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Jun. 30 2009 - 9:02 am | 9 views | 0 recommendations | 6 comments

What’s worse: IE8 or commercials for IE8?

It’s really a toss-up.  An infuriatingly aggravating toss-up.  You see, Internet Explorer is known for its suckage.   If you google “internet explorer sucks” you’ll get the following results:

- Why IE Sucks, a site all about the ways in which, y’know, IE sucks.  In case you’re not clear on that, just check the tagline: Internet Explorer sucks ass.  Need reasons? Read on, reader, read on.

- IE Sucks•Info, which calls Internet Explorer “the dumb browser” and boldly declares:  Internet Explorer sucks so much, we won’t stop this internet explorer sucks campaign.

- IE Death March, encouraging companies to stop supporting IE6 – especially since there are now three versions of IE to support:  IE6, IE7 and IE8.  This site includes a list of things you can’t do in IE6, and things younger than IE6: It came out a few weeks before the Twin Towers fell. It came out before the Nintendo GameCube. It came out before the first iPod.

Beloved, it is not.

So what does Microsoft do?  Let’s see….fix IE to address legit and long-standing techie complaints or spend lots of money creating an oxymoronic ‘viral’ marketing campaign.   Hmm.

Trailing a series of failed and questionable commercials, Microsoft has launched an experimental new advertising campaign. Can Superman, puke jokes, and lolcats make IE cool again?

The new campaign features actor Dean Cain (former Superman from TV’s Lois and Clark) in a series of mock-PSAs, advertising the launch of Internet Explorer 8. Produced by Indiana-based ad agency Bradley and Montgomery, the commercials try hard to be funny in spots like S.H.Y.N.E.S.S. (“Sharing Heavily Yet Not Enough Sharing Still”) poking fun at web users who over-share lolcats, while going for the gross-out factor in O.M.G.I.G.P. (“Oh My God I’m Gonna Puke”) featuring a woman who’s accidently seen her partner’s obscene browser history.

Microsoft’s strange new ads for Internet Explorer – idsgn.org

Well, the campaign launched a couple of weeks ago and is now making the rounds.  The commercial strategy seems to be so-bad-they’re-good.  Except, they’re just so bad.

Chuckling yet?  Try this one:

But wait, there’s more:

Funnybone still intact?  Last one:

Hello, Microsoft? You are not 30 Rock or The Office.  And we don’t want you to be.  We just want a browser that works. I appreciate that you’ve partnered with Feeding America to make a donation when someone downloads IE8.  But even they’re not promoting Internet Explorer on their homepage anymore.  I couldn’t find it anywhere prominent on the site and I looked.  Twice.

Oh, Microsoft, I know you launched an official IE8 site specifically to lure us down the path.  But ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley Hughes had a pretty strong rebuttal. And your tagline for this campaign: Browse Better.  Browse Better?!?  Stop with the unfunny video nonsense and fix it so we can browse better.

In the meantime, for everyone else, if you really want to browse better I suggest you try Firefox, Safari or Chrome.


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  1. collapse expand

    haha, and you have to make TS work in it.

    Why are these kind of ads hysterical for Old Spice, and not MS?

    But, I dunno, I got nothing but love in my heart for a company who put Sugar Rashad Evans in an “i’m a pc” ad.

  2. collapse expand

    Ugh. This is so pathetically typical of Microsoft. Like you pointed out, instead of fixing IE8, Microsoft is dumping money into advertising a worthless product. It’s just like Vista where Microsoft’s solution was releasing a myriad of celebrity commercials and the failed “Mojave Experiment.”

    Another schtick MSFT has going is a $10,000 cash prize hidden somewhere on the Internet, but it can only be discovered by using IE8. It’s just too sad to be funny.

  3. collapse expand

    There’s a good question: how much would it take for you to stop using Internet Explorer? $10,000 might actually be too low. I get a headache just thinking about the headaches I’d get from IE8.

  4. collapse expand

    Andrea… why so grumpy? The ads are hilarious. I was going to write about them, but you beat me to it… Anything on TV that makes you stop and ask, “What the hell did I just see?” — I’m a fan of it.

    Of course, I’m a Mac devotee and wouldn’t volunteer to use a IE if you paid me, so I can’t say the ads are particularly effective. But they’re entertaining.

    And hats off to Dean Cain!

  5. collapse expand

    Go ahead, Matthew. Laugh it up while you zip along on your Mac with Safari or Firefox on properly-rendering pages.

    You know what they say: He who doesn’t live in a PC house…

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