Fanboys who were clamoring for news about the Surface, any news at all, it was torture. For over three months we’ve had to wait patiently for more information. Then, like a beacon into the night on October 14th the Surface Twitter account went live. This, is the moment the fanboys have been waiting for.

In the early afternoon of Monday October 15th Microsoft guru Paul Thurott announced the following via his Twitter – “You heard it here first: Microsoft’s $400 million Surface ad campaign debuts tonight during Monday Night Football, Dancing with the Stars.” Simply awesome. Well, about the same time the Surface YouTube channel also sprang to life for the first time since June’s launch event. They launched a short 46 second video that went largely unnoticed, the video is a time lapse of one of the street art advertisements mentioned above.

At this point we knew we’d see a Microsoft commercial during Monday Night Football, and some other crazy Americans would catch one during Dancing With the Stars apparently. So, we sat and watched like we do every Monday. I am a huge football fan, but for the first time outside the Super Bowl, I was interested in a commercial more than I was the football game. Slyly however, the Surface team posted the first official Surface commercial on YouTube before the game even began. VICTORY!

After watching the video I was kind of in a state of shock, as it wasn’t what I expected. This was a fun video, with vibrant colors, catchy music, lots of good looking people and old people smooching. You don’t know the details of what the Surface is by watching the commercial, but you can tell it is a tablet with a keyboard, kick stand and camera that plays videos. Oh, and it has dancers, lots and lots of dancers. I guess it makes complete sense that they debuted it during Dancing with the Stars.

I feel that the commercial is a great way to begin the advertising campaign for the masses. It is catchy and memorable, and gets your attention. In a discussion on Reddit I pointed out to their tech-friendly user base that “The average consumer is wow’d by spectacle, not by specs.” I think this ad will roll for a few weeks to help get market recognition and then in another week or two they’ll focus in with “up close” ads showing the device itself, much like this Windows 8 advertisement.

The above Windows 8 advertisement does a tremendous job of showing off Windows 8 and it’s capabilities. I especially like the fact that it shows it in both touch and keyboard and mouse configurations. Again, this plays in parallel with what Microsoft is going for on the Surface. Over the next several weeks leading up until the release date of Windows 8 and the Surface I expect more of the same. Strong brand recognition followed by key points on design and functionality. Hopefully more supplemental videos like the “making of” seen below show up to help drive home the fact that Microsoft takes Windows 8 and the Surface very seriously.

Along with the web and television ads Microsoft is also rolling out massive print advertisements in major cities around the world. Reddit user slipstream37 was kind enough to grant me permission to use his photosof some of these print ads in the real world. He snapped the following pictures in and around Grand Central in New York City. Look for more of the same in major cities throughout the world over the coming few months through the holiday season at least.


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Again, I believe Microsoft will use the television ads to get people’s attention and the traditional print ads and web ads to help drive home the details. They also seem to be trying to reach out to the internet community to get a better understanding of Surface and Windows 8 by providing behind the scene videos as seen above, and then taking part in social network interactions on Twitter, Facebook and even doing an “Ask me Anything” on Reddit.


It is going to be an interesting and exciting few months as Windows 8, Surface and Windows Phone 8 devices all hit the market. Microsoft will be spending hundreds of millions of dollarson the advertising for Windows 8, Surface and Windows Phone 8 – so we haven’t seen the last of these. Stay tuned as we’ll be on top off all of it as it unfolds, like the fanboys we are. Until then, check out this Surface Overview video which was launched today that sums up the device nicely.